Remembering Sochi

The winter Olympics in Sochi start today. When I realised they were going to be in Sochi, I was excited. Almost as excited as I was about the Olympics being in London in 2012. Because I've been to Sochi. I did Russian GCSE and Sochi is Cheltenham's twin town, so our school arranged an exchange visit when I was 16. It was ground-breaking stuff back in 1990. I think only one other British school had done an exchange visit to Russia at that time.

I can't remember as much about it as I'd like to. I really wish I could remember more.

Sochi may be hosting the winter Olympics, but in summer it's HOT. The temperatures in Sochi were the hottest I'd ever experienced at that time.

I'm looking forward to the winter Olympics, to see how Sochi is changed in all those years - and whether anything will jog my memory a little bit more. I've been saddened to hear recently all the negative publicity surrounding Sochi and Russia's legislation on homosexuality. While this has rightly cast a shadow over the games, I do hope the sport, the people and the scenery can still be celebrated.

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