In Sochi Ukrainians count on biathletes and hope for skiers
Tomorrow, Sochi hosts the opening ceremony for 22nd Winter Olympic Games. Ukrainian team puts high hopes into the women’s biathlon competition.
In Russia, Ukraine will be represented in nine of the 15 sports. Ukrainian team consists of 43 athletes — four less than on the previous Winter Olympics in Vancouver and two less than 8 years ago on Winter Olympics in Turin. The biggest Ukrainian team is in biathlon — 11 athletes.
The country places high hopes onto the women’s team in this sport. A year ago at the World Championship, biathletes Alena Pidgrushna, Yulia Jima, sisters Valya and Vita Semerenko won 5 awards: one gold, one silver and three bronze medals. In other sports, any medal will be a surprise. A place on the podium will be contested by freestylers, as well as skiers led by Valentina Shevchenko. For the b38-year-old athlete, Sochi Olympics will be the fifth in her career. Up till now, her best result is the 5th place in the 30-kilometer race in 2002 in Salt Lake City. Medal on these games would be great finishing point for Valentina’s career. The youngest representative of Ukraine in Sochi is Yulia Lavrentieva, a 16-year-old from Kiev who will compete figure skating in pair with Yuri Rudyk.
The first Winter Olympics competition will be held on Saturday, in the women’s skiing and men’s biathlon.