Vladyslav Heraskevych, who became Ukraine’s most famous Olympian in 2022 because of the anti-war sign he held in front of a television camera days before Russia invaded his country, feels the guilt come in waves.
They are especially powerful when the bad news from the front lines reaches him, as it did last month, when he learned that his friend and teammate at the Youth Olympic Games, figure skater Dmytro Sharpar, died in combat near Bakhmut. Sharpar was 25.
Days later, another top Ukrainian athlete, decathlon champion Volodymyr Androshchuk, also died in fighting near Bakhmut. He was 22.
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