250 Ukrainian Olympic athletes to leave permanently

Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
13th November, 2015


Alas, the Ukrainian “European integration” has ruined not only the economy and peace in the country, but also the athletes of the country. People who defend the honor and glory of Ukraine in the world arena train in appalling conditions for the XXI century. The new government absolutely does not pay attention to athletes. The Ministry of Sports is headed by an incompetent and indifferent group of people, with any money being openly stolen. For these and similar reasons, around 250 athletes are going to permanently leave Ukraine after the Summer Olympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

This was published in an article on Terrikon.com, citing a statement by the desperate 1980 Olympic champion in gymnastics Stella Zakharova.

“About 250 athletes, at the end of the Olympic Games in 2016, are going to leave Ukraine. And now it is logical to ask the reason why this is happening and what will happen to the sport. I’m trying to ask this question to the Minister of Youth and Sport Igor Zhdanov, I want to participate in a debate with him or another representative of the Ministry because in any interview, none of the messages they put on Facebook say why there is now such an outflow abroad of our athletes, “- said Zakharov.

Among the reasons gymnast named the lack of the necessary equipment and equipment for the training of athletes, as well as delays in the payment of the premiums.

It comes to the fact that Ukrainian athletes are choosing Russian equipment.

“Why now are the athletes leaving? The first reason – to avoid paying the required premium. When it was the peak of the aggression on our country, people were defending the honour of sport of the country, like in the war. Why, then, did they not get a bonus for performance at the World and Europe championships in 2014, and only for the year 2015? And even then, it was not in full. The athletes are talking about rightfully getting  money for their work.

Second – why, in the beginning of the year, was 4.5 million Hryvnia allocated to equip the national teams of Ukraine when it was not used? You can read the comments of coaches who say that athletes go to qualifying competitions, to earn a license for the Olympic Games 2016, without being up to standard of the national team of Ukraine. And in a sign of protest, why do they wear helmets of other countries. Why is the Russian team dressing our fencers?

Thirdly – why has the necessary equipment and inventory not yet been brought to the base in Koncha-Zaspa. Zhdanov has been the Minister of Youth and Sports for a year, yet he did not know how important this year was ahead of the Olympic Games? He does not know that the Ukrainian team needs to buy inventory for the preparations for the Games? If Zhdanov does not know, why are we there? For TV channel 112, he said: “I know nothing about the sport.” But there must be some kind of conscience that if you do not understand the sport, stand up and say, well, you know, guys, I think I can not work here “- Zakharov said angrily.

A top gymnast of the world, Oleg Vernyayev, said in an interview, “how can we deal with the Chinese, the Americans, the Japanese, the Russians, if they have available for a long time the latest equipment for the preparation of the Olympic Games and world championships.

We have the latest gymnastic mat which only came two weeks before the start of the World Cup. And, like any new stock, you need to get to grips with it, to “feel” it. At the World Championship I caught my foot on the carpet and lost a thousandth of a point, which may have deprived me of medals in a greater championship, “- complains the Olympic champion.

“Athletes train on outdated equipment, but the organization “Sport for All”, which opened under the Ministry of Sport, has room in the budget for 300 thousand on social surveys and 700 thousand on Radio. 

It’s official data, I’ve seen the paper. And it is not listed what radio stations are to be used and what the timing of broadcasts will be and so on. 212 thousand will be used alone on the leasing of premises.

For me, as a manager, it is strange that in such a difficult time, the budget allocated is not spent on the athletes, but God knows where.

There’s your answer to why the athletes leave. Previously, they have suffered in silence for fear that they may be punished for unflattering remarks. For example, their training camp will not be paid for. But apparently, people are already so tired of the culprits of lawlessness that they are not afraid to voice it.

But the worst thing is that when a new minister comes when our athletes after the Olympics leave the country, who will be left? And what do we do next?”. The Olympic champion did not hide his disappointment.

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