Country that terrorizes our people terrorizes sports too – fencer Olha Kharlan
Ukrainian fencer Olha Kharlan said she "screamed in pain" after the decision of the judges to disqualify her at the World Championships, but "began to revive" after the support from the warriors.
"Your messages, your stories, your support, everyone's support, personal support from our fighters protecting us... When I hear that I motivate them, it's impossible to convey. I thank each of you. I thank every fighter who protects us" she said in a video address circulated on Thursday.
On Thursday afternoon, multiple world champion Kharlan refused to shake hands with a Russian fencer who competed under a neutral flag, for which she was disqualified.
"What happened today gives a lot of questions, but at the same time a lot of answers. You understood that a country that terrorizes our state, our people, our families, also terrorizes sports. Since what happened today should have been happen," she said.
"I didn't want to shake hands with this athlete, and I acted with my heart. Therefore, when I heard that they wanted to remove me from the competition, disqualify me and give me a black card, it killed me so much that I screamed in pain. But then I began to revive," she also said.
According to her, "no one can ever be forced into peace. Ukrainians personally. Never. No handshake. Never. And I probably understand, and how everyone in this world, in an adequate world, understands that the rules must change. Since the world is changing."
"But what I feel from all of you is beyond words. I thank everyone. I feel everything in my heart. Glory to Ukraine!" Kharlan said.
As reported, the International Fencing Federation (FIE) disqualified Ukrainian Kharlan after she refused to shake hands with Russian fencer Anna Smirnova.