Ukrainian decathlon champion and “future Olympic champion” Volodymyr Androshchuk dies fighting Russian soldiers
A Ukrainian decathlon champion has died in a fight against Russia.
Volodymyr Androshchuk was killed on January 25 near Bakhmut, Ukraine.
The 22-year-old’s tragic loss was confirmed by Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, who said: “A promising athlete and a true hero.
“He could have competed in the Paris Olympics if Russia hadn’t invaded Ukraine.
“Why do the Russians still have this privilege?”
Anton Gerashchenko, former Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Internal Ukraine, paid tribute to the athlete.
He said: “Volodymyr Androshchuk, Ukrainian track and field athlete, member of the national team, died in combat near Bakhmut.
“We keep losing our best people.”
Family and friends of Androshchuk said goodbye at the man’s funeral on Wednesday, February 1.
His funeral took place in the western Ukrainian city of Letychiv, where hundreds mourned the death of the future athlete.
Heartbreaking images showed people weeping in desperation as they lined up to pay their respects.
Androshchuk’s coffin, hoisted by Ukrainian soldiers, was carried through snow-covered streets to a cemetery to the tune of a military brass band.
The man is believed to have volunteered for the military and was hit by shrapnel, which resulted in his death.
He was involved in a battle near Bakhmut, which has seen a wave of intense fighting as Vladimir Putin continues to seek Ukrainian territory.
Maria, a 21-year-old classmate of Androshchuk, told Reuters she envisioned him winning medals for Ukraine.
She said: “Unfortunately, none of this is going to happen.
“How can a terrorist state that is costing millions of lives, the lives of athletes, of children, be invited anywhere.
“They need to be completely isolated.”
Fellow decathlete Dmytro Korbenko, who described himself as Androshchuk’s best friend, called for Russian athletes to be banned from international sports championships because of the atrocities they committed.
He said: “It’s obvious that they shouldn’t be in sports, nor should they be in the 2024 Olympics.
“He should live a long and happy life.
“He had everything to be successful in training and in competition.”
The devastating death follows claims the Kremlin is preparing for a new offensive that could see 700,000 troops pour into Ukraine.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7314567/ukrainian-decathlon-champ-future-olympian-dies-battle/ Ukrainian decathlon champion and “future Olympic champion” Volodymyr Androshchuk dies fighting Russian soldiers