Espreso. Global

Daughter of Ukrainian soldier Vysochanska leads athletes carrying Olympic torch across Europe

9 May, 2024 Thursday
19:40

The Olympic Torch Relay has started in Marseille: the team of athletes who will carry the flame is led by Ukrainian gymnast Maria Vysochanska, whose father is fighting at the front line

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The Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation of Ukraine reported the information. 

“On May 8, the majestic sailing ship Belem is preparing to dock in Marseille with precious luggage on board: the Olympic flame. Then twenty-seven athletes will take turns carrying it, the same number as the member states of the European Union,” the statement said. 

However, this year the number of athletes who will carry the Olympic flame will be higher: they have been joined by 21-year-old Ukrainian gymnast Maria Vysochanska, whose father is on the front line of the Russian-Ukrainian war. She became the captain of the athletes. 

Her presence on May 9, Europe Day, is being called symbolic in support of Ukraine's European aspirations and its participation in the Olympic Games.

“I am well aware of the price we pay for the Ukrainian flag to fly in the international arena,” the gymnast said. 

The Olympic Games will take place in Paris from July 26 to August 11, 2024. The Olympic flame will visit more than 400 French cities, crossing the country before reaching Paris.

For reference. Maria Vysochanska is a Ukrainian gymnast who contributed to four medals for Ukraine at the 2020 European Championships. She is a finalist at the Tokyo Olympics. 

  • On February 8, the organizers of the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics showed what the medals of the winners would look like: each would contain an element of the metal used to make the Eiffel Tower.
  • On March 28, Poland announced that it would join international efforts to help ensure security at the Olympic Games in France by sending troops.
  • On April 16, Greece hosted the torch lighting ceremony for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 
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