Sunday, December 12, 2004

Klitschko wins it for Ukraine

Yesterday Vitali Klitschko defeated Denny Williams for the WBC heavyweight title.
I'm by no means a boxing fan normally would have never considered watching it, let alone paying my 15$ to see it live. This is what made me change my mind:

"What happens in Ukraine is very close to us, because our family and our friends all live in Ukraine," he says. "It is very painful to read some news and the way they speak about Ukraine like it is a poor country. I wish for my country, for my people, for my children and the next generation a great future, and I support the democratic way. I support consolidation of Ukraine into the European Union. That is why I support Yushchenko."

(Klitschko speaks at the press conference prior to the fight).

And those who prefer to see the current conflict in Ukraine as the struggle between 'russian' East and 'ukrainian' West. Klitscko is from Kyiv and his Ukrainian is probably worse than his English (or German). I heard a story that one of the Klitsckos (I don't remember which one) was asked to do an ad for Ukrainian TV, in Ukrainian. After a couple of unsuccessful attemtpst to say the required phrase, he begged to stop the torture.
I was thrilled to see the media guys asking Vitalii questions regarding Ukraine's political situation. They're in the boxing bussiness, Ukraine? Where's it? in Russia?
This is one of the long term reprecussions of the Orange Revolution: Ukraine has been put on the world map in its own right, not as "a former part of Russia".


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