Feb. 20 - Ukrainian skier Bogdana Matsotska says she cannot compete at he 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games while her compatriots are dying at home. Nathan Frandino reports.
The slopes of Sochi are far from the violence of Ukraine. But for Olympic skier Bogdana Matsotska, the turmoil in her homeland is just a phone call away. Now she's withdrawing from Friday's slalom competition. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN ALPINE SKIER, BOGDANA MATSOTSKA, SAYING: "My friends are there at the Maidan, people I know, close friends of mine. To go on the start line when people are dying and when the authorities broke the main rule of the Olympic competition, which is peace, I simply cannot do it." At the Olympic village, Ukrainian flags hanging on balconies now feature black ribbons to mark the violence. Ukrainian team officials and some athletes also hold a minute of silence. Matsotska says she didn't mean for politics to enter the Olympics but had no choice. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN ALPINE SKIER, BOGDANA MATSOTSKA, SAYING: "I am not a political person I am totally out of politics and political parties, but I stand against these horrible actions that Yanukovich and his government are taking against our Ukrainian people. I don't want to enter the competition under such terrible circumstances." This was to be the 25-year-old's second Olympics.