Russia is hosting its first Olympic Games in February, and Andriy Pryadko said the country is going to make the most of the experience.
© Austin M. Davis
The Russian Association was represented by president Luda Tomas (right) and vice-president Adriy Pryadko at the Canadian Club meeting at Temple Gardens on Tuesday night. Tomas and Pryadko spoke about Russian culture and the preparations for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.
“Every country that takes the stage as the host of the Olympics, it doesn’t do it just out of the goodness of its heart,” Pryadko said. “It’s trying to get more tourism in, trying to improve its image in the eyes of the world and it’s trying to get some business brought to the region.
“Why else would you do that?”
Under the Soviet Union, Moscow hosted the Summer Olympics in 1980. Luda Tomas was young during those Games, but she remembers some things about them.
“This Olympic Games will be the first one after all those changes,” said Tomas. “I think it will be more westernized.”
Eyes around the world have been watching Sochi all year and excitement has been building.
Pryadko and Tomas are the vice-president and president, respectively, of the Russian Association of Moose Jaw. They spoke to the Moose Jaw Canadian Club at the Temple Gardens on Tuesday night.
Tomas has been in Canada for about five years, but she’s excited for her home country to put on the Games and wow the world with its preparedness.
“It’s a very beautiful place,” Tomas said of Sochi. “The weather is similar to Florida. I don’t know if it‘s a really good place for the Winter Olympic Games, but as Andriy said, they have snow saved from the last year.”
Tomas shared facts about Russian culture with the crowd during her presentation before Pryadko spoke about the Olympic preparations.
Pryadko showed two of the official Sochi promotional videos which emphasized the 11 brand new venues and achievements like the very unique medals, which Pryadko said were the biggest and heaviest medals in Olympic history.
He said Sochi — the event itself and the preparations leading up — is all about making an impression. And while the Olympics are always about making the host country look good, according to Pryadko, Russia has even more to gain.
“They want to really show two things,” Pryadko said. “One: to break the stereotypes of the world about them — as this superpower who is trying to get you — by just showing the people. And two: by the ability to organize and show that Russia can grow, can change, can develop, together with the rest of the world.”
Visit https://russianassociation.ca/ for more information about the Russian Association of Moose Jaw.
Austin M. Davis can be reached at 306-691-1258 or follow him on Twitter @theAustinX