FILE. War in Ukraine: Mobilizing the Sports World Like Never Before

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Real ammunition shots. As all world leaders mobilize, many Ukrainian athletes have risen in resistance and taken up arms to defend their country.

“Outside we ran across the brickyard. A shell burst very close to the river. Another came at us, so suddenly that we barely had time to hear it coming. We threw ourselves flat on our stomachs and saw both the flash and the shock of the explosion, the smell, the hiss of scattered shards and the crackle of the rain of bricks”.

More than 70 years after the publication of “A Farewell to Arms”, Ernest Hemingway’s exceptional farewell to weapons (fan of boxing and Six-Days, etc.), we naively thought that the war was limited to memoirs, films and history books. It is being ‘played’ today, for about ten days at the gates of our old Europe, and it seems to us that the sports planet has never been so quickly and so strongly concerned. In all areas, professionals and others proudly display the yellow and blue ribbon, a symbol of a long time of resistance and rejection of the unacceptable. Ridiculous, necessary, admirable or magnificent, this gesture of solidarity, among so many others, offers a little comforting side in a situation that is no longer so.

“I don’t want to kill, I don’t want to shoot, but…”

In Ukraine, the heroes have changed jerseys. The giant Vitali Klitschko, local icon, former heavyweight world champion turned mayor of Kiev, appears in the front row of the scary ring. On Friday, he was seen on the city’s subway while visiting refugees. His younger brother Wladimir, also a former boxer and army reservist, was by his side.

Their young successors Vasyl Lomacenko and Oleksandr Usyk posted photos in fatigues on the defense points. “I don’t want to kill, I don’t want to shoot Usyk said on CNN, but if I were attacked I would have no choice but to react…” Heroes of early autumn after his modest club victory in Madrid against Real (the Macedonians of Sheriff Tiraspol, winners 2-1 led their group in the Champions League!), Yuriy Vernydub left Moldova and joined his country to take up arms.

A list blacker than the sea that borders Odessa

Faced with the urgency and sense of injustice, faced with the invader and prodded by their president, Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainians are defying Putin and his army. Without pleasure of course, but without hesitation.

Thirteenth in the sprint of the Beijing Games last month, biathlete Dmytro Pidruchnyl joined the National Guard in Ternopil, his hometown. Retired Sergiy Stakhovsky, who fell… Roger Federer hopes at Wimbledon (in 2013) in tears on Twitter “not to have to use weapons” after joining the resistance without any military experience. Others have already fallen.

The biathlete Yevhen Malyshev in the ruins of Kharkov, the young rugby player Mykita Bobrov who was murdered with his family in Kiev, Vitali Sapylo, hope for football and the Carpathians, Dmytro Martynenko victim of a bombing with his mother or one of the Shaktar youth coaches Donetsk… The beginning of a long and heavy list darker than the sea bordering Odessa, whose stairs are about to relive the sad hours immortalized by “The Battleship Potemkin”. Would the pram of Eisenstein’s silent masterpiece, shot between the two ‘last’ world wars, be doomed to never stop?

Ukraine wins in Beijing

In Zhangjiakou, as soon as it arrived on the site of the Paralympic Games and after the resignation of the Russian squad, Ukraine symbolically took the lead in the medal table on Saturday, especially brilliant thanks to a brilliant hat-trick in the sprint in parabiathlon in the visually impaired category (Vitalii Lukianenko, Oleksandr Kazik and Dmytro Suiarko). It doesn’t matter that yesterday, with 6 titles, 4 silver and 6 bronze medals, China largely took the lead. 2 gold).