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Sochi-2014: the Olympic athletes keep on…sunbathing

 Михаил Мокрушин/РИА Новости Михаил Мокрушин/РИА Новости It is +21 degree Celsius in Sochi today. Mimosa bushes are abloom around the city, the birds are chattering and the buds are about to break on the trees. To make it short – the spring is high at Sochi!

The weather has been fine for the whole week here. It is hard to get accustomed to the absence of snow and cold wind here for many visitors from other Russian cities. Still, that kind of mild or even warm weather is typical for that southern city.

The spring is in the air

The guests of Sochi Olympics are often shocked to see the locals swimming in the sea. In winter! The water temperature is +10 to +12 degree Celsius which is almost the same as the one in many a Russian region at the start of the fall.  

Having observed the imperturbable locals some even muster their courage and go for a swim too, but the water seems a little bit cold to them. The Sochi natives consider those who go swimming in the sea in winter to be “mordji”, which means winter-swimmers. That fact amuses the guests who come from the northern regions of Russia, such as the Siberia, a lot. They say that the real winter swimmers are those Siberian men who fearlessly dive into a hole in the ice, while swimming in the sea here is like the one in the Yenisey river in September – note a great feat at all!

Some days the temperature in the sun reaches up to +25 degree Celsius in Sochi. The fur coats and sheepskin coats have been replaced by wind jackets and sweaters. One can see teen girls dressed in cutty skirts  around the city, while the bravest fans dress themselves in no more than briefs and mules and have a great fun taking pictures of themselves in front of palm trees. So much for the famed Russian Winter! The most die-hard fans of suntan are out at the beach: they bask in the warm southern sun bare-chested.

The revelation of the century

It is a common thing for the foreign guests to have quite a turn on arriving to Sochi. The city is neat and tidy. There are palm trees and flowerbeds all around. The buildings are new and up-to-date. It looks like the guests’ stereotypes have been dismantled – prior to visiting the Olympics the vast majority knew next to nothing about Russia and therefore expected to see people in infamous ushanka hats playing accordions and balalaikas at the streets or even bears strooling along broadways as if in the forest.   

- It was the most appropriate decision to have the winter Olympic Games here in Sochi – shares Oleg Ponomarev from Magnitogorsk – The weather is great here. It is warm and the scenery is nice. We succeeded in showing the best of Russia to the foreign guests. I do strongly believe that their attitude towards Russia has been drastically changed for the best. Th Sochi-2014 winter Olympic Games gave them the idea hat our country is no backward nation, but a leading European power. I believe that it is now clear to everyone – we are a cultural nation!

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