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Editor's notes

Posts tagged: sochi 2014

A final look at Sochi coverage

  Yes, the Sochi Olympics are closed, but there are a few stories by the Ball State At The Games team that are still worth reading after the fact. This group shot was taken about 3:30 a.m. as we prepared to leave our temporary home on the Louise Olympia cruise ship.

 One of the more heart-breaking stories of the Olympics was the plight of homeless dogs. Reporter Kourtney Cooper found local volunteers who were trying to help the animals.

 Vladimir Putin's anti-gay statements prior to the games attracted considerable attention, so reporter Ryan Howe set out to take a deep look at the gay bar scene. His story first appeared in The Advocate.

 Black people are not a common sight in Russia. Reporter Dominque Stewart, an African-American, found herself the object of much curiosity and wrote a first-person account of her experience. 


Away from the Olympic site

Several members of the Ball State At the Games team took the 45-minute train ride from Adler to Sochi to explore and report on Sochi, the city by the Black Sea. Taylor Irby took this photo along the riverwalk.

Gorgeous Olympic sunsets

We saw beautiful sunsets practically every day. No photographer could resist the natural beauty. Ball State photographer Taylor Irby produced this shot.

The scenic Caucasus Mountains

All out of the outdoor Olympic events were held in what was called the mountain cluster site. I had incorrectly identified the mountains the Ural mountains, but they are actually the Caucasus mountains. Ball State photographer Taylor Irby made this photo when she took the train up to the mountain site.

One final shot of a stray dog

Ball State photographer Taylor Irby saw this stray, one of many we encountered.

Another stray dog in Sochi

Ball State photographer Matt Amaro saw this woman nurturing a stray in downtown Sochi, which is a 45-minute train ride from where the Olympic events were held.

Stray dogs of Sochi

Reporters and photographers on the Ball State At The Games team saw stray dogs practically every place we went, except around the official Olympic sites and venues. I saw very few cats. Photographer Marcey Burton saw this homeless dog after it had been given something to chew on by one of the rescue volunteers.

Perfomers Olympic Park

There were performers of all sorts during the week the Ball State team was roaming the grounds of the Olympic Park. This shot was taken by Rebekah Floyd.

The long lines in Sochi

I know I used a photo several days ago showing a long line in Sochi for the Olympics. I can't help myself. Here's an even better shot that demonstrates how chaotic it seemed on several days. Photo by Ball State photographer Rebekah Floyd, a member of the team.

Another shot of the drumline

Ball State photographer Rebekah Floyd captured another view of the drumline in Olympic Park last week.

Final shots from Sochi

This Russian drumline was one of several performance groups we saw during the days inside the Olympic Park. Photo by Ball State photographer Marcey Burton

Sights and scenes of Sochi, Part V

Russian performers dressed in traditional garb in Olympic Park, Sochi. By Ball State photographer Taylor Irby.

Sights and scenes of Sochi, Part IV

Ball State photographer Marcey Burton collected these stones from the beaches of the Black Sea for her favorite uncle. Wish I had thought of that.

Sights and scenes of Sochi, Part III

Long lines were a common occurrence at the Olympic Park in Sochi. Photo by Rebekah Floyd of the BSUatthegames team.

Sights and scenes of Sochi, Part II

The Olympics rings are a popular destination with visitors. By afternoon, a long line usually forms to get photos taken under the iconic rings. Photo by Ryan Sparrow,

Sights and scenes of Sochi, Part I

I've been promising to post more photos from our experience at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, so here we go. This first shot of a performer dressed in the traditional Kazak uniform at Olympic Park was taken by veteran photographer Ryan Sparrow, a Ball State faculty member and leader of the team of student journalists

Back in the USA

I've actually been back from Russia since Saturday, but a sore throat has knocked out most of my week. However, the team has been working hard to polish the many stories and photos they have been working on. The student journalists struggled a bit in the beginning as they adapted to such unusual circumstances in Sochi and the Olympic sites, but once they settled in they tackled their assignments with gusto.

I still intend to post some of the wonderful photos that the students and faculty produced, but that will be a task for Friday. In the meantime, check out their website, which is full of journalistic goodness.

We wrapped up our trip with nearly a full day of sightseeing in Moscow. I'd been in Red Square some 24 years ago, but it was fascinating to revisit the historic site. I think the students would tell you the afternoon there was a trip highlight. We finished the day with a wonderful group dinner at Cafe Pushkin. Of course, we topped off the meal with a robust vodka toast. Russian tradition says once a bottle is opened, it has to be finished. Mission accomplished.

Spoiler alert: U.S. men’s hockey score

SOCHI - The U.S. men routed Slavakia, 7-1, in hockey tonight at the Shayba Arena.

Warning: I am no expert on hockey, but I enjoy watching games here and there, so buying an advance ticket for the game was a no-brainer for me. Slavakia had a fairly large contingent of fans at the game, but surely the fans were disappointed in their team's performance.

 The Shayba Arena, with a capacity of 7,000, was nearly full. It's a pretty nice arena, it being new and all. But it was chilly and I am glad I had a coat. It was fun to root for the USA. I even had a face paint. Send enough rubles and I'll even show you a photo.

Americans were easy to spot with their U.S. garb. l met Tatiana Dudley of Bainbridge Island and her long-time friend Yevgeniy Zhirnov of Poulsbo in Kitsnap County. Both of them are official volunteers in the Athlete's Village and arrived here on Jan. 20 for volunteer training. Dudley's husband will be arriving on Sunday. Dudley and Zhirnov are both Russian-born who moved to the U.S. many years ago. The two will remain here until the Olympics conclude.  Dudley says the accommodations in the Volunteers Village are adequate and they've not had to deal with some of the horrors that visitors have encountered in newly-built facilities.

 Our group concludes it's visit today and we'll be heading to the Sochi airport by the time most of you will see this post. We fly to Moscow, where we will spend the day touring. On Saturday, we're due to fly to Amsterdam. I am arranging to stay overnight in Amsterdam so that I can tour the Anne Frank house. I intend to write a story about the historic site.


Olympic spectators with, um, style

Ball State photographer Taylor Irby found this interesting pair on Wednesday.

Yes, there are Americans here

SOCHI - I tagged along with Ball State reporter Jeremy Ervin and photographer Taylor Irby in pursuit of an interesting story about all the Olympic paraphernalia being sold this week. We met four Americans from the Bay Area who arrived via Istanbul today, as well as a Russian-born young woman now living in Sacramento who is here with three of her buddies from the states. It was fun to have conversations without needing translators.

 I was feeling fairly full of myself after successfully navigating the trip to Sochi without the aid of one of our trusty translators. We took the train into Sochi, found the shopping mall we needed to visit and came away with the material needed to supplement Ervin's earlier reporting work. I promised the students that I would make sure they would not be killed or lost, so my work here is done.

 The most popular, Olympics-branded souvenirs and clothing seem to be stuffed animals, gloves, nesting dolls and jerseys of all sorts. Don't get me started on the tiny pins that are almost like currency around here. Collectors have made the art of pin trading a common and popular mini-sport.


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Gary Graham offers newsroom insights and interviews with people of local interest.

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