When Rymma Filimoshkina was practicing hammer throwing in Mariupol at the beginning of the war in Ukraine, her neighbor thought she was throwing a bomb.
But her “weapon” did not cause destruction. It allowed a 33-year-old woman to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games for the Hearing Impaired, ending Sunday in Caxias do Sul, southern Brazil.
Ukrainians, 11,000 kilometers away from the conflict that devastates their country, have been successful.RELATED
Two days after the end of the tournament, they far exceeded the medal table and won 116 medals. This is more than double that of the second American.
“Here we show the world that we exist and that we are a powerful, independent and democratic country,” said Caxias, Chairman of the Ukrainian Paralympic Commission, Valerie Shushkevich. I told AFP of de Sul.
“The soldier called us and said:” During the battle, we support you on TV. Your fighting spirit is very important to us, “he said.
The Deaflympics is a sporting event that takes place every four years. They have become a global movement and are the longest-running sporting event except for the Olympics themselves.
Ukraine’s remarkable performance in sports for the disabled is not new.
He finished 6th at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Paralympic medal table and 2nd at the Winter Paralympic Games held in Beijing in early March immediately after the Russian invasion.
Sushkevych explains that the secret to this success is a “25-year system” with vocational schools in each region and sports activities for children with disabilities from an early age.
In Brazil, Ukrainians with deafness are at the top of the world, finishing second only to Russia in the last three editions and are now excluded from all international competitions.
Hearing loss is not associated
There are no sports that include athletes with hearing loss or hearing loss. This is because there is no federation within the International Paralympic Committee to bring together hearing-impaired athletes.
“I dedicate these medals to Ukraine. I’m proud to represent my country,” said Dmytro Levin, 24, from Kharkov, in sign language, the three Orientation events he won. Smile and say to the medals (two gold and one bronze).
“I’m happy to win this medal in Ukraine, but all I really want is peace,” said badminton bronze medalist Sophia Chernomorowa, 15,.
Filimoshkina still remembers the tremors he felt with each bomb explosion in Mariupol, the city that was hit hardest by the war in Ukraine.
“Many hearing-impaired people died because they couldn’t hear the sirens and left at the wrong time,” he laments.
With a hammer throw, the Ukrainians achieved a double. The silver medal was presented to 25-year-old Julia Kisirowa. Julia Kisirowa has long believed that she could never participate in the game.
“When the war broke out, it was impossible to train. I was locked up in my house for a month,” says a young woman from Nova Kajovka in the Kherson region, who was most affected by the conflict.
Eventually she managed to escape Ukraine, join a Spanish coach and leave her husband behind.
“It was a miracle to be able to cross the border. The trip took more than two days,” he says.
“I want to go back to Ukraine to find my husband after the tournament, but I’m not sure if that’s possible,” she adds.
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