Feb 11, 2022 - Sports

Ukrainian Olympian holds up "No War" sign after race

 Vladyslav Heraskevych
Vladyslav Heraskevych after a skeleton heat at the Winter Olympics on Friday. Photo: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

A Ukrainian skeleton athlete on Friday displayed a small sign that read "No War in Ukraine" after he finished his race at the Winter Olympics, AP reports.

Driving the news: "It’s my position. Like any normal people, I don’t want war," Vladyslav Heraskevych told AP after his competition. "I want peace in my country, and I want peace in the world. It’s my position, so I fight for that. I fight for peace."

  • The International Olympic Committee said after Heraskevych's race that he would not face any repercussions.
  • There had been a question about whether the IOC would count Heraskevych's move as a violation of Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter, which states that "no kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas."
  • "This was a general call for peace. For the IOC the matter is closed," the IOC said Friday, per AP.

State of play: The move comes as tension mounts over a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine.

  • Russia continues to move troops and military equipment toward Ukraine's borders, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Friday.
  • Blinken warned that Russia could invade Ukraine soon, even during the Games.

What he's saying: "In Ukraine, it’s really nervous now,” Heraskevych said. "A lot of news about guns, about weapons, what’s to come in Ukraine, about some armies around Ukraine. It’s not OK. Not in the 21st century. So I decided, before the Olympics, that I would show my position to the world."

Go deeper: Blinken warns Russia could invade Ukraine during Winter Olympics

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