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February 20, 2014

Olympic Journal: Feb. 20, 2014

Feb. 20, 2014

As the Games move toward their conclusion on Sunday, North Country residents in Sochi are starting to reflect on their time at the Olympics.

From USA Luge media coordinator Sandy Caligiore: “I have the feeling that when the Games end on Sunday, we will deal with an event that many wanted us to dread, but, in reality, will turn into a place we don’t want to leave. The experience has been extraordinarily good.

“The people here could not be more hospitable; the volunteers more helpful; hotel and restaurant staffs more accommodating.

“I point to the young. They seem to have a keen desire to shed the stigma of old school Russia. The age of the Internet and social media has brought us all closer, and they have exemplified to me the fact that, despite the failings of our diplomats, we all have more in common than we realize.

“As for the food, I have made it a point to sample the local seafood. Perch, trout, salmon....grilled or broiled....has been outstanding. My hotel, the Gorki Panorama, has an exquisite morning buffet. Meats, cheeses, local breads, pancakes, crepes, pastries. Hard to complain, but if do have to get picky, it’s the European concept of runny scrambled eggs.

“But all in all, I can deal with that. The smiling faces that greet you as you enter the dining room make up for it.”

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