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Ukrainian Athlete Leaves Olympics in Protest

Sports | February 20, 2014, Thursday // 15:22| Views: 763 | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Ukrainian Athlete Leaves Olympics in Protest Bogdana and Oleg Matsotskyy in Sochi. Photo: Facebook

Some members of Ukraine's Winter Olympics team decided on Thursday to leave the Games in protest against the violence in their home country.

A Ukraine team official said Alpine skier Bogdana Matsotska and her father, who is also her coach, Oleg Matsotskyy, had pulled out.

There was no information on whether they were actually departing the Black Sea resort, or if additional Ukrainian athletes had opted to pull out.

Matsotskyy wrote on his Facebook page that he and his daughter are “shocked by the recent actions of Ukraine's president Yanukovich”. “Instead of solving the conflict with negotiations (as we hoped before departing for Sochi), he drowned in blood the last hopes of Ukraine”,  Matsotskyy wrote. “In solidarity with the fighters at the barricades on the Maidan and in sign of protest against the irresponsibility of the president and his thieving government, we pull out from further participation of the Olympic Games in Sochi. Glory of Ukraine and her heroes!”

IOC officials confirmed the story. "I believe some of them have decided to return home and (Ukraine Olympic Committee president) Sergey Bubka has said he absolutely respects every individual's right to make their own decision," said IOC spokesman Mark Adams.

Ukraine team officials and some athletes held a minute's silence in memory of the victims and black ribbons were added to Ukraine flags hanging on the balconies of their building in the athletes' village.

Adams said the athlete's departure was a matter for the Ukrainian team.

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Tags: Bogdana Matsotska, Oleg Matsotskyy, Winter Olympics, Ukraine, Sochi, Yanukovich, IOC
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