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Politics

Published on February 24th, 2014 | by Flipside

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Chaos in Ukraine as Great Britain finish above them in Sochi Winter Olympics

There was anarchy in Ukraine this weekend as protesters took to the streets enraged at their country’s dismal performance in Sochi, which saw them finish behind Britain in the medal count at this year’s Winter Olympics games.

Outside commentators thought that after finishing 3rd in last year’s Eurovision Song Contest, a walloping 16 places above Great Britain, President Yanukovych had finally firmly consolidated his political position as head of the former Soviet satellite state of Ukraine. However, following their almost criminal performance in Sochi, only winning one gold and one bronze medal, the country descended into turmoil over the weekend.

Britain, where it once snowed, tends to fair poorly at the Winter Olympics, instead relying on international success in football and cricket to bolster national sporting pride. Finishing above the UK has become a yardstick for sporting nations at the Winter Olympic Games and failing to do so is widely regarded as unacceptable.

At this year’s games however, Great Britain came away with an unprecedented total of 4 medals, including one gold and one silver, finishing above Ukraine. Their success was largely down to Lizzy Yarnold whose gold in the Skelton, a type of human tobogganing hugely popular in her native Kent, catapulted the British into 19th in the medal count table.

As the shock of having finished behind Great Britain sunk in, people quickly took to the streets of Ukraine demanding change. President Yanukovych has rather half-heartedly attempted to pacify growing opposition by claiming that Ukraine’s gold in Biathlon, a sport contested by a team of four, should be counted as four separate gold medals. The International Olympic Committee (IOC), as well as a rather angry gentleman in Kiev wearing a balaclava wielding a baseball bat at a group of nearby fascists, disagreed.

The situation in Ukraine remains uncertain with the most recent reports coming out of the country indicating that the President has fled. Only time will tell how they recover from their humiliating Olympic performance, but if history is anything to go by the future for Ukraine looks far from bright. With Great Britain finishing three places above Yugoslavia in the 1984 Winter Olympics, many at the time did not foresee the ethnic cleansing of Bosnia that would later ensue.

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