Ukraine Olympic team calls for peace, IOC wants no protests

In this frame from video, Vladyslav Heraskevych, of Ukraine, holds a sign that reads "No War in...
In this frame from video, Vladyslav Heraskevych, of Ukraine, holds a sign that reads "No War in Ukraine" after finishing a run at the men's skeleton competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 11, 2022, in the Yanqing district of Beijing.(NBC via AP)
Published: Feb. 13, 2022 at 5:05 AM CST
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BEIJING (AP) - Ukraine’s Olympic team has issued a statement calling for peace against the backdrop of a Russian military build-up on the border between the countries.

So far no other athletes have followed the lead of slider Vladyslav Heraskevych. He held up a sign with the Ukrainian flag and the message “No War in Ukraine” after finishing a run in the skeleton competition.

The Ukrainian team issued a statement Saturday night Beijing time expanding on his gesture.

“The Olympic Team of Ukraine that is competing at the XXIV Olympic Winter Games in Beijing expresses a unanimous call for peace together with the native country,” the Ukrainian Olympic Committee wrote on social media.

“Being thousands of kilometers away from the Motherland, mentally we are with our families and friends.” The statement doesn’t mention Russia or the military situation.

The International Olympic Committee bans most protest gestures at the Games. It isn’t taking action against Heraskevych because “‘No war’ is a message we can all relate to,” executive director of the Olympic Games Christophe Dubi said Sunday.

But IOC spokesman Mark Adams says that doesn’t mean the IOC wants other athletes to join in.

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