Ukraine, a former Soviet Republic, is undergoing a crisis in the capital of Kiev, where scores were killed this week while protesting the government's leanings toward Russia rather than the European Union. In the same week snipers shot protestors in Kiev, a team of biathletes shot expertly at targets in Sochi and skied its way to an unexpected gold medal.
It was Ukraine's first winter gold medal since parentless 16-year-old Oksana Baiul beat Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding at the 1994 Olympics and won the country's first Olympic gold. During the postrace news conference, the biathletes wore black arm bands (against IOC rules) and called for a moment of silence for those killed back home in Kiev.
Ukraine Olympic Committee president and former Soviet gold medalist pole vaulter Sergey Bubka watched and listened with tears in his eyes.
"This is a message for a better future," Bubka said. "What can be a better message for the people? We need this moment."
We all do. We need those moments to remind us that while terrible things can happen everywhere, wonderfully inspiring things always happen at the Olympics, whatever our fears, wherever they are held.
Speaking of which, Kiev is one of the finalists to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Start hyperventilating now.