Ukrainian athletes demand Russia and Belarus expulsion from Winter Paralympics

By Sports Desk February 27, 2022

Ukrainian athletes have signed an open letter addressed to the International Olympic and Paralympic Committees calling for the immediate suspension of Russian and Belarusian athletes ahead of the Winter Paralympics.

After weeks of rising political tensions, Russia invaded neighbouring Ukraine on Thursday, with the conflict escalating further over the weekend.

Russia's actions have been widely condemned, and several leading athletes have demanded their entry into the 2022 Beijing Games be blocked.

A letter published by Global Athlete read: "We write to you today on behalf of Ukrainian Athletes to call on you in your leadership capacity of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to immediately suspend the Russian and Belarusian National Olympic and Paralympic Committees.

"Any suspension must also include the banning of all athletes from international sport, including the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Games.

"Russia's invasion of Ukraine, supported by Belarus, is a clear breach of the Olympic and Paralympic Charters – a breach that must be met with strong sanctions.

"If the IOC and IPC refuse to take swift action, you are clearly emboldening [this] violation of international law and your own Charters.

"Your lack of action will send a message to every athlete and the world that you have chosen Russia and Belarus over athlete interests. Your legacy will be defined by your actions."

The IOC this week condemned Russia's breach of the Olympic Truce, which remains in place until a week after the end of the Paralympic Games.

The Paralympics will take place between March 4 and March 13.

Related items

  • Skaters must be at least 17 to compete in senior events after Valieva Beijing saga Skaters must be at least 17 to compete in senior events after Valieva Beijing saga

    The minimum age ice skaters must be to compete in senior events has been raised from 15 to 17 for the sake of protecting the "physical and mental health" of competitors.

    The International Skating Union (ISU) announced the change on Tuesday, almost four months after the sport was in the spotlight for the wrong reasons during the Beijing Winter Olympics.

    Russian Kamila Valieva, aged 15 at the time, was provisionally banned during the Games after it came to light that she had tested positive for banned heart medication trimetazidine last December.

    That revelation came just before the Russian Olympic Committee were due to be awarded a gold medal for the team event in which she had competed.

    Valieva was cleared to go for individual gold, but slipped from first place to miss out on a medal after making a string of mistakes in her decisive final routine.

    Rather than consoling a distraught Valieva, her coach, Eteri Tutberidze, instead asked her "why did you stop fighting?" in reference to an initial error on her opening triple axel.

    International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach says it was "chilling" to see the way Valieva was treated by her coach.

    The ISU has now revealed competitors skaters must be 16 to enter senior events from the 2023-24 season and 17 as of the following season.

  • "$55M for participants in Summer, Winter Olympics and Paralympics" - Grange "$55M for participants in Summer, Winter Olympics and Paralympics" - Grange

    The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Hon. Olivia Grange says the Government is rewarding $55 million to athletes, coaches, and officials who participated in the recent Summer and Winter Olympic Games and the Paralympics.

    “Jamaica is joining other countries which reward those who represent them at the Olympics with honorariums,” Minister Grange said while speaking at the official launch of the 2022 ISSA GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships at the National Stadium on Monday.

    “Appreciation Grants will be for those representing Jamaica at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the Paralympics, and the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games. The level of awards was determined based on individual placement, from gold medal winner to non-finalist, coaches, and other supporting staff. Ninety-three persons will be rewarded, valued at approximately $55M,” she added.

    She then broke down how the money would be divided.

    “The honorariums are $1.65 million for each gold medal won; $1.35 million for each silver medal won and $800,000.00 for each bronze medal won. The honorarium is $850,000 for the relay gold. Finalists are receiving $600,000.00; relay finalists, $500,000; and non-finalists, $350,000. Coaches and massage therapists are getting $350,000 while team managers and doctors are getting $200,000,” Grange explained.

     

  • Jamaica’s Olympian Bobsledder, Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian empowers female athletes at Iona High School to aim high and Break the Bias Jamaica’s Olympian Bobsledder, Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian empowers female athletes at Iona High School to aim high and Break the Bias

    In continuing to chart a path of inspiration, Jamaican Olympian bobsledder, Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian joined the Sandals Foundation on International Women’s Day to share her powerful story of triumph with young women at Iona High School in Tower Isle, St. Mary.

    The three-time Olympian highlighted the positive impact that sports can have on charting paths beyond one’s wildest dreams noting that, “Sports opens pathways to not just create history but showcase that the impossible is very much possible.”

    Fenlator-Victorian debuted the first female Jamaican sled at PyeongChang Winter Olympics in 2018, and earlier this year was among the 20-sled field representing Jamaica in the Beijing Games.

    Her growth as an individual through participation in sports was insightful to the hall of students who were all in awe of her commanding but warm and inviting presence.

    “Sport has so many lessons, more often ones unrelated to actual performance but rather life itself. Guiding you to collaborate, evolve and adapt towards becoming your best self and achieving your wildest dreams.”

    With a passion for encouraging young people to tap into their full potential, Fenlator-Victorian also encouraged students to dare to dream big and remain steadfast in pursuit of their goals.

    “I urge all of you to dive into the women before you, tap into these roots that were paved and take charge making your own way. You alone are in control of your destiny. Don’t allow other people’s opinions, projections or judgments to deter you from stepping into your best self and shining bright. Be your biggest cheerleader and big up yourself nuff,” said Fenlator-Victorian.

    Sandals Resorts announced their sponsorship of the 2022 Jamaica Bobsleigh Team ahead of the team’s visit to the 2022 Winter Olympics last month helping to cover the substantial logistics and travel costs required to send qualifying athletes to Beijing, as well as additional bobsleigh events leading up to the 2023 world championship event.

    As part of the partnership, team manager Chris Stokes and the athletes, including Fenlator-Victorian will continue to join forces with the Sandals Foundation on long-term initiatives geared towards grooming the next generation of athletes — including the recent visit to Iona High School.

    Since its establishment in 2009, the Sandals Foundation has invested in youth engagement programs across the Caribbean, utilizing sports as one of its vehicles to help young people develop key life skills and take advantage of opportunities for higher learning and exposure to the global competitive arena.

    “Sport is an incredible vehicle through which children learn discipline, teamwork, self-confidence, humility and so much more,” said Heidi Clarke, executive director at Sandals Foundation. “As we join the world in commemorating International Women’s Day and amplify the message and the need to ‘break the bias’, from one athlete to another, we could not think of a better way to share with the next generation of women, what hard work and perseverance can do.”

     “Yesterday’s visit with the Olympian,” Clarke continued, “marks only the beginning of more to come. We are extremely grateful to Jazmine for helping to share incredible advice and powerful words to motivate these young women as they chart their unique courses of desire,” said Clarke.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.