IOC points invitation to Ukrainian fencer disqualified for anti-Russia protest | Olympic Video games

The Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC) has issued a particular invitation to a Ukrainian fencer to participate within the Paris Olympics subsequent yr, after she was disqualified from a match for refusing to shake arms along with her defeated Russian opponent.

The IOC president, Thomas Bach, a former Olympic champion fencer himself, wrote in particular person to Olha Kharlan to make a “distinctive exception” to Olympic qualifying procedures, in an unusually emotional letter.

“As a fellow fencer, it’s unattainable for me to think about how you are feeling at this second,” Bach stated. “The struggle towards your nation, the struggling of the individuals in Ukraine … all it is a curler coaster of feelings and emotions. It’s admirable how you’re managing this extremely troublesome state of affairs, and I want to categorical my full assist for you.”

The letter was copied to the Ukrainian fencing federation, its nationwide Olympic committee and the Worldwide Fencing Federation, which had disqualified Kharlan from the world fencing championship in Milan on Thursday, after she had provided to the touch sabres however not shake arms with the Russian fencer she had crushed, Anna Smirnova. Smirnova staged a 50-minute protest on the fencing piste in protest on the snub.

Bach stated that with out the qualification factors from the world championships, Kharlan wouldn’t usually be capable to participate within the Paris Olympics.

“Given your distinctive state of affairs, the Worldwide Olympic Committee will allocate a further quota place to you for the Olympic Video games Paris 2024, in case you will be unable to qualify within the remaining interval,” Bach wrote. “We make this distinctive exception additionally as a result of the continuing procedures will in no case make up for the qualification factors you missed due to your disqualification.”

The choice was welcomed by Ukraine’s overseas minister, Dmytro Kuleba, who had known as on the Worldwide Fencing Federation to reverse its determination.

“Reality and dignity prevail once we all rise up for them and battle as one,” Kuleba wrote on social media.