An insider’s view of Sochi

Jen (our Sotonettes webmistress) writes about the Sochi Olympics…

I’m settling down to watch the Opening Ceremony of Sochi 2014 – it’s certainly going to be an interesting Winter Olympics!  Are you keen on watching the winter sports or would you rather be outside taking part? Even if I am Scottish, I think I prefer the warm of my living room!

Back in 2001, on my very first day at university, I’d just moved into my student room when there was a knock on the door.  I opened the door to meet a confident blonde girl from Essex who introduced herself as Joy – she would be my new next door neighbour.  At the time, I had no idea I’d be sharing a bathroom with a future Olympic official for women’s ice hockey!

While the rest of us were out at some rather dodgy nightclubs in Oxford, Joy would be leaving early to dash off to the local ice rink to get some 11pm practice on the ice.  It turned out that she was an ice hockey referee for both men’s and women’s matches in the UK and in amongst tutorials, exams and studying, she managed to fit in trips to various rinks in the south to referee and officiate as well as train for the varsity team in the wee small hours of the night.

Inside Bolshoy

Fast forward to 2014 and Joy has just arrived in Sochi for her third Olympic games.  She’s writing a blog to keep others updated on her progress but is also writing about her road to Sochi and the whole Olympic experience.  Joy is a real inspiration to other women – she’s worked hard to build a career while pursuing her hobby to the highest level. She was the first woman to referee in a men’s professional league and her 3rd Olympic Games is an amazing achievement for someone who’s only just entered her 30s.  Even the BBC have reported on her!

If you’re looking for a real insider’s view, I’d highly recommend her blog at – it’s unmissable reading (even if you don’t like ice hockey)!