A Kharkiv officer from a special operations division of the National Guard of Ukraine won bronze at the national selection of the Invictus Games 2018, during finals, taking place in Kyiv, May 13.
Overall, 172 wounded soldiers and veterans competed in eight sports, including running, cycling, rowing on simulators, powerlifting, swimming, broad jump, archery and shotput to join the national team at the International Invictus Games. The Kharkivite ran 1.5 kilometers for 4.35 minutes.
Oleksander, nicknamed Levsha (Ukrainian: Left-handed), says he was happy to get a proposal from the head coach to take part in the Invictus Games and he immediately agreed.
“I have always loved sports and worked out since the age of 5. I played football, ran and took part in regional competitions,” says Oleksander.
Since 2014 the officer has served in the special forces. He took part in war operations in Donbas. The serviceman was injured twice, not too severely though. One of the wounds was inflicted during Debaltsevo operation, the bullet broke a phalanx of his toe.
In the summer the winners will be selected to join the national team, which will represent Ukraine at Invictus Games 2018 in Sydney, Australia this fall. Injured war heroes from all over the world will compete at the tournament.
Reference: The Invictus Games is an international adaptive multi-sport event, created by Prince Henry of Wales, known as Harry, for wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and veterans. The first competition took place in London, UK, in March 2014. Ukraine first took part in the Invictus Games 2017 in Toronto, Canada, as a NATO ally in peacekeeping operations and due to the war in the east of Ukraine. Ukrainian athletes won 14 medals in Toronto.
Text: Olena Sokolynska
Photo: National Guard