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

Newest java joint in bastion of hipness is…

Little may represent the change the neighborhood is undergoing right now like the arrival of the first Starbucks. The chain which is ubiquitous in Manhattan, opened a Williamsburg store at…

National

Black and white are the new orange at…

By Brendan O'Brien(Reuters) - Black and white are the new orange in a Michigan county where the sheriff has made a wardrobe change for jail…

National

Traps set after reports of giant snake on…

New Jersey animal control workers have set traps to snare a reported 20-foot-long serpent slithering through the waters of Lake Hopatcong.

Local

NYPD: Stroller carrying 2-year-old rolls onto Queens subway…

A 2-year-old girl in a stroller rolled onto subway tracks in Queens on Monday morning, police said.

Entertainment

‘The Leftovers’ recap: Season 1, Episode 4, ‘B.J.…

Last week’s episode of “The Leftovers” was apparently a fluke, because this week’s episode returns to focusing on the Garveys and it is so boring.…

Movies

Interview: Luc Besson says 'Lucy' is very different…

Filmmaker Luc Besson talks about his new film "Lucy," how it's different than "Limitless" and his crazy first conversation with Egyptian actor Amr Waked.

Music

Weezer releases first new song since 2010

Weezer releases "Back to the Shack," their first new song in almost six years.

Movies

Benedict Cumberbatch plays a different kind of genius…

The man known worldwide for his portrayal of London's eccentric private detective Sherlock Holmes is trading his Belstaff coat for tweed this fall. Benedict Cumberbatch…

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

MLB

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according…

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according to report

NFL

Giants lineman Chris Snee to retire: Reports

The Giants report to training camp on Tuesday, but Chris Snee may not be there when they do.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony talks about his charity work in…

As he is used to doing every year, NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony is going to visit Puerto Rico to do work for his foundation.

Tech

RocketSkates let users roll with a motor

Los Angeles company Acton has raised funds on Kickstarter to roll out a nifty alternative – motor-powered "RocketSkates."

Tech

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony becomes a tech entrepreneur

He's been an All-Star, an Olympian, and a celebrity spokesperson. Now NBA player Carmelo Anthony is adding the position "tech entrepreneur" to his resume. Along…

Tech

Ulises 1 is the world's first singing satellite

A group of artists and engineers in Mexico have unveiled Ulises 1, the world's first opera-singing satellite.

Home

Wallscape on a budget

Skip the wallpaper and ombre an accent wall instead.