Ukraine Athletes Unveil Official Outfits Amidst War-Torn Games

Ukraine athletes, who have qualified for the 2024 Olympic Games, posed in pale yellow outfits with blue stalks of wheat and Ukrainian tridents during a show in Kyiv.
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Ukraine’s athletes were defiant on Tuesday as they presented the country’s uniform for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, an event marred by geopolitical tensions after Russia’s invasion two years ago. The war has struck all parts of Ukrainian society since February 2022, including the country’s sports community which has lost hundreds of athletes.

On Tuesday, some of the athletes qualified for the Olympic Games posed in pale yellow outfits with blue stalks of wheat and Ukrainian tridents during a show in Kyiv.

“The new uniforms, the colours of our flag, during the war, I’m just moved to tears,” said Vadym Gutzeit, President of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine.

The games begin on July 26, with a spectacular opening ceremony planned on the river Seine, the first time a summer Games has begun outside the main stadium.

“When they come out at the opening ceremony, the whole of Ukraine will be cheering. This will send a message to the whole world and to all of us that we have survived,” Gutzeit said.

To defend their country, around 3,000 athletes have taken up arms, out of which 479 have died.

Kyiv had advocated for a ban of Russian and Belarusian teams competing in the Olympics and won a partial symbolic victory after the International Olympic Committee decided to allow only “neutral” athletes to the 2024 Games, subject to certain conditions.

“The sports front is extremely important now, because it is an opportunity for Ukraine to tell the world about its problems, about the war that is happening here,” said Ukrainian judoka Daria Bilodid.

The two-time world judo champion and 2020 Tokyo bronze medallist in the 48kg category added the Games were an opportunity to glorify Ukraine on the sporting front.

“We are trying to do everything we can to glorify Ukraine, to make the whole world know, to win medals and to make the whole world know that Ukraine is the best,” added 23-year-old Bilodid.

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