I was asked to answer three questions by a journalist from CultureMap Austin but apparently was too late with my response. I publish my answers here. I did not read the article for which the text was meant but I am pretty sure they will be at odds with what they published.
The Olympics are often meant to instill nationalistic pride among a host nations’ population, but have you felt that at all before or during the games?
The Olympics are arranged the way to stir up the feeling of belonging to the country among the people who were born and brought there. If Olympics do not succeed in it, they must be considered a failure. I did not follow Olympics very closely but the opening ceremony certainly did not fit the description of failure.
Do you feel that Russia has been fairly portrayed in foreign media during coverage of the games?
Media tend to spring from usual premises, which are not generated by means of representation. There is no such thing as fair and unbiased portrayal of Russia in the USA and of the USA in Russia. The legacy of the Cold War is still there.
Have these games provided a unique opportunity for more people to become invested with Russian current events and to continue following them after the close of the games? Do you believe Russia will change at all after the games?
Your question on the changes in Russia that we are to expect or not to expect after the Olympics is an example of a judgment based on the premises I mentioned before. It implies that changes are desirable, and, like an outside superior agency, you or I are to expect them in due time. Russia is a big country, it exists on multiple levels, and changes all the time.