Students: Do You Have What It Takes to Compete In The Russian Studies Olympiad?

by Sandra Foyt on March 9, 2011

in Enrichment Ideas

tulaOn Thursday, March 10th Capital Region students will have a chance to compete in the First Russian Studies Olympiad.

Last year, students in Albany’s Sister City of Tula, Russia competed in a similar event where they boned up on American cultural icons such as:  Muscle cars, Tupac Shakur, Star Wars, Campbell’s Soup, South Park, Wu Tang, Hunter Thompson, Gone With The Wind. 

I can only speculate as to the Russian equivalent. The American winners will have to overcome three rigorous rounds March 10 – April 12:

Round I: March 10-March 18. The first round is an on-line short answer test. The highest scorers of the first round go on to the second.

Round II: March 21-28 or 29. In-class test.  The second round consists of 20 short answer questions about Tula, our region’s sister city. Those who score in the top ten percent of this round go on to the final round.

Round III: March 30-April 12. A 3-7 minute presentation on a “Russian icon.” Students will choose a significant Russian historical event, or an historical, cultural, sport or popular Russian hero and give a presentation before the judges.

The winner of the American Olympiad that took place last year in Russia will travel to the Capital Region to help judge the Russian Studies Olympiad, and the winner of this competition will travel to Russia as a guest of the Albany-Tula Alliance.

The Albany Tula Alliance started in 1991 when the Berlin wall came down. That year, the main emphasis was on humanitarian aid and economic development assistance. The people involved sought a city similar to ours – Tula is 3 hours from Moscow, and home to major universities and the duma, like our NYS state, government.


Russian Studies Olympiad Details

  • The contest runs March 10, 2011 – April 12, 2011.
  • Eligibility: Open to high school students in Grades 10-12, ages 16 and up, or college freshman in the Capital Region.
  • Cost: No charge for participating.
  • Go to the Albany-Tula Olympiad in Russian Studies to register and get contest instructions, questions for the first round of the competition, and study sources.
  • Questions? Contact or call 494-4442.

To see more photos of Tula, go to

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| Sandra Foyt is a storyteller, photographer, and road trip junkie. A veteran of six cross-country road trips, she drove Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, the fossil freeway, the extraterrestrial highway, and even “the loneliest road in America.” Find her on, an award-winning destination guide to extraordinary travel in and from Northeast USA, on her portfolio site at, and in freelance gigs on Family Travel 411, Minitime, Huffington Post, and Matador Network. Email:, Twitter @SandraFoyt.

Jan Smith March 9, 2011 at 10:57 am

Thanks, Sandra, for writing about this. The Olympiad should be a lot of fun, and kids can do the first part right on their computer! The study materials are going up on the site tomorrow!

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