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BRYANSK, February 07. /ITAR-TASS/. At least fifty retired women in the Bryansk region in Central Russia about 380 km south-west of Moscow have Olympic names, the Russian Pension Fund’s department for the Bryansk region told Itar-Tass.
Most of the women called Olympiada (Olympic) were born in 1920-1930s though there are some younger women among them.
The oldest Olympiada living here is 93 years old while the youngest is 33 and she was born when the Summer Olympic Games were held in Moscow in the summer of 1980.
The name is rather exotic for this country but many Russians were given rather offbeat names in the 1920's and the 1930's when the country was going through the period of a steep and multifaceted social transformation under the rule of the Bolshevik [Communist] Party, which sought to discard the old traditions in every possible way, including the removal of Christian names.
The paradox of the situation is that the majority of Olimpiadas - and bearers of other outlandish names - have the patronymics derived from the traditional Russian male names like Grigory, Pyotr, Alexei, Ivan, Vasily, Nikolai, or Alexander.
On February 16, one of the Olimpiadas will celebrate her 85th birthday.