Olympics-Smile! Russians learn hospitality before Sochi Games
It may not come naturally to all Russians and, in the run-up to the Winter Olympics, Sochi hotel managers are getting crash courses in how to smile. In line with President Vladimir Putin's efforts to show Russia's modern face at the $50-billion Sochi Games, an initiative has been launched to break down enduring stereotypes of Russians as cold, severe and unsmiling. Russia's Olympic University, opened in Moscow and the Olympic host city by the Black Sea in 2009 by Putin and businessman Vladimir Potanin, has been training hotel managers in hospitality so they can pass on the wisdom to their staff.