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Ukrainian skier pulls out of Sochi in protest of violence back home

Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 01:20

Feb. 20 - Ukrainian skier Bogdana Matsotska says she cannot compete at he 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games while her compatriots are dying at home. Nathan Frandino reports.

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The slopes of Sochi are far from the violence of Ukraine. But for Olympic skier Bogdana Matsotska, the turmoil in her homeland is just a phone call away. Now she's withdrawing from Friday's slalom competition. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN ALPINE SKIER, BOGDANA MATSOTSKA, SAYING: "My friends are there at the Maidan, people I know, close friends of mine. To go on the start line when people are dying and when the authorities broke the main rule of the Olympic competition, which is peace, I simply cannot do it." At the Olympic village, Ukrainian flags hanging on balconies now feature black ribbons to mark the violence. Ukrainian team officials and some athletes also hold a minute of silence. Matsotska says she didn't mean for politics to enter the Olympics but had no choice. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN ALPINE SKIER, BOGDANA MATSOTSKA, SAYING: "I am not a political person I am totally out of politics and political parties, but I stand against these horrible actions that Yanukovich and his government are taking against our Ukrainian people. I don't want to enter the competition under such terrible circumstances." This was to be the 25-year-old's second Olympics.

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Ukrainian skier pulls out of Sochi in protest of violence back home

Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 01:20