View Mobile Site
  • Bookmark and Share

ASK THE EXPERTS

One local resident’s experiences in Sochi

POSTED: February 19, 2014 4:00 a.m.

With the Winter Olympics on TV for the past week and again this week, the major news from Sochi has been about how incomplete everything has been and the lacking amenities of home for the U.S. teams.

However, one Dawson county resident has lived in that environment and wants to give the community some insight on what's really going on in Russia.

"The collapse of the Soviet Union and the building up for the Winter Olympics in Sochi are somewhat intertwined," said Charlie Auvermann, director of the Dawson County Development Authority. "The Soviet Union's collapse was a triple transition. Their financial structures were replaced, their political structure changed and they also went through a social transition."

Auvermann lived near the area for 10 years while working for an oil company overseas.

It was a time that Auvermann said was a huge transition not just for the region, but the entire country.

"It was a huge deal. People don't give Russia enough credit for what the people went through and are still going through," he said. "The fact that they survived that and did it without going into anarchy says a lot. Sochi, like any place in southern Russia, was going through this from 1990 on. That takes decades."

It's a transition that he said the small resort town was still going through during the building for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

"For the Olympics, you have to recognize that Sochi used to be this incredibly small town. Now it's comparable to Gainesville, which was the site of a few games during the [1996] Summer Olympics. Just imagine if you had to do everything there," he said. "They had to build everything from the ground up and have the ability to house all of these people and you are given four years from the time it was announced to when you have to have that. There's nothing around Sochi, like Gainesville had Atlanta. You can't rely on Moscow there, because it's 1,000 miles away."

One of the issues for complaints, according to Auvermann, is most likely culture shock.

"The pace at which Russia builds things, the level at which things are completed - or deemed completed - is a different perspective. There are a lot of projects that never have nor ever will be finished," he said, "I'm sure a lot of places in Sochi aren't finished. That's just the way it is. I've been in buildings in Russia that have been operational for years and still aren't finished. It's just a cultural thing."

But despite the cultural difference in building quality, it's the quality of the people that Auvermann said he would always remember.

"I still have many friends in that part of Russia. The people there are incredibly nice and are very educated," he said. "People in the United States still see Russia as an enemy. If you spend time there and go to someone's house on a Saturday night for dinner, they have no animosity toward us and we shouldn't have any animosity toward them."

 

 

COMMENTS

  • Bookmark and Share

Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.

FEATURED PHOTOS

Oakwood man killed in fatal...
A fatal collision shut down...
Banquet remembers racers
John “Benny” Benefield poli...
Commemorative Chase Elliott...
Michele Hester, staff write...
Art show finds new directio...
First place winner and show...
Emergency personnel recogni...
Lt. Jeff Banks presents Sam...
Sheriff honors top staff a...
The Dawson County Sheriff’s...
Wrestlers take two
Tiger Josh Poe attempts to ...
Lady Tigers on fire
Ansley Costley dribbles aro...
Tigers continue to battle, ...
Senior Tigers guard Jackson...
 

AP VIDEO


Contents of this site are © Copyright 2014 Dawsonnews, Dawsonville, GA. All rights reserved. Privacy policy and Terms of service

Powered by
Morris Technology
Please wait ...