The 2014 Winter Olympic Games Are Over


By Yulia Yulina

The 2014 Winter Olympic Games are over. Closing ceremony, interviews, laughter and tears… I still keep nostalgic memories from my Soviet childhood of the 1980 Summer Olympic bear flying in the air accompanied by touching song, and a tear on bear face…

Today, I was watching closing ceremony and keep thinking of day when International Olympic Committee announced that Russia beat other countries to host the games and Sochi was chosen. It was on July 5, 2007. It’s hard to believe now-it seemed as it was last year. By chance I happened to be in Sochi at that day…

At that time through my work I coordinated trainings for medical doctors in four regions of Russia. One of the regions was Krasnodar Kray. My Krasnodar counterparts called to the office and announced that they would like to have training in Sochi. I had to supervise the workshop, so I was excited to go. I never was at Sochi before. I didn’t know much at that time about this cute and famous town except the famous Soviet saying: “Nights in Sochi are dark” mostly because in Russian the word “Sochi” is rhymed with word “nights”.

I happily agreed, and I also decided to go with my son and my husband on that trip. Honestly saying I completely forgot that the dates of the conference fall on the International Olympic Committee announcement day, and I had no idea that the conference hotel is the one where a celebration group would sing and jump all the night. That was a nice surprise. After the working day, my family went to bed and I came outside of hotel to see the concert and feel the crowd. There were many famous singers, I remember Kirkorov. They sang in front of the excited crowd and each 5 minutes there was direct translation of Olympic Committee on screen. When you are inside of a yelling crowd, you also started feel excited even if you personally have nothing to do with that. So, I was engaged in everybody’s excitement: which country would be chosen for the winter Olympics 2014 (seemed so far off that time). And finally they open the envelope and announced: SOCHI, RUSSIA! Fireworks started. People were jumping around and yelling: Russia, Russia!!! I quickly ran back to my room to check on my son. He was 2 at that time. He woke up, sat in the bed and cried. “What ‘s happening?” My husband tried to explain to him. Russia would have Olympics! Is it good or bad? It’s good – people are happy! Then he heard Dima Bilan’s song and started dance in the bed. After that, we all went to sleep around 2AM.

Next morning I woke up in a good mood. I was passing the hotel’s lobby and congratulate receptionists. They didn’t look happy though. “We don’t know how it would be for Sochi”, – one girl told. “We may not recognize our town in a few years. I think this hotel will not exist also” , – added another one. They probably were right. It was a typical many storey building hotel, very Soviet one. I went to my conference and Sochi’s natives express the same concern.

After my training was over, my family and I stayed one more day. We decided to have a tour around town because I was sure it would be rebuilt as well. It was a strange feeling to walk over town and try to guess how it would change. What would be broken, what would be built? Will it be good or it would be bad? I didn’t know, and nobody knew. I was born in country which didn’t exist anymore, and we stayed in a hotel which probably would be rebuilt… I bought a magnet on my fridge with this hotel on it just in case… And we went to airport to fly back to Moscow, thinking that Winter Olympics game is so far away…

And It’s over now. These games were successful. Russia’s team won 33 medals all together (13 gold). Bad news is hockey, Good news – is Figure skating. I wish I could be there. I wish I could ask Sochi’s natives how they feel about all what is happening in their hometown. I wish Olympic Games will go on and I can enjoy my favorite figure skating longer. However, it’s over. Good Bye Sochi Olympics. “HOT. COOL. YOURS.”

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