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Grigory Pasko: Russia’s Transnational Olympic Champions

pozdnyakova.jpgA modest haul Grigory Pasko, journalist The Russian Olympic team, poor in gold medals, evokes a feeling of pity in me. The athletes are forced to be distracted by events that have nothing to do with the Olympics. For example, by the war of Russia with Georgia. For four days they were forced, as someone joked, to fight on two fronts. And then to participate three days in hypocritical mourning for those killed during the time of the Russo-Georgian conflict. Who can think about medals…? But there are yet other certain circumstances to which I would like to bring the attention of readers. A silver prizewinner of the Beijing Olympiad, Nastya Pozdnyakova, lives and trains in Houston. She goes to school there too – at the University of Houston, in the department of the theory of the arts AND her boyfriend – is a Canadian. Before moving to Houston, the young woman lived in Elektrostal. It so happened that I have been there. A small town on the outskirts of Moscow. Houston, of course, would be more interesting. And Nastya herself on one of the interviews said that living in Houston is better. (Photo: Silver prizewinner of the Olympiad Nastya Pozdnyakova (front), with teammate Julia Pakhalina (rear) – source)

International-class master of sport Natalia Boyarskaya got involved in cycling 10 years ago in Chita. But for a long time already, as she herself says, she “got out of there”. Now she lives and trains in Italy.For a second year she is appearing together with other Russian female cyclists, in particular with Svetlana Bubnenkova, Olga Slyusareva, Tatiana Antoshina for the Italian women’s team «Fenixs». In the opinion of Boyarskaya, ideally the Russian team should have a Russian source of funding and be based in Italy, “where you can train and race practically the whole year round”.Athlete Nadezhda Vlasova, merited master of sport of Russia, said this about her colleagues: “They live in Europe. They don’t leave there. One race ends in Italy and off they go to Germany, to Poland, to Czechia, to France, while we ride one race and fly to Russia right away, we live there. This is bad because we can not consolidate our athletic experience, our level”.It is known that many Russian athletes – of members of the Olympic team- live and train outside the boundaries of Russia.Young Russian scientists too prefer to live not in Russia. And many businessmen. Even those who are an oligarch of the Putinite vintage. Recently I was told a story about how one of the ministers of the Putin government on Fridays would fly to London, therefore meetings in the ministry he would conduct early in the morning. Why did he fly? Because his house and family – are in London.Russia – is a country where you can make money. But enterprising people prefer to live in another place. If possible – with a passport of the country of residence.So it was that Nastya Pozdnyakova too has said in an interview that she’s thinking about citizenship of the USA.