Former fencing champion Denys Boreyko killed in war

Former fencing champion Denys Boreyko killed in war
Former fencing champion Denys Boreyko killed in war

From the playing field to the battlefield, for many athletes the step was short. After the Russian invasion, many sportsmen and women decided to concretely defend their country instead of exploiting their privileged position to flee abroad and find safety. Among these, also Denys Boreyko, former world champion and European junior fencing champion. Boreyko died in battle at the age of 34 on 3 July. This was announced by the adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry Anton Gerashchenko, citing the fencing federation. «Denys was a youth and European world champion as well as an international master. He founded the Liberte fencing club in Dnipro. Eternal memory to the fallen hero,” he wrote on Twitter.

In the days immediately following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Boreyko had begun to collaborate with the armed forces in the defense of the city of Dnipro, then, in March 2022, he had enlisted as a volunteer in the army, choosing to fight on the front lines .

In recent months, the Ukrainian sports minister Vadym Huttsait had provided some shocking data relating to the participation of athletes and former athletes in the conflict: Up to last March, more than 260 Ukrainian athletes were already killed in the war, with as many as 363 sports facilities destroyed from Russian raids. Also for this reason, the Ukrainian authorities have appealed to the IOC to ensure that no Russian athlete is admitted to international sporting competitions: “They all support this war and participate in events in support of this war”, the ministry denounces. The International Olympic Committee is reportedly evaluating a gradual return of Russian and Belarusian athletes, provided that they are under a neutral flag, just as happened for the Wimbledon tennis tournament. Pending a decision, Ukraine has effectively banned its athletes from taking part in qualifiers for the 2024 Paris Games if they are to compete against the Russians.

 
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