Four audacious programmers and the youngest team leader in the competition have dreamed of coming to Russia for a long time. Now they’re here, and share with us their impressions.
- How do you like the city?
Azur Donlagic, contestant: I’d heard of Kazan, but I didn’t think it would be so beautiful. There’s so much space, the buildings are grand, and the town is big and very clean.
Muamer Paric, contestant: (on the Universiade Village) I’ve never seen so many tall buildings in one place. It’s incredible.
- Do you have any good-luck charms?
Muamer: We don’t have any lucky charms; instead we have Azur – he’s the face of our team.
Azur: You don’t think my face normally looks better?
Muamer: - He’s the most talkative, always guiding us to victory, telling us we’re the best.
- And why are you the best?
Azur: Because we have nothing to lose! No-one expects anything from us. We’re 16, so no-one’s afraid. Muamer and I have will have another chance next year, but the other guys in our team won’t as they finish school this year. That’s why we’re not that nervous.
- How are you preparing for the Olympiad?
Azur: I also take part in physics and maths competitions. For me these subjects all combine into one – logic. I normally train for all disciplines at the same time. Before coming here I went to a camp in our capital – we trained together there, solving problems. In my free time I like to work on IT problems, because they’re really interesting. Generally I only do stuff I’m really interested in.
Muamer: Incidentally our team leader was also our tutor at the camp.
Azur: I also want to add that we have the youngest team leader – he’s only 19. He was a contestant last year and we took part together.
- What are you hoping for at the Olympiad?
Azur: - I want a medal. Any medal. A chocolate one will do.
- Who is your main competition?
Azur: We don’t have any. We’re the best of the best, remember (laughs)? Actually, every country has at least 4 contestants better than us. Russia has 8 better than us!
- What do you wish your fellow competitors?
Azur: That they lose (again they laugh).
Muamer: As opposed to my comrade, as you’ve no doubt noticed, I try to maintain a professional demeanour.
Azur: Really, our mission at this Olympiad is to make sure fewer people leave here unhappy.
Muamer: We hope that all the participants stay happy, that they get what they want from the Olympiad and don’t end up disappointed.
- Why are you participating in the Olympiad in general?
Azur: I love to win, even though I don’t have much of a chance. So I don’t actually know what I’m doing here. Well, I’ll be able to tell all my friends that I took part in an international olympiad, wish is nice. Plus, now I’ve been to Russia – that’s really cool!
Muamer: I just like IT, because it’s such an addictive, fascinating occupation.
Azur: When you’re programming, you’re creating something. It’s like painting a picture, writing a poem or composing music. It’s real art.
- So you’re artists?
Azur: Oh yes, down to the very depths of my soul.
Muamer: And I’m not! (laughs)