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Ukrainian Athlete Pleads For 'No War In Ukraine' After Winning Gold At The Beijing Paralympics

Grygorii Vovchynskyi won Ukraine's first gold medal at the Games.

Trending Senior Staff Writer
Team Ukraine at the 2022 Beijing Paralympics.

Team Ukraine at the 2022 Beijing Paralympics.

During the Beijing Paralympics, a Ukrainian athlete pleaded for "no war in Ukraine" after crossing the finish line and winning gold.

In the men's standing 6-kilometre biathlon race, Grygorii Vovchynskyi of Ukraine won gold, Marco Maier of Germany won silver and Mark Arendz of Canada won bronze.

After finishing the race in the first position, Vovchynskyi fell to the ground as other athletes crossed the finish line.

Then, once he got up and was leaving the finish area, he shared a message with the world.

"Please, no war in Ukraine. Please," Vovchynskyi said to the camera with his hand raised.

Germany's National Paralympic Committee tweeted about the win and said, "Medals for peace!"

Vovchynskyi's podium finish was Ukraine's first gold medal of the Beijing Paralympics, which helped his country go to the top of the medal table on day one of the competition.

Before the Paralympics started, the International Paralympic Committee punished Russia for invading Ukraine and banned athletes from Russia and Belarus from the Games.

That announcement came shortly after the IPC announced that athletes from Russia and Belarus would be allowed to compete as neutrals without a country or a flag because of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"In the last 12 hours an overwhelming number of members have been in touch with us and been very open [...]. They have told us that if we do not reconsider our decision, it is now likely to have grave consequences for the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games," said Andrew Parsons, IPC President, in a statement announcing the ban.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

    Lisa Belmonte
    Trending Senior Staff Writer
    Lisa Belmonte is a Senior Staff Writer for Narcity Canada’s Trending Desk focused on government of Canada jobs and is based in Ontario.
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