Russians will be remembered as frank and tactful after Sochi

Fireworks explode over the Fisht Olympic Stadium during the closing ceremony for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, February 23, 2014.
Fireworks explode over the Fisht Olympic Stadium during the closing ceremony for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics on Feb. 23.
Credit: Getty Images

Editor’s note: The following piece is from the perspective of Metro World News reporter Alexey Shunaev.

The saddest day of the Olympic Games is the last one. To be honest, I did not expect to see so many gloomy faces hours before the Closing Ceremony. A few young women are crying. Even in McDonald’s, they are playing sad music.

I spend my last day at the Sochi Games meeting with volunteers from across the world to find out what they think about the Russian hospitality.

“Russians are really nice,” Ruifeng Guo from Beijing tells me. “The moment I will always remember happened on the Sochi Medals Plaza the day I arrived. It was draped with a big Chinese flag and some locals asked me to pose with them for a photograph; they said China and Russia are good friends forever. It was very sweet.”

Julien Gangon from Quebec, Canada, says the Russians he met are the best ambassadors for their country.

“They spoke of so many good things about Russia,” he said. “I learned, for example, that Russia still celebrates an ‘Old New Year,’ a New Year celebration according to an old calendar system, and that the day of the Closing Ceremony – February 23 – is a holiday called Defender of the Fatherland Day, something like ‘Men’s Day’ that doesn’t exist where I’m from.”

I am glad to learn that Russians’ bold frankness, a character trait of ours often misinterpreted as being offensive, was finally being understood – at least by Fernando Cole Vaughn from Los Angeles: “I love how Russians find a balance between straightforwardness and tact. I mean, there are people who speak their mind, and that’s not always good. Russians can say they don’t like you or what you’re doing. But they will do it in a way that you won’t take offense at all – they’re trying to help you out.”

“I was extremely surprised at how open Russians are,” David Boudeling from the Netherlands continues the theme. “Russians seem distant and non-talkative. Maybe it’s so if you see them from the outside. But from the inside, they are really open.”

“But sadly, not many Russians I met spoke English. It’s a pity because I found each of them to be so interesting,” he added.

All the volunteers I speak with say they hope to come back to Russia in a few years’ time to see how Sochi will have developed since the Olympics.

Boudeling continues: “Here I visited an exhibition on the different regions of Russia, and it really impressed me. Now I’m thinking of traveling around the country. I hope I will manage to do it.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

NYPD looking for man they say assaulted elderly…

      The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a Hispanic male 20's wanted in connection with…

Local

Three arrested after allegedly assaulting off-duty officer in…

Three men were arrested early Saturday morning after allegedly assaulting an off-duty officer at a Bronx bodega, and the NYPD is asking for the public's…

Local

Healthcare union creates vibrant West Indian Day Parade…

Volunteers worked almost around the clock through the weekend, putting the flashy finishing touches on hundreds of costume pieces 1199SEIU members will wear while marching…

National

Top 10 most hipster college campuses

Hipsters are everywhere these days. You can't walk down the anywhere anymore without seeing a pair of skinny jeans on a handlebar mustachioed 20-something, a…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sep. 3: 'Houdini,' 'Colbert'…

Watch "Homeland" star Mandy Patinkin on "The Colbert Report."

Music

Lincoln Center just made 'Lord of the Rings'…

Middle Earth already has sweeping vistas, a hero's journey and technology-revolutionizing special effects. But next April, the Lincoln Center will add another dimension to Peter Jackson's…

Gossip

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth apparently love each…

Miley Cyrus may have broken off her engagement to Liam Hemsworth almost a year ago, but that doesn't mean she doesn't still have feelings for…

The Word

The Word: Charlize Theron isn't perfect, so stop…

We've been thinking a lot about famous women's bodies this week, obviously, so here's some food for thought to go with all that virtual ogling.…

Sports

Novak Djokovic feeds off US Open crowd to…

Novak Djokovic isn't a native New Yorker, but he sure knows how to use the U.S. Open crowd to his advantage.

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

Wellbeing

Today's Doomsday preppers: a closer look at survivalist…

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. The term “Doomsday prepper” is often associated with the paranoid, anti-government stereotype of the 1990s. The truth…

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…

Sex

When it comes to dating, height matters

Does a man’s height really matter when it comes to dating? Unfortunately - according to a new study - the answer looks like it’s yes.…

Style

5 minutes with..Rebecca Minkoff

Rebecca Minkoff on her Spring '15 show.