If you’ve been watching at all, the Winter Olympics in Sochi are about as social a world event as we’ve ever seen. From the unbalance and propaganda-like negative hype before Vladimir Putin announced the games’ beginning, to the tweets of the athletes now headlining the news, Sochi 2014 has lived up to the motto “Hot.Cool.Yours.” and then some. For an interesting look at what’s going on in Sochi, Russia, here are some local and real world takes via social means on these Olympic Games.
From Facebook with Love
What better way is there for a publisher to connect with local professionals than on Facebook? With the Sochi 2014 Olympics about to start, one sure fire way to find a couple of local photographers was to connect with my Russia and Sochi contacts to just outright ask: “Do you know any?” And voila, two wonderful young professionals who live in Sochi popped up on our social radar. Pasha Kovalenko (above at Seaside Cluster) and Nina Zotina (immediately below) came highly recommended for a photo op at Sochi Airport for Photosynth. Then, as social and “friends” go, so subsequent collaboration and fun ensued. By way of introduction, both Pasha and Nina are respected freelancers in Russia. Pasha, While Nina works continually with RIA Novosti and other world media.
To make a long and interesting story short, I asked our friends at Vocus to sponsor with event tickets Pasha, Nina, and Pasha’s talented mate Lily Te. I also got assistance from ComTranslations interpreter team to aid communications so we could bring you some Sochi coolness. As you see in images and shares, what’s you may have expected from Russia’s Olympics may be a little unexpected. And in subsequent reports, some unexpected heroes may arise! First, check out the Slideshare of Pasha’s and Lily’s great speed skating adventure down home in Sochi.
While Pasha and Lily enjoyed the events of the "Coastal Cluster" of venues, Nina Zotina headed up to the "Mountain Cluster" is located at Krasnaya Polyana for some pure skiing exhilaration. Though Nina is booked solid doing shooting for RIA Novosti, she took the time to get a couple of "selfies" and backdrop images from Rosa Khutor. As you can tell from the images below, those bright skies you see on TV images from Sochi are no lie.
Nina, who is about as straight forward as a ski lift herself, described to me on an earlier occasion the Russia take on all the hype surrounding Sochi. One thing anyone can easily glean from Nina is, Vladimir Putin's Russia is not some dictatorial mind suppressing regime. Zotina will tell you point blank her views on anything from Putin to geography or photography, and all in between. I asker her at one point about the reality of Vladimir Putin in Russia, to wit there was an instant and oh so credible response.
"President Putin gets mixed reviews in the big cities, but in the countryside he is much beloved."
Readers can catch more of Pasha and Nina via their Facebook accounts, but we'll have another report later in the week with some surprises. One thing we've learned over the years about the Olympic movement, whatever else takes place, these games go on and into our collective consciousness. As a teaser for next time the image below courtesy the greatest women's figure skater of all time, our friend and two-time Gold medalist Katerina Witt, reflects too just how celebrity and spectators now truly live in this hot, cool, social world of yours.
Til later, tune in the Winter Olympics on social from Sochi, Russia. Here's a link to the Athlete's Hub, just in case you missed it.
Image credits: Feature and Slideshare images - Couresy Pasha Kovalneko, Nina Zotina images - Courtesy the photogapher, Katerina Witt with ARD commentator Daniel Weiss - Courtesy Katerina's Facebook.