Kansas State Vocal Instructor talks Sochi experiences

A Kansas State vocal instructor is on his way back to the States, after a month-long stay in Sochi preparing for the Opening Ceremony. Bryan Pinkall was one of only two Americans part of the 250 member team producing the Olympics Opening Ceremony.

Nicolette Schleisman spoke with him the night after the Opening Ceremony about his experience in Sochi.

For Bryan Pinkall, it has been two a half years in the making.

“I was running around like crazy, yelling at people in as many languages as I could,” said Pinkall.

Nicolette spoke to him through FaceTime on his last night in the Olympic Village in Russia. He spent a month there to help put on the Opening Ceremony for the 22nd Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

“My first meal was a pile of onions, pickled beets and a herring, so that was kind of my welcome to Russia,” said Pinkall.

FaceTime and e-mail – his only way connecting back home, and access to internet was rare.

He says the culture was a wake up call.

“Adler is far behind in infrastructure and most things,” said Pinkall.

Pinkall says the conditions in Sochi before being on such a world stage were at times questionable.

“We have a joke around here that just wait a few hours and there should be a new building near by everything around here kind of happens at the last minute,” said Pinkall.

He says no one seems to acknowledge the issues that Americans have heard so much about, like Russia’s stance on gay rights.

“It’s not like american news over here, so it’s very controlled,” said Pinkall.

But Pinkall says, even with all the difficulties and being away from home for a month, “I miss american food,” said Pinkall. He would not trade his time in Sochi with the Olympics for anything.

Pinkall says he will be back to teach at Kansas State Monday.

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