Ukrainian athletes call for peace at Paralympic Games in China
Ukrainian athletes and officials on Thursday called for peace during a protest at the athletes village of the Winter Paralympic Games in China.
Driving the news: Several international sports organizations, including the International Paralympic Committee have boycotted Russia over its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
- Russian and Belarusian athletes were banned from competing at this year's Games.
Details: The group of Ukrainian athletes held up a fist in a video with a "Peace for All" sign behind them at the athletes village.
- The demonstration was led by Valerii Sushkevych, the Ukraine Paralympic committee president, the New York Times reports. Coaches, staff and all 20 athletes were present.
- "The demonstration was an unusual departure for the Paralympics, which attempts to invoke neutrality and not weigh in specifically on international politics," the Times notes.
What they're saying: "Some of [these athletes don't] have the possibility to come back. Their flats, their private houses are already destroyed," Andriy Nesterenko, the head coach of the delegation, said at the demonstration on Thursday, per NYT.
- "We kindly ask the people all over the world, we need your support immediately. We need your support today, not later,” Nesterenko added, per NYT.
The big picture: Ukraine is currently second in the medal count with 19 medals, including 6 golds at this year's Games.