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did come into play on Thursday, however, when Alpine skier Bogdana Matsotska and her coach and father said they had withdrawn from Russia's first Winter Games in protest at Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovich, who enjoys Moscow's backing, and his government.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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid