POSTED: May 14th 2014

IOC steps up with $300k fund to give needed aid to Ukrainian athletes

(L to R) Sergey Bubka awards Jean Beleniuk as Ukrainian Athlete of the Month today / Sergey Bubka
(L to R) Sergey Bubka awards Jean Beleniuk as Ukrainian Athlete of the Month today / Sergey Bubka

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach released a statement today that the IOC is stepping up to aid the athletes of Ukraine following the ongoing political and social issues with neighboring Russia. The IOC has pledged a substantial emergency fund to keep things going during this difficult time.

Bach, himself an athlete, said: “The IOC is following the political, economic and social developments in Ukraine with the greatest attention and growing concern. Also the situation of Ukrainian athletes, including those who have so successfully represented their country in the recent Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, which has dramatically deteriorated.

“For all these reasons I repeat my appeal of Sochi to all political leaders involved to enter into a summit dialogue in the Olympic spirit of mutual respect and peace.

“To help the Ukrainian athletes – wherever they come from in Ukraine and whatever their background – and to mitigate their difficult situation, the IOC has established an emergency fund of USD 300,000. This fund is to be used for the benefit of the Ukrainian athletes, through the NOC of Ukraine, for training and competition purposes.”

IOC executive Board member and President of the NOC of Ukraine, champion pole vaulter Sergey Bubka, publicly announced his gratitude for the aid on Twitter.

Bubka posted on his Twitter account @sergey_bubka the following:

 “Gratitude to the IOC and personally President Bach for establishing an emergency fund of $300,000 for Ukrainian athletes.

“This aid from the IOC ensures Ukrainian athletes to participate in the international events and training camps.

“Great example of the Olympic solidarity. Ukraine appreciates Mr Bach's concern of our situation and his desire of peacefull settlement.”

Following the Sochi Olympics Russia Annexed Crimea and it was uncertain almost until the opening of the Paralympics if the nation’s Paralympians would take part in the event in Sochi. A sole flagbearer represented the Ukrainan Team during the opening ceremony.

The situation has escalated between the two countries and with Rio 2016 around the corner the athletes need to stay focused on preparations so the much needed aid will help keep the team on course. 

Keywords · IOC · Thomas Bach · Ukraine · Sergey Bubka

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