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Some of Sochi Olympics fans pay over $8,500 for tickets

February 16, 2014, 5:30 UTC+3 SOCHI
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SOCHI, February 16 (ITar-Tass) - The 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Russia’s Sochi attracted a great number of sports fans from around the world and one of the Russians said he spent over 300,000 rubles (over $8,500) to buy tickets for him and his family to attend over 50 sports events.

“I have bought over 50 tickets for myself and my family,” Konstantin, a resident of the Moscow Region, said in an interview with Itar-Tass. “I will personally use 48 tickets for various sports events. The total sum I spent on the tickets exceeded 300,000 rubles.”

He said the sum wasted on the tickets did not matter because he wanted to see the Olympics for himself.

“I believe this will be the only Olympic Games held in Russia throughout my life,” Konstantin said adding that “it would have been more expensive to travel to another country to see the Winter Olympics.”

Marina, a resident of the Russian southern city of Krasnodar, said “the desire to touch the history drove her to the Olympics in Sochi.”

Galina and her 7-year-old daughter came from the Urals city of Yekaterinburg to see the Olympic Games. Galina said she wanted her daughter, who is practicing figure skating, to “personally see the Sochi Games and feel the spirit of Olympics.”

“I think it will be a good motivation for her in order to achieve good results in figure skating,” Galina said.

The wife of one of the Dutch athletes competing in the Olympics said she came to Sochi due “to the pleasant necessity to escort the spouse.” She is staying in one of the floating hotels, which are docked at the Sochi port for the duration of the Games.

She said that in comparison with the previous Winter Olympics in Canada’s Vancouver “the infrastructure [in Sochi] is comfortably grouped in two clusters and “one can quickly walk between sports venues.”

“It would have been better if local residents spoke English,” she said.

Another visiting guest from the Netherlands said he mostly used the language of gestures while conversing with local residents.

“Youngsters are the only ones who can speak good English, but I have to use gestures talking to other [Sochi] people,” he said.

“When I am at a gift shop I point to a souvenir I like with my finger, when in a restaurant I also point with my finger at a line in a menu with the dish that I want,” he said. “But in talking with taxi drivers I mostly use a map of Sochi.”

The Dutch visitor also learned to use Russian words “poka” (bye) and “spasibo” (thank you).But a senior visiting American citizen at the games in Sochi failed to remember the Russian word for ‘thank you.’ He eventually came up with saying “spasida.”

Andrei, one of the local translators, said foreigners usually try to memorize only simple Russian words of ‘thank you,’ ‘hello’ and ‘good-bye,’ and ask for help of translators in all other cases.

“Foreigners often need translation help at security checkpoints,” he said. “Barely one of them understands a request to open a purse or to light up the screen of a cell phone or of a tablet computer,” he said.

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