Ukraine’s Yuliya Levchenko: ‘We need to have peace so we create our future’

<div><p>With 50 days to go before the Paris Olympics start, the Ukrainian high jumper on preparation amid the turmoil of Russia’s invasion</p><p>Yuliya Levchenko arrives full of apologies, although they are not at all necessary. She has crossed Kyiv after watching her younger sister Polina, a fellow high jumper, compete at a local event and the reason for her half-hour delay was wearyingly familiar. An air raid warning disrupted proceedings midway through and, as usual, the athletes had to shelter until the skies were deemed sufficiently safe. She beams when recounting that Polina, who has accompanied her to this quiet cafe on the city’s left bank, still recorded a personal best.</p><p>It is an everyday snapshot of the challenges Ukraine’s athletes must surmount, and so often do with astonishing results, in trying to make a career. Gorgeous late-spring days such as this one contain an undercurrent of horror. “You know, it looks like we’ve adapted to this situation,” Levchenko says. “It’s horrible, because it’s nonsense really, but now we adapt to it. Here in Kyiv it’s safer now than in <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2022/mar/11/ukraine-dnipro-footage-shows-aftermath-of-russian-airstrikes-video">Dnipro</a> or Kharkiv. It’s safety, but it’s not safety.”</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sport/article/2024/jun/06/yuliya-levchenko-peace-future-ukraine-interview-paris-2024-olympics">Continue reading...</a></div>

With 50 days to go before the Paris Olympics start, the Ukrainian high jumper on preparation amid the turmoil of Russia’s invasion

Yuliya Levchenko arrives full of apologies, although they are not at all necessary. She has crossed Kyiv after watching her younger sister Polina, a fellow high jumper, compete at a local event and the reason for her half-hour delay was wearyingly familiar. An air raid warning disrupted proceedings midway through and, as usual, the athletes had to shelter until the skies were deemed sufficiently safe. She beams when recounting that Polina, who has accompanied her to this quiet cafe on the city’s left bank, still recorded a personal best.

It is an everyday snapshot of the challenges Ukraine’s athletes must surmount, and so often do with astonishing results, in trying to make a career. Gorgeous late-spring days such as this one contain an undercurrent of horror. “You know, it looks like we’ve adapted to this situation,” Levchenko says. “It’s horrible, because it’s nonsense really, but now we adapt to it. Here in Kyiv it’s safer now than in Dnipro or Kharkiv. It’s safety, but it’s not safety.”

Continue reading…

Dnipro or Kharkiv. It’s safety, but it’s not safety.”

Continue reading…

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With 50 days to go before the Paris Olympics start, the Ukrainian high jumper on preparation amid the turmoil of Russia’s invasion

Yuliya Levchenko arrives full of apologies, although they are not at all necessary. She has crossed Kyiv after watching her younger sister Polina, a fellow high jumper, compete at a local event and the reason for her half-hour delay was wearyingly familiar. An air raid warning disrupted proceedings midway through and, as usual, the athletes had to shelter until the skies were deemed sufficiently safe. She beams when recounting that Polina, who has accompanied her to this quiet cafe on the city’s left bank, still recorded a personal best.

It is an everyday snapshot of the challenges Ukraine’s athletes must surmount, and so often do with astonishing results, in trying to make a career. Gorgeous late-spring days such as this one contain an undercurrent of horror. “You know, it looks like we’ve adapted to this situation,” Levchenko says. “It’s horrible, because it’s nonsense really, but now we adapt to it. Here in Kyiv it’s safer now than in Dnipro or Kharkiv. It’s safety, but it’s not safety.”

Continue reading…


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Author: Nick Ames in Kyiv

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