Maria Sharapova returns home to Sochi

By Paige Paswaters,

Although tennis is not a part of the Winter Olympics, Maria Sharapova has stayed busy while visiting her native land of Sochi. She had nothing but kind words to say of her city, despite some of the negativity surrounding the Olympic Games this year. The 2012 Olympic silver medalist was able to join her Russian counterparts as they each contributed to carrying the torch in the Opening Ceremony.

When speaking to CNN about the progress Sochi has made, and the speculation as to whether construction would be finished in time, she expressed her doubts. But, in the end, she was proud to say, "Once I arrived here, I knew that all the athletes will feel extremely safe."

Sharapova continued by sharing with us the beautiful features Sochi has to offer. "It's such a unique opportunity to be able to swim in the Black Sea and then drive up an hour to the mountains to ski -- that's the type of experience we want to share with everyone that comes here."

According to E! News, Sharapova is serving as a member of the Olympic Welcoming Committee. Additionally, she represented Nike, as always, in their "Play Russian" campaign. She was seen at an appearance sporting a jacket with both of these brands.

Her role in Sochi is quite large, considering she is not actually competing. She is as proud of her city, as they are of her. We should be seeing more of Maria throughout the Olympic Games, where she will serve as a correspondent for NBC.

image: By http://www.flickr.com/photos/christianmesiano/ [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons



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