News / Europe

No Celebration for Ukraine's Gold Olympic Medal

Ukraine's relay team, from left: Vita Semerenko, Juliya Dzhyma, Olena Pidhrushna and Valj Semerenko, with Ukrainian flag with writings on it after winning the gold in the women's biathlon 4x6k relay at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 21, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana.
Ukraine's relay team, from left: Vita Semerenko, Juliya Dzhyma, Olena Pidhrushna and Valj Semerenko, with Ukrainian flag with writings on it after winning the gold in the women's biathlon 4x6k relay at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 21, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana.
Reuters
Ukraine's second Winter Olympic Games gold medal will not be celebrated as the country's Sochi team sticks together amid deadly clashes in anti-government demonstrations in Kyiv.

Vita and Valj Semerenko, Olga Pidhrushna and Juliya Dzhyma won the women's relay on Friday to give Ukraine their first Winter Olympic title since figure skater Oksana Baiul won the women's individual title in 1994.

"We will not celebrate because it's not time for celebration, we will be peaceful it's a very sad moment for our nation and our team belong to the nation, we're all together," Segey Bubka, head of Ukraine's National Olympic Committee, told reporters with tears in his eyes.

"It's historical because we have a very difficult moment in our country and of course it was not easy for us to focus and continue the competition," the former pole vault champion said.

Bubka met with the relay team to help them stay focused on sport after the demonstrations in their homeland left more than 70 people dead.
"I gave them psychological advice," he explained.

"We [the Ukrainian delegation] had meetings and we had a special meeting two days ago. We discussed how we will manage the pressure and the difficulties."

It was important to stay at the Games to show support to Ukraine, Bubka said.

"We decided all together we will continue because we would like to raise the flag and hear the Ukrainian national anthem," he added. "It's the best way to support our people, to support our nation."

Asked if the fact that Friday's victory happened in Russia meant anything, Bubka, a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said: "It's the Olympic Games it's not politics."

Politics did come into play on Thursday, however, when Alpine skier Bogdana Matsotska and her coach and father said they had withdrawn from Russia's first Winter Games in protest at Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovich, who enjoys Moscow's backing, and his government.

"It's only one athlete, no one left," said Bubka.

"We have 55 people here, all our delegatipon is here, only the athletes who have finished their competitions who planned because of the flight to leave, they left.
"No one else, no one else. They decided not to participate in the slalom. I had a meeting with them and we discussed, we understand their position but they stay with the team," he added.

"And we leave after the closing ceremony together."

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid