Ukrainian decathlon champion dies while in battle against Russia
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A young Ukrainian decathlon champion has been killed while on the frontline for his country against Russia.
The Defense of Ukraine confirmed that the former U20 champion Volodymyr Androschuk had passed away in battle near Bakhmut on January 25.
The official Twitter account wrote: “Ukrainian U20 decathlon champion Volodymyr Androschuk died in a battle near Bakhmut on Jan 25.
“A promising athlete and a true hero, he could have been able to participate in the Olympic Games in Paris, if Russia hadn’t invaded Ukraine.
“Why do Russians still have this privilege?”
Ukrainian U20 decathlon champion Volodymyr Androschuk died in a battle near Bakhmut on Jan 25.— Defense of Ukraine (@DefenceU) February 5, 2023
A promising athlete and a true hero, he could have been able to participate in the Olympic Games in Paris, if russia hadn’t invaded Ukraine
Why do russians still have this privilege? pic.twitter.com/QlYuRoOGg8
Anton Gerashcenko, the former deputy minister of the Ministry of Inner Ukraine paid tribute to the young athlete who was tragically lost.
He said, via The Sun: “Volodymyr Androshchuk, Ukrainian track and field athlete, member of the national team, died in combat near Bakhmut.
"We keep losing our best people."
His funeral was held on Wednesday, February 1 in front of friends and family in the eastern Ukrainian town of Letychiv.
Hundreds were in attendance mourning the death of the ‘future Olympian’, according to The Sun.
He received a military funeral, with his coffin hoisted by Ukrainian servicemen and carried through the streets to the sound of a military brass ensemble.
Bakhmut has faced intense fighting in recent times as Putin attempts to seize eastern territories of Ukraine.
Reuters reports that the volunteer soldier was hit by shrapnel in the city.
A 21-year-old classmate of Androshcuk told Reuters that she could have seen him winning medals for Ukraine.
Fellow athlete and self-described best friend of the Ukrainian decathlete spoke at his funeral where he said his friend ‘was supposed to live a long and happy life’.
He said of Russian athletes: “It's obvious they're not supposed to be in sports, nor at the 2024 Olympic Games."
Ukrainian officials have been in stark opposition to attempts by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to make pathways for Russian athletes compete in Paris.
In a recent video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy slammed the IOC for their attempts to ‘bring Russian athletes back into the Olympic Games’ feeling as though it tells ‘the whole world that terror is somehow acceptable’.