Ukraine Manages To Hold Its Climbing Championships In Kyiv

For a country under constant bombardment from an invading superpower, mundane moments can feel like major victories.

So it goes with life in Kyiv, where Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine continues to cause shortages of power, water, cell service, heating, and internet.

Despite living in a country trying to survive a foreign invasion, Ukraine’s best climbers gathered in the capital this week for the 2022 Ukrainian Climbing Championship.

The competition took place on Dec. 3-6 at three locations: a new climbing facility at Dragomanov National Pedagogical University, the SPACE facility, and the FAIS Kyiv facility at the National Aviation University.


Speed, difficulty, and bouldering

The competition’s climbers competed in three categories: speed, difficulty, and bouldering, with three men and three women winners in each.

The Federation of Alpinism and Rock Climbing in Ukraine announced the winners in a series of Facebook posts this week.

Highlights from the competition included the top prize in speed climbing for Yaroslav Tkach, a student at Kremenchuk National University. In addition to his gold medal, Tkach also received the title of Honored Master of Sports of Ukraine, reported.

The climber set a new personal record (5.56 seconds), beating his colleague and world champion Danyil Boldyrev, the leader of the National Team of Ukraine, in the quarterfinals.


A protracted war

Since invading the country in February, Russia has waged a bloody war against Ukraine in a bid from President Vladimir Putin to “reclaim” a republic from the former Soviet nation.

Nearly 10 months later, Kyiv — a once-thriving European capital of 3.3 million people — struggles to maintain a semblance of normalcy. That’s become especially hard as Russia has sent waves of missiles targeting the capital’s energy grid.

As a result, many restaurants now offer alternative menus when cooking isn’t possible. Doctors perform some surgeries by flashlight. And The National Philharmonic has begun performing on a stage lit by battery-powered lanterns, The New York Times reported.

“You go to bed knowing today was bad and tomorrow could be worse,” Vlad Medyk, a 25-year-old musician, said in The NYT story.

Andrew McLemore

An award-winning journalist and photographer, Andrew McLemore brings more than 14 years of experience to his position as Associate News Editor for Lola Digital Media. Andrew is also a musician, climber and traveler who currently lives in Medellin, Colombia. When he’s not writing, playing gigs or exploring the outdoors, he’s hanging out with his dog Campana.