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Despite some bad press, local Russian-Americans are proud to see their country in the international spotlight.

The 2014 Winter Olympics are off and running in Sochi, Russia, and, for many of us, this may be the first time we've heard of Sochi.

2014 Winter Olympics: Sochi Coverage

And as far as first impressions go, this one hasn't been great.

First, we learned that Russia told Olympic Committee they could host the Olympics at a cost of $12 billion. Turns out, the final tally is now $50 billion.

And we've all seen reports of corruption, protests, concerns about security, photos of haphazard hotels, dirty water and broken toilets.

But, ready or not, Russia is playing host, and what's most important, at least to Andre Kirichenko, is perhaps what's most important to everyone who's a fan of the Olympics.

"All in all, it's not important who wins. It's most important that people are coming together," says Kirichenko.

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