The Second Summer Youth Olympic Games-2014, to be held August 16 through 28 in the Chinese city of Nanjing, will involve 58 young athletes from 20 regions of Ukraine. Our country will be represented in 22 of the 28 Olympic sports included in the competition’s schedule. This decision was approved recently by the executive committee of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine, taking into account what athletes had met the international qualification requirements. Experts point out that despite the difficult situation in the country, composition of our team is close to optimal, and athletes are capable of achieving results at least equal to the previous team competition, when they won the third team place. Let us recall that the First Summer Youth Olympic Games which were held in Singapore in 2010 saw Ukraine, represented by 55 athletes in 18 sports, to win 35 medals (including 10 golds, 9 silvers, and 16 bronzes), and take the third team place.
The team of Ukraine does not include any athletes from the Russian-annexed Crimea in 2014, but athletes from Donetsk are well represented, including cyclists Renat Udod and Anzhela Teterych, jumper Oleksandr Malosilov, shooter Viktoria Sukhorukova, modern pentathlete Yana Polishchuk, while Luhansk is represented by diver Hanna Krasnoshlyk and modern pentathlete Anton Kuznetsov. All of them stated prior to the competition’s start that they would do everything to win and dedicate their sporting achievements to the cause of peace and unity in Ukraine.
“My athletics team includes youths from Donetsk, Kherson, Dnipropetrovsk, Kyiv and other regions, and all of them wish strongly that peace come to Ukraine. The spirit of patriotism is fantastically high in the athletes. Some boys admit that they would rather go to war than compete. However, we urge them to represent the Fatherland in sports, to make every effort to fight for the country’s prestige, so that their victories cause the flag of Ukraine to be raised after a growing number of events at this reputable competition in which nearly 200 countries will take part,” senior coach of Ukraine’s youth athletics team Valerii Yemeliantsev noted in a comment for The Day. “Despite the country’s predicament, physical state of the team, and most importantly, its morale are excellent. All are putting their best efforts into training. We have just come to the Olympic base in Koncha Zaspa, where we will train until our departure on August 11. I do not like to make predictions, but we expect our athletes to do their best. Meanwhile, they themselves are ready for the competition, admitting that every victory is worth twice its peacetime value for them now, when our country is in political turmoil and fighting off a military aggression.”
The 2014 games are expected to involve more than 3,500 athletes, aged 14 to 18 and coming from more than 200 countries. The full schedule of events, medal standings, photo and video reports will be made available at the youth Olympics’ official site www.nanjing2014.org.