- Title: Ukraine war veterans ready for Invictus Games debut
- Date: 8th August 2017
- Summary: KIEV, UKRAINE (RECENT) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF MAN WEARING SHIRT WITH INVICTUS GAMES LOGO WARMING UP BEFORE TRAINING / UKRAINE FLAG ON WALL VARIOUS OF VETERAN WITH PROSTHETIC LEG ROWING DISPLAY SCREEN OF ROWING MACHINE POWER LIFTER VASYL PASHKEVYCH POWDERING HIS HANDS AND SITTING ON EXERCISE BENCH VARIOUS OF PASHKEVYCH PUSHING WEIGHT EMBLEM ON FLAG FOR UKRAINE ARMED FORCES SPORTS CLUB (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) INVICTUS GAMES UKRAINE TEAM MEMBER IN POWER LIFTING, VASYL PASHKEVYCH, SAYING: "Yes, it means a lot to me. Moreover, I am the only one representing (Ukraine) in power lifting. There is no one except me. That's why it's a huge responsibility." VETERANS AT ARCHERY TRAINING RANGE ARROW LANDING ON TARGET VETERAN PULLING ARROW FROM SIDE OF WHEELCHAIR VETERAN SHOOTING ARROW MAN WEARING SHIRT WITH INVICTUS GAMES LOGO (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) INVICTUS GAMES UKRAINE TEAM CAPTAIN, OLEKSANDR PYSARENKO, SAYING: "(We want) to show that we deserve more, to show that Ukraine... Ukraine has been spoken about around the world for a fourth year now - (we want) to show that we are worthy people. We are not only able to fight, we can also show sporting results." VET IN WHEELCHAIR MOVING TOWARD HIS TARGET (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) INVICTUS GAMES UKRAINE TEAM MEMBER IN ARCHERY, KATERYNA MYKHAILOVA, SAYING: "After war, you close inside yourself, you do not communicate with friends with whom you communicated before the war. That's why for me it is a push to get out of this box where I closed myself." ARROWS BEING REMOVED FROM TARGET BOARD UKRAINE TEAM MEMBER PLACING ARROWS ON HIS LAP PULLED FROM TARGET BOARD (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) INVICTUS GAMES UKRAINE TEAM COACH IN ARCHERY, OLGA YAGODKINA, SAYING: "You know, there is absolutely no difference (between veteran and athletes). Well done to the guys! They train without any notice of their injuries. I would not say they are different to athletes who usually participate in competitions - normal Ukrainian competitions. They are excellent." TARGETS SWIMMING POOL VETERAN SWIMMING IN POOL VARIOUS OF COACH NEXT TO POOL SPEAKING TO SWIMMER SWIMMERS TRAINING IN POOL
- Embargoed: 22nd August 2017 11:46
- Keywords: Ukraine war veterans Invictus Games international competition Canada Toronto
- Location: KIEV, UKRAINE
- City: KIEV, UKRAINE
- Country: Ukraine
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA0016TAQKHL
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Ukraine war veterans wounded on the frontline in the country's east fighting against a separatist offensive are getting ready to compete in the Invictus Games in Canada later this year.
15 soldiers in the main team and 13 reserves have been selected to compete against peers from 17 different countries in the Games, an international paralympic-style event for military personnel wounded in action.
Training at an army gym in Kiev, former soldier Vasyl Pashkevych says representing his country in power lifting at the games holds great meaning for him.
The 28 year old, who served as a captain in the Ukraine forces, sustained heavy shrapnel wounds to his head and stomach in July 2014, in the very beginning of the separatist conflict in Luhansk and Donetsk regions.
Prior to the conflict Pashkevych had spent nine years training as a power lifter and won the title of Master of Sports. His injury on the frontline forced him to give up sports and spend nine months in rehabilitation.
All of Pashkevych's team mates have suffered injuries that have changed their lives, but not all served in eastern Ukraine.
Team captain Oleksandr Pysarenko was wounded in Iraq in 2005. He joined the team in the hope of finding new friends but also discovered the sport of indoor rowing.
Pysarenko told Reuters the games would be a chance to show the world the sporting capability of Ukrainian veterans.
The Invictus Games were created three years ago by Britain's Prince Harry, who served two deployments in Afghanistan as an officer in the British army.
The name - "Invictus" means unconquered in Latin - symbolizes the way that sport can help wounded soldiers overcome trauma suffered in combat.
The games feature sports with specially adapted rules, include archery, athletics, indoor rowing, wheelchair basketball, tennis and rugby and powerlifting.
The Games have been held twice before, in London in 2014 and in Orlando, Florida in 2016. More than 550 competitors will take part in the competition in Toronto, from Sept 23-30.
NATO bought all the flight tickets for the Ukraine team, which NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg presented to them during a visit to Kiev in July.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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