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Focus Sochi Olympics: Russian athletes yearn to find new glory

Sochi Olympics reignite memories of Soviet successes that brought prestige. Can the 2014 Olympic hosts do well at this year's medal table?

AP/File

Algis Shalna lived a privileged life ahead of the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, then part of Yugoslavia. A native of the then-Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, Mr. Shalna earned a princely 350 rubles a month when he joined the Soviet Union's national biathlon team. His life revolved around the pursuit of Olympic glory as he was groomed by the formidable Soviet training system to be not only a champion but also a living embodiment of Soviet might.