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Blog: Following the path of my grandfather

10:26 PM, Dec 19, 2013   |    comments
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Here at 9NEWS we make it our business to share your stories. The occasions when we tell you about ourselves are rare. 9NEWS reporter Anastasiya Bolton is originally from Russia. Anastasiya is an American citizen now, and she's going to cover the Sochi Olympics for us, but it turns out, she isn't the first person in her family to cover the Olympics.

I often wonder what makes us walk down the paths we eventually take. What, or more importantly who, makes us decide where we should go with our lives?

Journalism didn't inspire me right away, not until college actually. Early on I never consciously thought of following the path of my grandfather, Victor Victorov (Zlochevskiy), who spent four decades as a sports reporter in the Soviet Union.

He made a life out of it, starting around the time of World War II. He traveled east and west when most Russians couldn't. His journey brought him to hundreds of international competitions and a dozen Olympic Games.

His books tell me he once wrote of Denver choosing not to host the Winter Games. They also tell me he had something to say about Lake Placid and what Americans like to call "the miracle on ice."

This summer, I sat down with the Soviet team captain, at the time Boris Mikhailov. I can't say for sure, but I suspect my grandfather did the same years and years ago, with a much younger Mikhailov.

Reading about the New York "miracle on ice" made me think of the possibility of a different kind of miracle: what if grandfather and granddaughter interviewed the same man 33 years apart?

There's much more to my family's story. The very same stadium where one of my grandparents, Mikail Bass, covered the Moscow Olympics was actually built by my other grandfather. He was an engineer.

I have a picture of him with Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union who challenged John F. Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis.

Grandpa Misha oversaw the building of what was then called Lenin's Stadium in the mid 50s. The country gave him the Order of Lenin, the highest Soviet honor, for his work there and the surrounding areas.

It is amazing to think after all these years, they are still here walking this path with me.

As I get to cover the next Olympics in Sochi Russia, I can't help but reflect: who would I have been without them? Maybe more importantly, where would I have gone without their guidance? I can't wait to go.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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