Australian Olympic Committee to help Ukrainian athletes obtain humanitarian visas

30 April, 04:36 PM
Ukraine's national team at the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing (Photo:Reuters/Phil Noble)

Ukraine's national team at the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing (Photo:Reuters/Phil Noble)

The Australian Olympic Committee will support Ukrainian athletes who want to move to Australia because of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, AOC President John Coates said on April 30 at the annual general meeting of the committee, according to Reuters.

In his opinion, it is "sad" that young Ukrainian athletes have to take up arms to fight against Russian forces.

Coates said the AOC would support applications for humanitarian visas for Ukrainian athletes.

The Australian Olympic Committee will also contribute $100,000 to the Solidarity Fund for the Ukrainian Olympic Committee.

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"As Ukrainians are forced to defend their families and homes, Ukrainian athletes are amongst them,” said Coates, who has been at the helm of the AOC for 32 years, at his last address to the annual meeting.

“Many have returned home for this purpose, and how sad it is that young men and women just swapped their rackets and running spikes for rifles and flak jackets.”

He added that Russia had lost the right to be a member of the international Olympic community.

"There are no stadiums for their colors, no poles for their flags, no music for their songs and no dais for their athletes," he said.

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