She speaks perfectly fluent American English with no accent and seems very Americanized in some ways, but make no mistake about it…Maria Sharapova is a Russian woman to her core. She was her country’s flag bearer during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 London Summer Olympics. She is the first woman given the honor of being the Russian flag bearer at the Olympics. Masha was among the delegation that lobbied for Sochi being awarded the 2014 Winter Games. Now that those Games are a reality, she will serve as a special correspondent for NBC, along with being an ambassador for her childhood home of Sochi. Sharapova was born in Nyagan, a town in western Siberia. When she was 2, her family moved to Sochi, a resort city along the Black Sea. She describes Sochi as a place where you can swim in the Black Sea and then go up into the mountains to ski on the same day.
Nike stepped in to refurbish the courts in Sharapova’s honor. Not surprisingly, she received a hero’s welcome upon her return. Although she came to the United States at a very early age, her heart belongs to Sochi, where she still has family. Unfortunately, she won’t be able to stay the whole two weeks of the Olympics, as she has to get back to training for her next event.
Masha is also a savvy businesswoman, promoting her own Sugarpova candy line and Porsche while in Sochi. Tying into the Winter Olympics, Samsung is one of the big sponsors of the Games. Every athlete in the Olympics will receive a free Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone. It just so happens that Masha is a global ambassador for Samsung, showing up at the newly opened Samsung Galaxy Studio in Sochi. On a personal note, I don’t mean to shill for anybody on my blog, but I will say that I have owned both the Samsung Galaxy Note and the Galaxy Note 2. I will be upgrading soon to the Note 3. It’s a terrific product line. Everybody has their own preferences in a phone, so I don’t mean to say mine are any better…just thought I’d give the Samsung Galaxy Note line a thumbs up from personal experience.
But more important than my tastes in phones is that the interviewer here actually asked Masha some serious questions, including questions surrounding safety at the games and treatment of the LGBT community in Russia. I know there are those that wish the Olympics to be separate from politics, but I think that’s a bit quixotic. The Olympics have had a long history of being enmeshed with politics. On a lighter note, Masha is also asked who she’d root for in a potential Russia vs USA hockey gold medal game. It seems nothing she says or does convinces people that her fealty is to her homeland.
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