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Winter Fun and Winter Olympics February 5, 2014

Posted by americanex in Uncategorized.

Winter has come to Kherson.  It has been very cold for several weeks and there is snow on the ground.  One of my favorite sights in Kherson when winter arrives is the appearance of the small runner sleds that people use to transport small children around the city.  All it takes is a little bit of snow and out come the sleds.  At the kindergarten near my apartment, the sleds are lined up waiting for the small passengers.  The children, even very small ones, love to be pulled around in their sleds.  I see parents enjoying the fun, too.  In the park at the University where I live, parents are running around the football field to give the children a fast ride. And there is one small hill where the older children are using their sleds to speed down the hill. Lots of laughing and no one cares if they fall off.  Everyone is wrapped in thick, warm snowsuits so no one gets hurt.

Some parts of winter are not as much fun, especially trying to walk around on the icy streets.  I have some “Yak Tracks” to put on my boots so I don’t slip on the ice and fall.  Last year, these little ice picks attracted a lot of attention and funny looks from Ukrainians as I walked around the city, but this year I see Ukrainians wearing them.  There were two people at the bus stop this morning wearing these ice picks, and I have heard that you can buy these  at Fabrika now.  It is a good idea because falling on the ice is not fun and you can really get hurt.

This winter we can all enjoy a special event.  This is the year for the international Winter Olympics. The games will take place in Sochi, Russia which is not too far from Kherson.  The Games start this weekend, with the opening ceremonies beginning at 18:00 on Friday night. All over the world people will be turning on their televisions to watch the activities and competitions.  It is a great honor for Russia to host the Games, and preparations have been underway for years, transforming the city of Sochi to host thousands of international visitors.

My home in Massachusetts has cold winters with a lot of snow, so I have enjoyed winter sports all of my life.  I have been skiing and ice skating since I was a small child and was a ski racer in high school.  My daughter, nieces, and nephews are all ski racers. All three of my brothers played ice hockey.  We all love to cross-country ski and so we really enjoy watching the Winter Olympics.  My husband and I will be watching many events over the next few weeks.  

It is especially nice to be living very near to the Olympic games. The time difference to the United States means that you must watch events in the middle of the night or you will already know who won the race before it is shown on television.  Here in Kherson we will be able to see the events while they are happening.  We also like it that we cannot understand a lot of what the announcers say, so we just watch the event and enjoy it.  In the United States the announcers talk all the time and tell you a lot of unnecessary information about the athletes.  More information then you really need, so it is fun to simply watch these world-class athletes compete.

I hope there is something about winter that you like and that you are enjoying this beautiful season. It will be fun to see the result of the Olympic Games and then we can welcome Spring to Kherson.



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