Let’s hope this is just the start of the good news for Ukraine.
Four teammates stood proudly behind the Ukraine flag, smiles beaming, celebrating their country’s first gold medal at the Sochi Olympics.
Parliament paused in the deeply divided Ukraine to mark the occasion.
After days of deadly anti-government protests, and as government and opposition leaders worked on a political solution to the months-long crisis, the Ukrainian women provided some good news with their victory Friday in the 4×6-kilometer biathlon relay — Ukraine’s first Winter Olympics gold medal in two decades.
“Great proof of how sport can unite the nation,” Sergei Bubka, the pole vault great and leader of the Ukraine Olympic Committee, posted on Twitter. “Moments after girls won gold Ukrainian Parliament stopped discussions …. Speaker greeted the team, MPs sang national anthem! It is a day of crucial decisions in Parliament. Hope the power of sport help to find unity.”
“I am very proud,” Bubka said. “The girls brought such a fantastic success, which really we needed today for the Ukrainian people, to bring the light, to bring the bright future and to show that Ukraine exists, the Ukrainian people together.”
It was a momentum shifting day for Ukraine, with Parliament voting to restore the 2004 constitution that limits presidential authority, clawing back some of the powers that President Viktor Yanukovych had pushed through after being elected in 2010.
“My country has big problems but those are very good results for the people in Ukraine,” Volodymyr Brynzak, president of Ukraine’s biathlon federation and vice-president of the national Olympic committee, told The Associated Press. “Today’s victory in Parliament and now by the team in this competition, it is two victories for Ukraine today.”
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