The Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC) has issued a particular invitation to a Ukrainian fencer to participate within the Paris Olympics subsequent 12 months, after she was disqualified from a event for refusing to shake fingers along with her defeated Russian opponent.
The IOC president, Thomas Bach, a former Olympic champion fencer himself, wrote in particular person to Olha Kharlan to make a “distinctive exception” to Olympic qualifying procedures, in an unusually emotional letter.
“As a fellow fencer, it’s not possible for me to think about how you are feeling at this second,” Bach stated. “The battle in opposition to your nation, the struggling of the folks in Ukraine … all this can be a curler coaster of feelings and emotions. It’s admirable how you’re managing this extremely tough state of affairs, and I wish to categorical my full assist for you.”
The letter was copied to the Ukrainian fencing federation, its nationwide Olympic committee and the Worldwide Fencing Federation, which had disqualified Kharlan from the world fencing championship in Milan on Thursday, after she had provided to the touch sabres however not shake fingers with the Russian fencer she had overwhelmed, Anna Smirnova. Smirnova staged a 50-minute protest on the fencing piste in protest on the snub.
Bach stated that with out the qualification factors from the world championships, Kharlan wouldn’t usually be capable to participate within the Paris Olympics.
“Given your distinctive state of affairs, the Worldwide Olympic Committee will allocate an extra quota place to you for the Olympic Video games Paris 2024, in case you will be unable to qualify within the remaining interval,” Bach wrote. “We make this distinctive exception additionally as a result of the continued procedures will in no case make up for the qualification factors you missed due to your disqualification.”
The choice was welcomed by Ukraine’s international minister, Dmytro Kuleba, who had referred to as on the Worldwide Fencing Federation to reverse its determination.
“Reality and dignity prevail once we all arise for them and struggle as one,” Kuleba wrote on social media.