On the eve of the Day of Physical Culture and Sport, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with the winners of the 3rd European Games, where the Ukrainian national team secured third place in the overall team rankings.
Congratulating the athletes, the Head of State said that Ukraine's great victory consists of triumphs in various spheres, including significant sporting achievements.
"Every time the Ukrainian flag is raised thanks to your victories, there is a feeling of great respect and pride. I want to thank you on behalf of all Ukrainians who have the opportunity to feel this. Because the flag is raised to the top. It means a moment of victory," the President said.
Zelenskyy said that Ukrainian athletes serve as an example for children who aspire to emulate them.
"You are a significant source of motivation for the Ukrainian nation and an integral part of homeland's pride. And an essential component of the great victory for which we are fighting, working, and winning," he said.
As the President assured, the Ukrainian state will continue to support athletes and, despite numerous challenges, will not neglect sports.
"Sports, physical culture, physical education, your educators, coaching staff – you are Ukraine's priority," he said.
Zelenskyy wished Ukrainian athletes victories on the sports fields, and the entire Ukrainian nations – victories in the war against the Russian aggressor.
The President presented state awards to 18 athletes who achieved high results at the 3rd European Games in Krakow this summer.
In particular, the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise, 4th class, from the hands of the Head of State was awarded to Olha Kharlan, Olympic champion, champion of the 3rd European Fencing Games.
She said that all the national team's members are glad that today they can train, perform, glorify our country, raise the Ukrainian flag and do everything possible to make the Anthem of Ukraine heard by the whole world. Kharlan thanked those who made this possible, in particular, the Armed Forces and all defenders of Ukraine.
Zelenskyy also presented the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise, 5th class, to champion and bronze medalist of the European Shooting Games Olena Kostevych and Muaythai champion Igor Liubchenko.
Muaythai champion Oleg Primachev was also awarded with the Order of Merit, 1st class.
Primachev thanked the President of Ukraine for supporting the Ukrainian military on the front lines with his presence. He also handed Zelenskyy a Ukrainian flag with the signatures of soldiers from one of the Special Forces units.
In addition, the Head of State presented the champions of the 3rd European Games with Orders of Merit, 2nd and 3rd classes, and the orders of Princess Olga, 1st and 3rd classes.