Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina She has a “mission” to help her country and states that she wants to use her platform to give hope to a war-torn country.
A 27-year-old woman who returns to Ukraine and regularly contacts her family and friends is taking a break from tennis to focus on raising funds and recognizing her country’s plight.
“It’s very difficult because they are [her family] Tell them the story, “Svitolina said. CNN sports..
“I talk to my grandmother every day and know her feelings. It’s very difficult for her because it’s most important for the elderly to live a daily life and now in my hometown of Odessa. Because there are a lot of bombings and shootings.
“It’s important to keep in touch with her every day to support her in every way I can.
“Equally one of the most important things is to maintain their spirit.”
Svitolina was born in Odesa, a strategically important port city. Blockade By Russian troops since the invasion.
Later, when he was 12, he moved to Kharkiv and was helpless when he saw the fierce battles that continued to shake the eastern cities.
16-year-old Svitolina left Ukraine to pursue sports ambitions, but always kept her country in mind. She is proud of her roots and her smile as she recalls her moments of her childhood that helped her build her strong bond with Ukraine.
She is now turning that love on herself Foundation -This encourages children to learn life lessons through tennis-and UNITED24An organization founded by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to raise funds for medicine, defense, and ultimately the reconstruction of national infrastructure.
Svitolina was recently appointed ambassador and spoke with Zelensky. Zelensky united the sports world and left it to her to maintain her consciousness.
“It was one of the most stressful moments for me, and it wasn’t too stressful to enter the tennis court,” said Svitolina, the great Andriy Shevchenko of Ukraine’s football world, the president and her fellow ambassador. Talked about the zoom call with.
“But he was very kind and his speech was very motivating. […] What he does requires a lot of courage.
“He explained what Ukraine really needs these days and how he sees the current situation in Ukraine. He is still very motivated, loves Ukraine and our country. Will die for.
“And this is definitely what all Ukrainians are looking for for this kind of person who devotes his life to the country.”
Although still in its infancy, she says Svitolina has already planned an event later this year, especially in the tennis community, and the Foundation has given her a clear purpose.
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There was some light in the dark. Svitolina learns that she was pregnant shortly before her invasion began and expects her baby with her partner and fellow tennis player Gael Monfils.
It’s a break from the sport she was trying to keep playing, alongside the mental fatigue caused by the aggression.
“It was a pretty stressful few months at first, but yeah, I’m feeling much better,” she said.
“Of course, I’m very sad about what’s happening and I know how many people died because of the aggression.
“It makes me so sad. That’s why I’m trying to focus a bit on my foundation, UNITED24, and have a mission that I can help anyway.”
She has no motivation to return to tennis yet, but has a long-term goal of representing her country at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
She knows how much it is possible to unify the sport in times of such heartache and difficulty, perhaps more than in most cases, as shown by the Ukrainian football team. Powerful World Cup qualifying campaign.
“For fairness, I don’t 100% understand what’s really happening in Ukraine, so it’s very important for people to provide some different kind of information,” she said. rice field.
“It’s very hard for people to go through hell every day. For those who are still in Ukraine, they are mentally struggling.
“A lot of things are happening and they are already experiencing a lot, so I think it will bring something different. I think it will bring them joy.”