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Ukrainian Athletes In Silent Sochi Protest

The athletes covered their medals as a gesture in protest at the turmoil in their country.
Some members of Ukraine's Paralympic team competing at the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia have staged a "silent protest" against the turmoil in their country by covering their medals during award ceremonies.

Ukraine's cross-country skiing relay team covered their silver medals as Russian rivals collected their gold medals at a ceremony on March 15.

Ukrainian team official Nataliya Harach said, "It is a silent protest fighting for peace for everyone…because the situation in Ukraine did not change."

Under Paralympic rules, athletes are prohibited from expressing political messages on the podium.

"If we demonstrate some way else, if we say something, it will not be in the rules of the International Paralympic Committee," Harach said, "So we try to do a silent protest and because we don't want any disqualifications."

Based on reporting by AP