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Ukrainian Olympic wrestlers to train in Hammond amid Russian invasion

Posted at 2:42 PM, Jul 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-07 14:42:39-04

HAMMOND — Indiana will host Olympic athletes from Ukraine who need to relocate for training due to the ongoing armed conflict with Russia, Gov. Eric Holcomb has announced.

The country's Greco-Roman wrestling team will travel Thursday to Hammond Central High School in Hammond, where its members will train until Aug. 3, according to a news release from Holcomb's office.

“We are so happy to play our small part in providing these world-class athletes with refuge to continue their training in such a fantastic facility,” Holcomb said in a written statement. “This confirms what we have known all along — that our strongest state export has, and always will be, our Hoosier Hospitality.”

This effort is the result of a collaboration between the State, the Indiana Sports Corp, and the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority.

It started back in March when Holcomb and Indiana Secretary of State Brad Chambers met with the Ambassador to Ukraine at the Ukrainian embassy in Washington, D.C. two weeks after Russia invaded the country.

During the team's three-week stay, athletes will have joint training sessions and meetings with local wrestlers. The SSCVA is coordinating offsite experiences, including a welcome reception.

"Northwest Indiana and the SSCVA are honored to be hosting the Ukrainian Olympic athletes," said David Uran, President and CEO of the SSCVA. "This is a fantastic opportunity for the region to extend our Hoosier hospitality while we assist these athletes to reach their Olympic dreams."

The Ukrainian Olympic Grego-Roman wrestling team ranked third at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, garnering a gold medal in the 87 kg weight category, a silver medal in the 67 kg weight category and winning fifth place in the 60 kg weight category.

The costs of travel and arrangement for the athletes and coaches were covered through a grant provided to the Indiana Sports Corp by the Indian Economic Development Corporation.