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On June 24th, students from more than 17 different countries and 21 different regions of the Russian Federation successfully graduated with a Master of Sport Administration (MSA) diploma at RIOU. The majority of students were supported financially in their studies through grants from the Vladimir Potanin Foundation, or other RIOU scholarships.

RIOU’s MSA programme features modules in «Economics of Sports and the Olympics», «Governance, Policy and the Olympic Movement», «Research Paradigms in Sports Management», «Business of Sports and the Olympic Games», and «Sport Marketing and Communications». A range of classes were taught by leading international and Russian experts in sports management, as well as professors from acclaimed universities and Olympic Studies Centers.

Elite athletes graduating on this year’s course included Canada’s first female bobsleigh pilot to compete in the Olympic Winter Games, Christina Smith; Russian silver medalist in snowboard cross at Sochi 2014 and gold medalist at the 2015 Winter Universiade, Nikolay Olyunin; Russian shooting champion, Anastasia Kitaeva; European taekwondo champion, Gamid Mamedrzaev; and world champion in sport aerobics and fitness, Tatiana Sinukhina.

One of RIOU’s core priorities for its MSA course is to provide students with practical experience of working at sporting events with a special emphasis on Olympic venues. This year, MSA students got a special opportunity to immerse themselves in the operations behind the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix, and the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports (IWAS) Games, both held on RIOU’s doorstep in Sochi.

Students also undertook placements at Sochi’s Olympic venues and at ski resorts in Finland, as part of an exchange programme with Savonia University of Applied Sciences.