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Kim Yuna and the Korean art of suffering

SEOUL — Call it the gasp heard round the world. Olympic fans were aghast when Russia’s Adelina Sotnikova took the figure skating gold medal over South Korean uber-star Kim Yuna. You could almost imagine the collective shock measuring on the Richter scale. But the outpouring of global emotion pales compared to what South Koreans are enduring.

Don't cry, scary bear. It was a good Olympics

In general the closing ceremony showed Russia's softer side, as opposed to the opening ceremony, which was all about displaying power and might. 

Highlights from Day 14 remind us why Sochi's Winter Olympics aren't about sports

Sometimes, it’s best to let others celebrate your Olympic gold medal for you. Ukraine won its first event at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi on Friday, taking the top of the podium in the women’s biathlon relay. Instead of jubilation, however, the team was subdued given political crisis that has claimed more than 70 lives at home in the past week.

Russia dissolves in tears after men's hockey team loses to Finland

Host Russia collapsed into a pool of self-pitying tears Wednesday after losing 3-1 to Finland at the Sochi Winter Olympics. After dominating Olympic hockey throughout the 20th century as the Soviet Union, the Russians have not won gold in the sport since 1992. The team’s last medal was bronze in 2002. This year, it was trying to recover from a sixth-place finish at the 2010 Games in Vancouver.

This is what Ukraine's Olympians have to say about the violence at home

Ukraine's Olympians have something to say about the violence at home.

Sochi families displaced by Olympics hit bureaucratic limbo in fight for permanent housing

Part 2: Some of the 2,000 residents displaced by Olympics construction haven't gotten answers from officials — say 'the courts are corrupt.'
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Lyudmila Sdavelyev, 63, stands outside her family’s temporary apartment in an inner courtyard in Sochi, Russia. Her family shares a communal kitchen with other residents of the building. (Angus West/GlobalPost)

The family will eventually need to leave their temporary apartment, but they don’t know when. Lyudmila said she is 39th in a queue to receive permanent housing from the government, and is trying to find out how long they can stay, while they continue to search for a permanent place.

“We are waiting for the results, because this building belongs to Moscow,” she said. “We have no rights to be living here [indefinitely].”

Lyudmila is also trying to prove that the eviction was illegal, which is why she was going to court on Wednesday night. She said she hopes to bring the case to court in a higher jurisdiction in St. Petersburg.

“The case was sent to Moscow, came down to Krasnodar region, then local in Sochi, and so on,” she said. “I also applied to Putin’s office, but there was no answer. He only said: ‘You have the right to apply to a court.’ And it’s a circle.”


Sochi residents 'paved over' by Olympic construction remain displaced and unpaid

Part 1: About 2,000 residents found out what it's like to get in the way of Putin's $51 billion production.
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Alexey and Natalya Sdavelyev stand near the site of their former home at their neighbor’s property. They were evicted and had their house demolished to make way for a new highway. (Angus West/GlobalPost)

SOCHI, Russia — Driving on a highway past the glitz of Sochi’s coastal Olympic Park, traffic rolls over a place where a family once called home. Alexey Savelyev and his wife, Natalya, had their house destroyed two years before the Olympics to make way for the road.

“We had our house taken, our only house,” Alexey said. “There was no compensation at all.”

Alexey, 39, and Natalya, 31, stood in a neighbor’s yard on Wednesday, across the highway from where they once lived. Their neighbor’s property is a few hundred yards wide and about as long.

At one end is a two-story wooden building with a metal roof — their neighbor’s home — and at the other, two corrugated metal shipping-container-sized boxes sit in mud alongside tossed sinks and rusted bed frames.

“We put the boxes here because we have no place to live,” Alexey said, “because instead of a house, there is a road now.”


Russian skicross racer Maria Komissarova badly hurt in training run

SOCHI — Doctors are operating on Russian skicross racer Maria Komissarova's spine after the 23-year-old was seriously hurt in training on Saturday.

Just how well are foreigners coping in Sochi?

'I feel safer here than I do in Detroit or Atlanta,' says one American.

Seen in Sochi

Reporting from the Olympics venue, GlobalPost correspondent Dan Peleschuk takes in some of the more unusual sights.
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