Herd Tennis Player Grew Up in Sochi


One Marshall University athlete has a unique perspective on the home of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

When Anna Pomyatinskaya talks about Sochi, Russia she reflecting on a place she calls home. The freshman Marshall University tennis player just arrived on campus in January after spending the last few years at IMG Academy in Florida. She says she’s not been back to Sochi since winter break of the 2012-2013 school year. She said her home looks completely different.


Credit Braxton Crisp

“It’s really exciting, but at the same time unbelievable, maybe a year ago I was there and walking down all the streets and now I see it on TV and people see all the beauty that our people just built,” Pomyatinskaya said.

She said since officials in Russia found out in 2007 that they’d host this year’s games, work has been underway to change a sleepy small town on the black sea into a Winter Olympics mecca. She said work immediately began to turn a diverse area with beaches near the black sea, but an abundance of snow in the mountains into a place that millions of people would see.

“It was a resort town, it was a place where people use to go in the summer or early autumn. It was a perfect place to get in the sea, but now it is changed and is an all four seasons resort and now people go there and ski in the winter and swim in the summer,” Pomyatinskaya said.

Pomyatinskaya said her reaction to what she sees on TV and what she hears from her family are equal to the pride she felt when the Olympic Committee originally announced the games would be in Sochi. She’s excited about what the transformation could mean for her hometown.

“I remember the first time that I heard Olympics 2014 were going to be in Sochi and I was wow this is really cool, this is going to take a lot of time and energy and money and effort, but in the end it is going to be great,” Pomyatinskaya said.

She said it’s just as exciting to think what the games and all the development will mean for the area once the Olympics are over.

“It will make Sochi a better place and obviously there will be more space for jobs and people can go there and start and making their future and especially for students and everybody it’s a really good opportunity for Russian citizens,” Pomyatinskaya said.

She hopes to be able to go home this coming summer and looks forward to that first site of what her home will look like.


Credit Braxton Crisp

“I will be so excited because I can imagine what kind of view I’ll get when I’m on a plane, because from the plane you can see all of the sea and the buildings and it will be awesome,” Pomyatinskaya said.

Pomyatinskaya said she could not be prouder of her hometown.