A Ukrainian powerlifter-turned-soldier Oleksandr Bilokon, 32, was killed in action, Ukraine’s Greco-Roman Wrestling Federation President Vadym Kisil reported on Feb. 3.
He was the powerlifting world and European champion before joining the Ukrainian Armed Forces in March 2023.
Bilokon, Ukraine’s record holder for truck pulling, was named the strongest Ukrainian in the 95-kilogram weight category in 2020.
Kisil didn't specify where or when Bilokon was killed in action.
Vadym Gutzeit, the head of Ukraine's National Olympic Committee, reported in late 2023 that over 400 Ukrainian athletes have been killed and about 500 sports facilities have been damaged or destroyed since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on Dec. 8 that Russian and Belarusian athletes would be allowed to compete in the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris as Individual Neutral Athletes (AIN) with “strict eligibility conditions.”
Under the IOC's rules, competitors from Russia and Belarus will not be allowed to display their national flags or participate as teams.
The IOC also pledged that athletes or support personnel who have openly supported the war will not be allowed, as will anyone who has served or is affiliated with either the military or security organizations of Russia or Belarus.