Author: Ihor Stelmach

Ukraine’s national soccer team bounced back from their heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Wales in World Cup qualifying with their own 1-0 victory over Ireland in a Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Nations League match in Dublin on June 8. Dynamo Kyiv’s Viktor Tsygankov, who entered the game as a half-time substitute, caught goalkeeper Caoimhin...

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In a May 1 YouTube video in which she declared her support for Ukraine in its war against Russia, Hayley Wickenheiser, one of Canada’s greatest female athletes, acknowledged her Ukrainian ancestry. “My family is of Ukrainian descent. Both [of my] grandparents’ families came from Odesa,” Wickenheiser announced at the beginning of her video, which was...

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Thirty-two-year-old Nataliia Klimenova has loved the sport of volleyball almost her entire life. Stepping onto a court was never a dream, but more of a destiny. Her mother played for the Soviet Union team and young Klimenova grew up watching her parents play beach volleyball. In the industrial city of Severodonetsk in the Luhansk region...

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Hollywood movie scripts and fairy tales do not necessarily end in the manner we hope they do, but Ukraine’s 1-0 loss to Wales was heartbreaking for a couple of reasons. Their remote chance of gaining a spot in the 2022 World Cup was washed away in a rainy Cardiff City Stadium. Ironically, their first loss...

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On May 7, Ukraine’s national football team won its second consecutive friendly match, defeating Italian Serie A club Empoli by a score of 3-1. The team wore specially designed jerseys with a message of “United for Ukraine” on the front. The numbers on the back of the shirts were composed of the names of the...

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In sports, the better performing team does not always win every game. Infrequently a sporting event is decided by a bad bounce, a controversial call or a fluke play. Despite their superior composed, measured and effective showing, despite their defiance, resolve and spirit, Ukraine’s arduous journey to play in the 2022 World Cup came up...

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The International Tennis Federation (ITF) recognizes and celebrates players who have experienced a successful year progressing along the professional path and beyond. In early December 2021, the ITF identified two players, one male and one female, who recently completed stunning years on the ITF World Tennis Tour, winning a handful of titles to accelerate their...

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These days, words like “invasion,” “boycott” and “ban” are spoken almost on a daily basis in the sport of tennis and the broader sports world in general. For Ukrainian tennis player Lesia Tsurenko, the above concepts are very real. The burden of Russia’s attack on her country is constantly with her. Swinging a racket in...

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Fourteen-year-old Katya Prykhodko is too young to be worrying about a war. Unfortunately, for Ukrainians and their families, that is the new reality. The eighth grader at Lexington Junior High School in Lexington, Ohio, was born in Cleveland. Except for her siblings, her entire family was born in Ukraine. Her grandparents passed away, but their siblings and cousins still live in Ukraine. Half a world away from that family and feeling helpless, Prykhodko had a desire to somehow help her homeland in its time of crisis. She designed a few custom t-shirts, using the national trident symbol, the country’s sunflower…

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Thousands of miles from their war-torn homes, members of the Ukrainian team raked in the medals at the 2021 Deaflym­pics (held in 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic). The games opened on May 1 and concluded on May 15 in the city of Caxias do Sul, Brazil. Ukraine topped all of the nations in the...

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Cale Makar’s hips sometimes lie. A gifted skater, the Colorado Avalanche defenseman has the rare ability to change direction and disguise his shot before defenders realize what they’re up against. One might say his hips move faster than most players think. If Makar doesn’t identify a passage between bodies and flick his wicked wrist shot...

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Ukrainian Natalia Fedner is a fashion designer. She fears for those she knows and loves in her native Ukraine, as well as for those she never met. Fedner reflected back on a fashion show in Kyiv from two years back in which she designed all of the clothes. She feels tremendous heartache when viewing the...

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