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Sochi.Park: A piece of winter at London Olympics

Russian skaters stage grandiose performances inviting visitors to next Olympics

Cast members of <i>Sochi: Small Stories of a Big City</i> perform a group number.
Cast members of Sochi: Small Stories of a Big City perform a group number. (photo by Nat Urazmetova)

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By Vladislav Luchianov, special to icenetwork.com
(08/08/2012) - The London Summer Olympics are in full swing, but Russia is reminding the world that the Black Sea resort city of Sochi will play host to the next edition of the world's largest sporting event.

Located in Kensington Gardens, near the famous Royal Albert Hall, Sochi.Park allows visitors to take a virtual trip to the location of the next Winter Olympics, giving them a sense of what Russia will put on display 18 months from now.

Residents of the British capital and guests of the Olympic Games can learn about the history of Soviet and Russian sport, try national dishes, see famous Russian Olympians and hear performances by Russian musicians.

"We've always wanted that more and more people become imbued with the spirit of future Games in Sochi. And we are very pleased that the visitors of the park now have the opportunity to see how rapidly the city of Sochi is changing and learn about everything that will happen at the 2014 Olympics," said the head of the Sochi 2014 organizing committee, Dmitri Chernyshenko.

"I hope that before the end of the Olympic Games in London, Sochi.Park will see many visitors of the British capital," he added.

Sochi.Park also is presenting the most ambitious theatrical ice show ever staged outside Russia: Sochi: Small Stories of a Big City. The creator and executive producer of the show is 2002 Olympic silver medalist ice dancer Ilia Averbukh.

"In our skating performances, multiple winners of various competitions take part," Averbukh said. "Their participation in the project should be considered as a big contribution to the upcoming Olympic Games in Sochi."

According to Averbukh, the main objective of this project is to show the modern Russia, a country of perspectives and initiatives as well as science, industry, the arts and other features.

Small Stories of a Big City is a professional ice skating musical with many high-level participants such as 2006 Olympic ice dancing champions Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov; 2006 Olympic pairs champions Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin; 2002 Olympic champion Alexei Yagudin; 2002 Olympic silver medalist Irina Slutskaya; and 2010 Olympic bronze medalists Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin.

"I hope those who come to our performances will understand the Russian soul, Russian heart, Russian feelings and what we represent to the world, inviting people to Sochi," Navka said.

"You feel around the Olympic emotions. It's great that we're here and that we skate," Slutskaya told the Russia Today Channel. "It's a small piece of winter exotic at the Summer Olympics."

For the figure skating world, the next major presentation of the Sochi Olympics will be the Grand Prix Final in the upcoming season, which will be held Dec. 6-9. There, figure skaters and fans will be able to fully experience the atmosphere of the next Winter Games on the new ice arena, the "Iceberg."