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London 2012 Olympics wraps-up with a Hopak

August 13th, 2012 2 comments

The Olympics wrapped up with its closing ceremony last night, here are the final results in the medal race:

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On the final day, Oleksandr Usyk won Ukraine’s first boxing gold medal of the games and celebrated with a quick in-ring Hopak:

imageClick here for video (Canadian mirror)

Ukraine

Klitschko proud as classy Lomachenko wins gold

Ukraine‘s professional heavyweight champion Vladimir Klitschko was on hand to see his compatriot Vasyl Lomachenko prove once again why he is the best in the amateur ranks as the lightweight romped to a second successive Olympic gold on Sunday.

Putting two fingers in the air to acknowledge both his second gold and the second for Ukraine at the Games, Lomachenko left the ring draped in the Ukrainian flag.

“I’m really proud of my countryman Lomachenko, it is not a common thing to win two times,” Klitschko said from ringside. “It would be really exciting to see him in a professional ring.”

Gold medallist Yana Shemyakina of Ukraine kisses her medal during the award ceremony for the women's epee individual fencing competition at the ExCel venue at the London 2012 Olympic Games July 30, 2012. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Epee (Fencing
Ukraine’s Yana Shemyakina won gold in the women’s individual epee after a nail-biting 9-8 extra-time win over reigning Olympic champion Britta Heidemann of Germany at the London Games on Monday.

Twelfth seed Shemyakina was a surprise winner, having worked her way through the preliminaries.

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And of course there were a few controversies:

Boxing
In another fight, Ukrainian world champion Evhen Khytrov was ruled to have lost to Britain’s Anthony Ogogo after an 18-18 countback, despite two knockdowns. The National Olympic Committee of Ukraine protested the decision to AIBA.

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Ukraine Men’s Gymnastics ControversyHi-res-149542564_crop_exact

For a glorious moment, the team (Ukraine) was able to revel in the fact that, after a late miracle, they were the bronze medalists in the men’s team gymnastic competition in the 2012 Olympics.

Unfortunately for them, that miracle proved to good to be true, and Ukraine was all of a sudden out of the medals in fourth place. That fourth-place finish is territory that very few felt Ukraine could occupy. Most did not consider them a legitimate medal threat.

Consequently, that fourth-place finish should be a great source of pride for the team. Instead, it will now be tinged with the memories of losing a medal they very temporarily owned. Due to a judge’s error, the Ukrainian team must now reconcile the feelings of losing out on a medal they thought they had.

The scoring error occurred on Japan’s Kohei Uchimura pommel horse routine. He fell on his dismount and was initially awarded a score of 13.466. This was low enough that it caused Japan to fall from second to fourth, which moved Great Britain and Ukraine up to second and third respectively.

However, Japan filed a protest and after minutes of deliberation it was concluded that the judges did not give Uchimura a high enough difficulty score, and his score was raised enough for Japan to hold onto second. As a result, the sport now has a new, highly-visible black eye.

Read the article

And some bazar actions are revealing true intentions:

Russian annexes Ukraine

Ukraine and Georgia have protested that descriptions of some Russian athletes’ birthplaces on the official London 2012 website make the countries seem like part of Russia.

Karolina Sevastyanova, a Russian rhythmic gymnast, is listed as from “Ukraine Region (UKR)”; canoeist Alexey Korovashkov apparently hails from Ukraina Region (RUS).

Read the article

And with the newly minted Russian language law in Ukraine, local governments didn’t waste any time implementing the new rules:

Deputies of Odesa City Council have approved an instruction on the implementation of the law of Ukraine on the principles of the state language policy in Odesa at a special sitting on Monday and gave Russian language the status of a regional language in the city.

According to the city council’s instruction, from now on the Russian language may be used on the territory of Odesa as a regional language in offices, official documents, at schools and universities, for advertising and in the municipal toponymy.

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Canada

CBC did a great job recapping all the highs and lows for Canada in the Olympics:

The fact Canada captured only one gold medal in London doesn’t mean the nation is in crisis. In truth, Canada — aside from the 10 gold medals won at the boycotted 1984 Los Angeles Games — rarely reaches the top of the podium at a Summer Olympics with regular frequency.

Beginning with Atlanta in 1996 and right through to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Canada has won exactly three gold medals in each of those four Games. In terms of overall medals, Canada’s 18 in London equals its Beijing output, and ranks second to the 22 earned in Atlanta — the most ever by a Canadian team in a non-boycotted Olympics.

Canadian women’s soccer team steals show

it was the controversy with Canada leading 3-2 that will always define this contest. That’s when Norwegian referee Christiana Pedersen transformed herself into one of the most infamous figures in Olympic history.

In a sequence of calls that set off a firestorm from both the Canadian players and a few media outlets outside the U.S., Pedersen called goalkeeper Erin McLeod for holding the ball too long, which led to a free kick inside the Canadian box. While a six-second infraction does exist in the rulebook, the enforcement usually comes with a warning, one McLeod said she never received.

The referee then awarded the U.S. a penalty kick when Marie-Eve Nault was charged with a handball. Abby Wambach converted that chance with less than 10 minutes remaining before Alex Morgan’s header in the final minute of extra time buried Canada, and sent the Americans on their way to another gold medal following their 4-3 win.

The loss could’ve ruined Canada’s chances against France in the bronze match, but the women were still playing for history. Diana Matheson’s dramatic goal in the 92nd minute gave Canada a 1-0 win and landed the country its first medal in a traditional team sport since 1936.

MacLennan captures lone gold medal

Canada’s lone gold medal of the Games came from an unlikely source.

Heading into London, Rosie MacLennan competed in the rather large shadow of three-time Olympic medallist and trampoline great Karen Cockburn. That changed when MacLennan, of King City, Ont., executed a brilliant routine to capture gold.

MacLennan has to wait to celebrate as 2008 Olympic champion He Wenna of China pressed hard during her last routine. To everyone’s amazement, He tumbled on her last manoeuvre, sending MacLennan into Olympic history.

Heymans, van Koeverden leave mark

By winning a bronze medal in the women’s three-metre synchronized springboard event with partner Jennifer Abel, she became the first Canadian ever to win a medal in four straight Olympics.

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London Olympics Medal update–July 31, 2012 (Updated)

July 31st, 2012 3 comments

Here is a recap of how the medal race is going after day 4 of Olympic competition for both Canada and Ukraine:

image

 

Canada

Divers Emilie Heymans and Jennifer Abel have claimed bronze in the women’s three-metre synchronized event.

The result will put the 30-year-old Heymans into the history books as she becomes the first female diver to reach the podium in four consecutive Olympic Games.

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Edit: Minutes after I posted, Canada picked up two more Bronze medals, then a few hours later another Bronze:

The diving team of Roseline Filion and Meaghan Benfeito captured Canada’s second medal at the London Olympics.

Filion of Laval, Que., and Montreal’s Benfeito won bronze Tuesday in the women’s 10-metre synchronized event.

Meanwhile, Antoine Valois-Fortier won a bronze in the man’s 81-kg judo competition.

The 22-year-old from Quebec City defeated American Travis Stevens 1-0 to win Canada’s first judo medal since Nicholas Gill won silver in 2000.

Just before lunch in Canada, Christine Girard of White Rock, B.C. won the fourth bronze of the Games in the women’s 63-kg. category.

Read the article

 

Ukraine

Gold medallist Yana Shemyakina of Ukraine kisses her medal during the award ceremony for the women's epee individual fencing competition at the ExCel venue at the London 2012 Olympic Games July 30, 2012. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Ukraine’s Yana Shemyakina won gold in the women’s individual epee after a nail-biting 9-8 extra-time win over reigning Olympic champion Britta Heidemann of Germany at the London Games on Monday.

Twelfth seed Shemyakina was a surprise winner, having worked her way through the preliminaries.

Read the article

And the Olympics are not without controversy already:

Hi-res-149542564_crop_exact

For a glorious moment, the team (Ukraine) was able to revel in the fact that, after a late miracle, they were the bronze medalists in the men’s team gymnastic competition in the 2012 Olympics.

Unfortunately for them, that miracle proved to good to be true, and Ukraine was all of a sudden out of the medals in fourth place. That fourth-place finish is territory that very few felt Ukraine could occupy. Most did not consider them a legitimate medal threat.

Consequently, that fourth-place finish should be a great source of pride for the team. Instead, it will now be tinged with the memories of losing a medal they very temporarily owned. Due to a judge’s error, the Ukrainian team must now reconcile the feelings of losing out on a medal they thought they had.

The scoring error occurred on Japan’s Kohei Uchimura pommel horse routine. He fell on his dismount and was initially awarded a score of 13.466. This was low enough that it caused Japan to fall from second to fourth, which moved Great Britain and Ukraine up to second and third respectively.

However, Japan filed a protest and after minutes of deliberation it was concluded that the judges did not give Uchimura a high enough difficulty score, and his score was raised enough for Japan to hold onto second. As a result, the sport now has a new, highly-visible black eye.

Read the article

And some bazar actions are revealing true intentions:

Ukraine and Georgia have protested that descriptions of some Russian athletes’ birthplaces on the official London 2012 website make the countries seem like part of Russia.

Karolina Sevastyanova, a Russian rhythmic gymnast, is listed as from “Ukraine Region (UKR)”; canoeist Alexey Korovashkov apparently hails from Ukraina Region (RUS).

Read the article

It seems we are turning back the clock on progress:

The Ukrainian parliament’s press service has announced that a controversial language bill that gives Russian the status of “a regional language” in 13 of Ukraine’s 27 regions has been signed by the speaker.

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Ukraine robbed, Shevchenko retires

June 19th, 2012 No comments

It was the blunder seen all across the world as Ukraine’s chances to advance in the EuroCup were dashed by a shotty call by a nearby referee who claimed this was not a goal in today’s 1-0 final against England:

John Terry lunges for the ball, which appears to be over the line.Controversial ...John Terry lies in the back of the goal after being given the benefit of the doubt by the match officials.

"What can I say? There are five referees on the pitch and the ball was half a metre over the line," Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin, who remonstrated angrily with the fourth official at the time, told reporters.

"Devic scored a goal and I don’t know why it wasn’t allowed."

Read the article

Unfortunately FIFA does not institute video replays or goal-line technology in its decision making, as the duty solely rests on the referees – who was only metres away from that goal. Ironically it was England that suffered a similar fate against Germany two years ago in South Africa. Had the goal been allowed, Ukraine would have tied up the match, but still needed a win to advance against Italy in the next round.

Following this disappointing loss, Ukrainian football star Andriy Shevchenko announced his retirement from international play:

Shevchenko’s contract with current side Dynamo Kiev expires next month and a move to Major League Soccer in the United States in rumoured. The striker confirmed that he hopes to arrange a final, 112th appearance for his country in the coming weeks.

"I just want to play one more game to say goodbye, just for my family and friends and all the fans who have supported me for many, many years.

"For everyone the time [to retire from football] comes."

Shevchenko said Ukraine deserved better than their elimination at England’s hands, especially after Marko Devic’s effort was hooked out of the goal by England defender John Terry after the ball appeared to have crossed the line.

"We deserved more today," he told BBC Sport. "We played well, created chances and of course scored a goal.

"It’s difficult for us. We’re out of the competition. That’s the reality.

"[Scoring a goal] would have made a big difference. If we score we’re buzzing and we’ll maybe win a game. The referee was there, very close."

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Where to watch EuroCup 2012 in Toronto

June 11th, 2012 No comments

According to Toronto Life, there’s only one official hangout for the Ukrainian team in Toronto:

Ukraine

Дати Mатчів ~ Game Dates

June 8   червня Doors Open 10AM POL v. GRE, RUS v. CZH
June11  червня Doors Open 2PM Ukraine V. Sweden
June15  червня Doors Open 11AM Ukraine v. France
June 19 червня Doors Open 1:30PM Ukraine V England
July 1    липня Doors Open 1PM FINAL in Kyiv
*Ми також покажемо будь-яких квартал Фінальні матчі та матчі
півфіналу на якій Україна переходить…
We will also show any and all Quarter and Semi Finals
that Ukraine qualifies for, check unftoronto.com for details…
All other “Non-Ukraine” games will be playing on the large screen TV’s in the UNO’s Cafe, drop in and watch all of the EURO2012 Action!

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BBC’s controversial documentary on hate for UEFA EuroCup in Poland and Ukraine

May 31st, 2012 3 comments

Episode image for Euro 2012: Stadiums of HateLast Monday the BBC’s documentary show ‘Panorama’ aired ‘Stadiums of hate’ showcasing discrimination and violence in Poland and Ukraine as they prepare to host the UEFO EuroCup with a strong message: Don’t travel there to see the tournament, especially if you’re a visible minority. Since the airing, many groups have taken issue with the documentary, claiming it too sensationalistic by focusing on fringe groups that are in a minority.

Here’s the documentary in full:

(Here’s a backup link in case the first no longer works)

Rogers visits a stadium in Lodz, Poland, where supporters known as “Ultras” abuse the opposition with chants like “Jewish whore” and “Hey, hey, who’s not jumping is a Jew.”

Then he goes to Warsaw, where a white supremacist group known as “White Power” has formed around one of the city’s biggest clubs. They flash supremacist symbols at matches and break out in fights with opposition and police.

And that’s just Poland. While in Ukraine, Rogers witnesses monkey chants at black players and supporters… and police present at the match don’t do a thing about it.

Read more

But many criticisms of the documentary have appeared about the way the BBC looked to sensationalize this story by not interviewing experts or showing relevant statistics:

There were reports the BBC allegedly did not use material, such as a police statement and statistics which are said to not support the claims made in the programme.Aviram Baruchyam, a Jewish midfielder of Polonia Warsaw, allegedly admitted that he never had a problem with Poles and their behaviour towards him, but this did not feature in final cut.

Why did they not interview Jewish footballer Maor Melikson, a fans favorite, who plays on the wing for Wisla Krakow? The same goes for Saidi Ntibazonkiza, Burundian striker of similar position to Melikson, but on the other side of Blonie park, at Cracovia.

The BBC did not include statistics which reveal that over the last three years, out of 460,000 British visitors not even one have reported a racist incident in Poland.

Read more

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry has responded to the video, demanding an apology:

"I believe BBC must apologize for this film, which portrays Ukraine and Poland as countries of hatred and racism. BBC has edited a whole film from single pictures and drawn wrong conclusions," the official (Oleh Volosyn) said.

Voloshyn also noted that the issue of racism had not been discussed at the official level. On the contrary, Ukrainian officials have considered measures to secure Ukrainians from British fans, known for their aggression and racist moods, he added.

According to the official, the given series of episodes may be a deliberate provocation, initiated by British football clubs’ representatives, who want to keep ‘big football’ within the Western Europe.

Read more

As well Poland’s Foreign office has responded to the video:

“One could not find there the statements of foreign experts regarding the field of security,” Bosacki said.

“No one turned to the foreign ministry, or the Polish Police,” he said.

Similarly, Bosacki rejected England player Sol Campbell’s claim that black football fans “could come back in a coffin” if they attend the tournament.

Meanwhile, PL.2012, the official Polish body charged with organising the event, has invited Mr Campbell to Poland.

“We have invited Sol Campbell to come to the European Championships, so that he csn get to know our country, and then he will be fully entitled to express opinions about Poland,” said Mikolaj Piotrowski, communications director for Pl.2012.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk has already pledged that “nobody who comes to Poland will be in any danger because of their race.”

Read more

Soccer star Andriy Shevchenko also came out to defend Ukraine:

"We don’t have a real problem here about racism.” Shevchenko told the BBC.
"The country’s very quiet and people are very friendly.
Campbell claimed that Uefa should have researched the threat thoroughly before sanctioning Poland and Ukraine as hosts of such an important tournament.

But Shevchenko believes that Euro 2012 will pass without any such incidents.
"I know the country did everything to make this competition very good," he continued.
"I know how much work the country tried to do: airports, in streets, stadium in the last five years.
"We never have heard problems about racism."
Former Arsenal player Oleg Luzhny, who has represented Ukraine 52 times, supported counterpart Shevchenko’s comments.
"No, no, no, I never heard about this. We have Nigerian players…and I never heard about racism," Luzhny added.

Read more

I would recommend giving the video a watch and decide for yourselves.

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