Ukraine Disowns an Olympic Champion Who Skated in Russia

Aug 9, 2022

As Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in February, Viktor Petrenko, one of Ukraine’s most visible Olympic champions, posted the message “NO WAR” to his Instagram account. Days later, Petrenko’s daughter said her father had been stranded in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, where he was taking shelter after returning from a commemoration of his 1992 Olympic figure skating title that had been held in his hometown, Odesa.

Petrenko appeared to be one of the many Ukrainian athletes who would defiantly serve as wartime ambassadors for their besieged nation. But since then, his standing as a champion has deteriorated in his native country.

In June, Petrenko announced his intention to leave the Ukrainian figure skating federation. A day later, he was provisionally expelled, a federation official said. And in July, Petrenko was formally ousted, and fired from his position as a vice president, after he participated in an ice show in Sochi, Russia.

Source: The New York Times