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Ukrainian skier withdraws from Sochi Olympics in protest

February 20, 2014|By David Wharton
  • Ukrainian skier Bogdana Matsotska said Thursday she will no longer compete in the Sochi Olympics because of the violence in her country.
Ukrainian skier Bogdana Matsotska said Thursday she will no longer compete… (Alexander Roslyakov / Associated…)

SOCHI, Russia -- Bloody clashes between government forces and demonstrators in the Ukraine have reverberated through the 2014 Sochi Olympics, where a skier has withdrawn in protest of the violence.

Bogdana Matsotska of the Ukraine will not compete in the slalom -- her best event -- on Friday.

“I don't want to participate when in my country people die,” Matsotska told the Associated Press on Thursday.

The 24-year-old skier was hoping to join protesters in the camp known as Maidan in Kiev's Independence Square but said she had been unable to book a flight home.

Amid talk of additional protests by the Ukrainian team, pole vaulting great Sergei Bubka told the Associated Press he met with the team's athletes and they will remain in Russia until the end of the Games on Sunday night.

Bubka is the head of the country's national Olympic committee and an influential member of the International Olympic Committee.

“It's not easy,” he said. “We are trying to show to the world that Ukrainian athletes are competing. We try to show the glory for Ukraine.”

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