2008 Olympic champion Olga Kharlan told how her attitude to competitions has changed after the start of a full-scale Russian-Ukrainian war.
“Now it’s generally difficult to win this victory, and when you get it, it’s triple happiness. This is not for you, this is for the country, parents, for the soldiers who protect us, I always think about them.
When they told me that we were being greeted by soldiers from the front line, who are now on the first line of the front, watching our final, I just sat there and cried, because I could not believe it. I am very grateful that they take the time to look, grateful for what they do. “Bronze” for us was like “gold”.
Firstly, this is the first team award since 2018, because now we are not in a good position, trying to go ahead and get to the Paris Olympics. We didn’t get to Tokyo because it was a blow for us. It was a symbolic medal for us.
We also started working with a new coach, he is not Ukrainian, but Italian. This is generally something new for us, a new school, it’s cool. I believe that such changes will benefit us. I want a little more victories, medals, I want to go to Paris. In general, you just want to fence for your own pleasure, because now you are fighting with your emotions, with the world, with everything, ”said Harlan.