Tennis player Elina Svitolina is one of the most famous Ukrainian athletes. She is concerned about what is happening in her homeland and says she is trying to help her compatriots from afar.
“It’s really hard to find words,” says a visibly agitated Elina Svitolina in an interview with “Eurosport”. She talks a lot with her family and friends in Ukraine and no one can explain how it got to this point. «Until the last moment we didn’t believe that this war would start. And then everything happened at night, »said the 27-year-old.
“Everyone is scared, everyone is heartbroken. My parents, my uncle and my aunt are right in the middle of it. I am in constant contact with them to find out what is happening and how I can help. The most painful thing is that I feel so useless. I want to help, but it’s hardly possible, »says the current world number 15.
Several cities have already been destroyed. “It’s hard to watch from the outside. But it is even worse for the people who are in Ukraine. Some of my friends currently have no water, no electricity and no food. You constantly hear shots and the noise of the planes,” Svitolina continued. “I don’t even want to imagine what the children are feeling right now.”
The tennis community needs to do more»
She does not yet know when she will return to her home country. She’s just thinking about how she can help in any way. The goal must be to gain the attention of the people and the media and to stop the war. “The tennis community has to do more,” demands Gaël Monfils’ wife. The past has shown that players can make a difference in the world if they come together and fight for a cause.
She herself decided to donate the prize money won from the upcoming tournaments in Mexico and the USA to the Ukrainian army and humanitarian aid organizations. «This is how I can help my country. I think that’s the right thing at the moment, »says the 16-time WTA tournament winner.
In an open letter, Svitolina also addressed her compatriots on social media with emotional words. «I fear for you every day. My eyes won’t stop crying, my heart won’t stop bleeding. But I am so proud to see our people, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and children, how brave and strong they are, how they fight to defend you. They are heroes,” she writes. “You are all in my thoughts and my prayers. I am Ukraine, we are Ukraine.”