Evelyn Hopp, MSA 2013-14, Specialist, Deutscher Olympischer Sportbund

Evelyn Hopp

My name is Evelyn Hopp and I am from Germany. This Master’s programme is a huge opportunity for me to improve my knowledge about organised sport worldwide. It is great to have professors from all over the world, teaching in their fields of expertise. I for my part am really interested in "Governance, Politics and the Olympic Movement", so it's a one-of-a-kind chance to learn about the situations in different countries and have the 2014 Winter Games right around the corner. Our apartment has an amazing view of the Black Sea, which sometimes makes it hard to go to class in the morning. As we (students on the programme) all come from different places, it is great to learn about other cultures, backgrounds or just do things together like going to the beach or doing sport.

Tamila Belkharoeva, MSA 2013-14, Owner/GM, ALANA ROYAL HOTEL, Owner, Emerald Travel s.r.o.

Tamila Belkharoeva

My name is Tamila. I was born in Sochi but as a child I moved to the Czech Republic. I used to visit my hometown every year, and I felt very proud that Sochi was chosen to host the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Once I saw a TV report about the creation of RIOU. I was really impressed by the top-notch teaching staff and the exclusive programme, so I decided to apply for the Master of Sport Administration. Now I am very happy that my experience helped me to win a place on the programme and that I have an opportunity to use my skills in sport management. The only thing I am really sorry about is that the programme lasts only one year, which is not enough to fully enjoy our great campus by the Black Sea and learn about different cultures and mentalities of my classmates who come from all over the world. I am firmly convinced that RIOU will become one of the key elements of the legacy of the 2014 Winter Games.

Alexey Patrakov, MSA 2013/14, Executive Director, Night Hockey League

Alexey Patrakov

I have been studying in Sochi for a month and a half now. After exploring the territories adjacent to the University, I understood that our campus is located in one of the best places in central Sochi. The accommodation is very good. I have never lived on an international campus before. If you didn't understand something in class, you have an opportunity to discuss that question with your neighbours at any time. You can also share experience with your peers, who have diverse backgrounds. I suppose it is an integral part of the study process. It is very interesting and new for me. Obviously, the main purpose of my staying here is education. RIOU has great facilities for professional skills development: well-equipped classrooms, new technology and lecturers from all over the world. I really enjoy my studies here.

Jorge Menendez, MSA 2013-14, Director, Federación Guatemalteca de Ciclismo

Jorge Menendez

For me the MSA programme has been an exciting experience since its beginning. Being part of the first group of students on the new campus of RIOU means finding new classrooms, equipment, books, learning materials, which is a further motivation to study. Additionally, a completely international environment (students from 14 countries) helps to broaden our knowledge about culture, understanding, tolerance and development of sport worldwide. Living just a few steps away from RIOU facilities allows us to have all the time available for our main purpose - study. But maybe for me the most exciting part is to witness how the city is changing day by day, and how the Olympic buzz is felt ever stronger. That helps us to understand the social impact of sport in a particular way, and that´s why this academic year is special and unique.

Otylia Jędrzejczak, MSA 2013/14, Olympic champion, President, Polish Swimming Federation

Otylia Jędrzejczak

The first time I heard about RIOU I got hooked on the idea of gaining a new perspective on sport and the future of the Olympic Games. In my 25 years of swimming I competed in four summer Games and was fortunate enough to win a gold medal and two silvers. The Games, in summer or in winter, are in my blood, so I was also hugely attracted by the opportunity to gain work experience with the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee at the next Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. I had a great adrenaline rush before arriving in Sochi. I had never been here before, and I was very excited about living in a new city. I had a few fears, which is normal for me. But when I landed in Sochi and arrived at RIOU, all my fears disappeared. I see my year at RIOU as a key to helping me make the transfer from athlete to educator, because now that I have finished competing I want to help develop future generations. The MSA programme consists of 27 people from 14 different countries, and the atmosphere is really nice between the professors and the students. As there are a lot of former athletes at RIOU, we like to play a lot of sport and this helps us bond outside of the classroom. We also all help each other in the classroom and in preparing for lectures, so we're already becoming a strong team.

Yorro Njie, MSA 2016/2017, Secretary General, Gambia National Olympic Committee

Yorro Njie

The uniqueness of the program with its world class courses and conglomerate of world class renowned professors makes it one of the best MSA program in the world. Its two folds of internship experiences gives me the best hands on sports realities during my two first semesters. All of these happening on an Olympic City, in an Olympic University and an Olympic Legacy, make RIOU unique symbol and place of learning all over the world. I call it the “City of 3-Os”.