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Ukraine goes for gold in Olympics

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July 19, 2012, 11:10 p.m. | None — by Denis Rafalsky

A general view of the Tower Bridge decorated with the Olympic ring symbol, in central London, on July 15, as Britain prepares for the beginning of the Olympic Games. The London 2012 Olympic Games will begin on July 27.
© AFP

Denis Rafalsky

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On July 27, when the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games is held, 245 Ukrainian athletes will start competing for medals in 28 events.

The first ones to shoot are Ukrainian archers, who will contend in individual competitions. Among them is Viktor Ruban, a gold winner at the 2008 Beijing games and a bronze medalist at Athens in 2004. 

Serhiy Bubka, president of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine, has high hopes for medals in London but superstitiously never predicts how many. “I want to have luck coming to our side,” Bubka says. 

Kyiv has its place in Olympics history as the venue for soccer during the 1980 Moscow Games.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych is likely to attend the London Games.

By Aug. 12, when the XXX Olympiad is over, Ukraine is expected to add to its total of 96 medals in four Summer Games, including 28 gold medals – six of which were won by gymnasts.

Here’s the medal totals:

Here are some of Ukraine’s glories:

Yana Klochkova is nicknamed “golden fish” for winning four Olympic swimming golds, the most of any Ukrainian athlete (AFP)
This year’s flag bearer for Ukraine at the London Olympics is a 28-year-old judoist Roman Gontyuk (UNAIN)
Former gymnastic and current societal darling Liliya Podkopaieva won two gold medals (AP)
Great Soviet and Ukrainian pole vaulter Serhiy Bubka carried the nation’s flag during the opening ceremony in Atlanta, while sailor Yevgen Braslavets did so in Sydney, swimmers Denys Silantiev in Athens and Yana Klochkova in Beijing (UNIAN)

In Ukraine, state-run First National TV channel will broadcast the London Games. The opening ceremony will start at 9 p.m. (11 p.m. Kyiv time). Ukraine marches between Uganda and United Arab Emirates in the ceremonies.

Kyiv Post staff writer Denys Rafalsky can be reached at rafalsky@kyivpost.com

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