На старт, увага, сссс…ніг!
The XXIV Winter Olympic Games will be held in Beijing, China this 4-20 February 2022. China’s capital will be the first city to have hosted both the summer and winter Olympics. An expected 2,900 or so athletes from 95 countries will take part at the Games involving 15 disciplines, where a total of 109 events will award medals.
For the first time, seven new disciplines were included in the program of the 2022 Games. These include the women’s monobob, the short track speed skating mixed relay, the ski jumping mixed team competition, the freestyle skiing mixed team aerials, the men’s and women’s freeski big air, as well as the snowboard cross mixed team competition. All this allows us to confidently say that the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing will be the most gender-balanced in history. Compared to Pyeongchang 2018, the percentage of women at these Games has increased from 41 to 45.
What does the Ukrainian Olympic Team have?
Forty-five athletes will represent Ukraine at the XXIV Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. This is 12 more than the previous delegation at Pyeongchang 2018. Ukrainian Olympians will feature in 12 disciplines namely: biathlon, bobsleigh, alpine skiing, Nordic combined, cross-country skiing, luge, skeleton, snowboarding, and ski jumping. Following the requests of the national federations, the delegation includes: 26 coaches, 10 doctors and massage therapists, and 7 representatives of the technical staff.
For the first time in the history of the Winter Games, Ukraine will be represented in the mixed team freestyle (acrobatics) and women’s bobsleigh (monobob) competitions. Furthermore, after a break of two Olympic cycles, Ukraine will have a representative in the short track event, two qualifiers in figure skating, including the team competitions, and a relay team for skiing.
Moreover, the last time Ukrainian ski jumpers were represented at the Games was in Vancouver 2010. Now, 12 years later, we will see the performance of, not just one, but three of our athletes. Freestylers also significantly improved their positions, increasing their representation compared to the previous Games from two to five athletes.
The composition of the 2022 Olympic team includes four Olympic champions: biathletes Elena Belosyuk, Yulia Dzhima, Valentina Semerenko, and freestyler Alexander Abramenko, as well as three winners of the Youth Olympic Games – figure skaters Alexandra Nazarova, Maxim Nikitin, and Ivan Shmuratko.
Biathlon representatives will be the first Ukrainian athletes to arrive at the Olympic Village on January 27th.
Equipment of Ukrainian Athletes
The equipment of the Olympians will be handled by PEAK for the second time. Interestingly, the NOC of Ukraine and PEAK signed the new contract until 2024, inclusive of the Summer Games in Paris. All equipment for the Olympic teams is provided free of charge. No funds from the state budget have been spent on design or tailoring. When developing the collection, the wishes of the National Olympic Committee representatives and the athletes themselves were taken into account. The new print of the winter Olympic collection 2022 is a stylized combination of the flag and coat of arms of Ukraine, which is the nation’s genetic code that unites Ukrainians around the world.
Playing Venues of the Games
Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will be divided into three clusters – Beijing, Yanqing, and Zhangjiakou. Participants will thus be located in three Olympic villages. The distance between the farthest venues spans 200 km.
As part of the sustainable development plan developed by the Organizing Committee of the Games, many facilities that the city built after the 2008 Summer Games will be used in Beijing. However, there are still some entirely new structures built.
Giving predictions is a thankless job, but still, we dare to suggest that our freestyle skiers led by Oleksandr Abramenko in mixed competitions have the most likely chances for a medal for Ukraine. The new discipline in freestyle skiing is likely to please us (fans). Moreover, Abramenko is no stranger. The reigning Olympic champion in Men’s Aerials will participate in his fifth Olympic Games.
We also always look at biathlon with hope. Anything can happen here especially since no one knows the track. With no test competitions held prior to the Games, this will be a “roulette” for everyone. As long as you hit all the targets and race at a good pace, anything is possible.
For skeleton athlete Vladislav Heraskevych, getting into the Top 10 at the Beijing Games will be a success considering the absence of facilities in Ukraine to properly prepare.
The rest of the options for the medal seem illusory, but as the skaters say: “The ice is slippery,” and it is quite possible that we can expect surprises in other sports.
Edited by Aldo Tong
Information here is according to the press service of the NOC of Ukraine.
Previously: Итоги Чемпионата Мира Среди Юниоров 2021