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Ukrainian Olympians take moment of silence with gold

12:00 AM, Feb 22, 2014   |    comments
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The Ukraine team hold up the Ukranian flag after the women's 4x6km relay biathlon during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Center. Andrew P. Scott-USA TODAY Sports

SOCHI-- Sochi is just over 800 miles from Kiev, Ukraine. It's a five hour flight Olympian Bogdana Matsotska wishes she could book. She can't. She remains in Russia but refuses to compete. 

"I don't want to participate when in my country, people die," she told reporters. The 24-year-old was scheduled to compete in her third and best event, the slalom, on Friday. 

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She wanted to leave Sochi immediately and join protesters, but was unable to book a flight. 

While Motsotska dropped out in protest, another group of women won Ukraine's first gold medal in a Winter Olympics in two decades. The women finished first in the 4x6 km relay biathlon on Friday. 

One of the athletes, Olena Pidhrushna, asked for a moment of silence after the win. "We dedicate this victory to the whole of Ukraine," she said.

Pole vaulting great Sergei Bubka is now head of the Ukraine National Olympic Committee said they would not be celebrating the win.

"We will not celebrate because it's not time for celebration, we will be peaceful it's a very sad moment for our nations and our team belong to the nation, we're all together," Bubka told reporters. 

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