Olympic Person of the Month March 2022
Amidst a time of sorrow and injustice, the world has managed to unify through their understanding of peace, solidarity, and internationalism. One of the optimistic and resilient individuals who has shown strength for the people of Ukraine, especially the persons with disabilities, is Valeriy Sushkevych. The EOA has chosen him as the Olympic Person of the month of March in 2022 for his devotion to making miracles happen for the Paralympic athletes of Ukraine in the Beijing Paralympics 2022.
Sushkevych, born 14 June 1954 in Tarascha, Kiev Oblast (USSR), allocates his time between being a Ukrainian politician, as well as the face of the disabled athletes in Ukraine. As a person with disabilities himself, who has moved in a wheelchair since childhood, Shushkevych fully appreciates and recognizes the need to have a well-represented figure who will ensure the rights and pursue the legitimate interests of persons with disabilities. This led him to become the President of the National Paralympic Committee of Ukraine where he provides a voice to those who are voiceless, and has success in this, especially in recent times.
His most honoured award was the Appointed Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2019 by a decree of President Volodymyr Zelensky. However, his brave actions to bring the Ukrainian Paralympic athletes in Beijing has influenced the world beyond the field of sports, and the EOA would like to acknowledge his valiant efforts.
Sushkevych has a consistent track record of always placing the rights and freedoms of persons with disabilities as his main priority. Whether it be athletes, or the common civilian, his involvement in politics and the sport environment has drastically improved the position of persons with disabilities in Ukrainian society. He is a role model for perseverance and diligence and has utmost respect from the EOA and the international Paralympic community!
© Photo: OIS/Thomas Lovelock
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