- Ukrainian athletes “strengthen Ukraine’s struggle on the diplomatic front,” the country’s minister of youth and sports says
- Ukraine is now preparing for the 2024 Summer Olympics to be held in Paris, France
- Russia is also preparing for the Paris Games despite its athletes being barred from competing in qualifications events for the next Olympics
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has not stopped Ukrainian athletes from bagging podium finishes at athletic events.
Ukrainian athletes have won 1,500 medals at various sports competitions since the war began in late February, Interfax-Ukraine reported, citing Vadym Gutzait, Ukraine’s minister of youth and sports.
“We are resuming all-Ukrainian competitions in various sports. We are doing everything to ensure that our athletes continue to prepare and win,” he said.
With their achievements, Ukrainian athletes “strengthen Ukraine’s struggle on the diplomatic front” as “they bring the world true information about Russia’s crimes in Ukraine,” according to Gutzait.
Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, just four days after the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, ended.
Among Ukraine’s 45 athletes in the Games, only freestyle skier Oleksandr Abramenko was able to win a medal for his country, a silver for the men’s aerials events. He won gold in the same event in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
The 20 Ukrainian athletes who participated in the Winter Paralympics in March had more luck, bagging a total of 29 medals, 11 of which were gold.
Ukraine is now preparing for the 2024 Summer Olympics to be held in the French capital of Paris.
“The Olympic Games in Paris are ahead of us. We are working to ensure that our national anthem is played there as well, so that our athletes climb onto the podiums,” Gutzait said.
Russia, whose athletes are currently barred from competing in qualification events for the next Olympics due to the ongoing war, has also been preparing for the Paris Games.
The country has started working to get its athletes access to qualification events and already making plans for the Olympic village, the Associated Press reported, citing a statement from Russian Olympic Committee president Stanislav Pozdnyakov.
While most Olympic sports have suspended athletes from Russia as a result of the war, the International Olympic Committee, the Games’ organizer, has not suspended the Russian Olympic Committee, which enters Russian teams for the events.
The Russian Olympic Committee is a “full-fledged participant in the Olympic movement” despite the circumstances, Pozdnyakov claimed in July.
“We are continuing our systematic preparations for the Games and are also carrying out work to ensure qualifying opportunities and equal presence of our athletes in the Olympic village and at the venues, their participation in events during the Games,” he said.
© Copyright IBTimes 2022. All rights reserved.