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There's an old cemetery in the middle of Sochi's Olympic Park

Kevin Kaduk
Fourth-Place Medal
A small cemetery of Old Believers, a purist sect that branched out of the Russian Orthodox in the 17th century, is right in the middle of Olympic Park at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Monday, Feb. 10, 2014. It goes completely unnoticed by passers-by who walk along a round plot of land surrounded by a tinted glass fence and lined with almost identical fir-trees

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A small cemetery of Old Believers is right in the middle of Olympic Park at the 2014 Winter Olympics. (AP Photo/Mark Carlson)

The New York Times wrote a lengthy profile on its existence last year, but many people still don't know about the cemetery that lies smack dab in the middle of Sochi's Olympic Park. 

Even those who are walking by it daily. 

But, yes, there really is a small graveyard that lies within the shadows of the main Olympic stadium and the massive Olympic cauldron. While the Russian government was able to relocate all of the living citizens who got in the way of Olympic construction, Russian law forbade them from moving the dead.

And so there the remains of an old Russian sect named the Old Believers, well, remain. Fans have to know what they're looking if they want to visit it because the graveyard lies behind a "tinted glass fence" which is "lined with almost identical and impenetrable fir trees."

[ Photos: Abandoned venues of Olympics past ]

The Associated Press has more:

"Before construction for the Sochi Games began in the Imeritinskaya Valley, the area that is now Olympic Park was home to a community of Old Believers, with a cemetery next to it. The Old Believers have been relocated to a village nearby, but they insisted on leaving the graves of their forebears intact."

The cemetery has been open for a century, the Sochi organizing committee's chief, Dmitry Cheryshenko, said last year. 

It's an odd feature for an Olympic park, to be sure. 

And before you ask, the answer is no.

The guy who messed up the fifth ring in the Opening Ceremony is not buried there.

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(Fourth-Medal illustration)

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Kevin Kaduk is a writer for Yahoo Sports.. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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