UWC and Ukrainian-American Coordinating Council Support Ukrainian Athletes Ahead of the 2024 Olympics

#UWC news
June 27,2024 401
UWC and Ukrainian-American Coordinating Council Support Ukrainian Athletes Ahead of the 2024 Olympics

In anticipation of the 2024 Olympics, a multimedia exhibition entitled “The Will to Win” has been unveiled, celebrating the unyielding spirit of Ukrainian Olympians. Organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine and supported by the Office of the President of Ukraine, this significant cultural initiative has been made possible through a partnership with the Ukrainian World Congress and the Ukrainian-American Coordinating Council.

“The Will to Win” exhibition is designed to showcase the extraordinary resilience and determination of Ukrainian athletes who continue to exemplify a relentless pursuit of victory despite facing the adversities of war. This exhibition is especially poignant as it aligns with the participation of Ukraine in this year’s Olympic Games under the powerful slogan “The Will to Win,” underscoring the indomitable spirit of the Ukrainian people.

Visitors to the exhibition will encounter compelling narratives of Ukrainian athletes who persevere in their rigorous training regimes amidst the challenges of war and surmount significant barriers to compete at the highest levels of their sports. These athletes offer deeply personal insights into their experiences during the war, sharing their stories of courage and resilience with the world.

“When the whole world sees how Ukrainians stand against Russia and demonstrate unprecedented will to victory, the multi-million Ukrainian diaspora cannot stand aside. For the Ukrainian World Congress, supporting Ukrainian athletes and enhancing Ukraine’s image on the world stage is another way to showcase our unity and solidarity with Ukraine,” emphasized Renata Roman, UWC Chair Sports Committee, Member of NOC Ukraine – Diaspora committee.

“One of the core principles of the Ukrainian American Coordinating Council is the comprehensive support of Ukraine and Ukrainians. Sports play an important role in uniting Ukrainians worldwide, including the diaspora. Therefore, supporting the Ukrainian project at the Olympic Games is just as important to us as supporting the “Volya” Youth Football Academy in Dnipro. Our athletes represent our future, our victories, our history, and our legitimacy as a nation. We hope that this Olympics will bring many victories to Ukraine not only in the sports arena but also diplomatically, and will inspire our Defenders who are fighting for our right to live peacefully in our homeland of Ukraine,” underlined Mick Safron, Senior Vice President of the Ukrainian American Coordinating Council. 

The exhibition’s heroes are famous athletes:

  • Viktoriia Onopriienko is a European gymnastics champion, a finalist of the Tokyo Olympics, and holds the title of International Master of Sports.
  • Zhan Beleniuk is a multiple world and European champion and a gold medalist at the Tokyo Olympics in Greco-Roman wrestling.  
  • Oleksandra Paskal is a young heroine who, after losing her leg in a missile strike, resumed her rhythmic gymnastics training with dreams of becoming an Olympic champion.
  • Yuliya Levchenko is a silver medalist at the World Championships in high jumping and a champion of the Youth Olympic Games, recognized for her exceptional athletic achievements.
  • Maryna and Vladyslava Aleksiievy are siblings and an artistic swimming duo who won bronze medals at the 2020 Olympics and are two-time world vice-champions.
  • Sergiy Stakhovsky is a professional tennis player, former Ukrainian champion, and winner of numerous ATP titles. He also serves as a Master Sergeant in the SSU Special Operations Center “A”.

A virtual iteration of “The Will to Win” will also be featured in Paris at the Ukrainian Pavilion – VOLIA Space.

Special thanks to the “Watch Ukrainian!” Association for curating the photo exhibition and producing the video of “The Will to Win” (photography by Serhiy Mykhalchuk, directed by Kadim Tarasov).

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