Youth Olympic boxing medalist killed fighting for Ukraine

The boxer-turned-soldier was reportedly serving in the occupied eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk region when he died.

By: Karim Zidan | 2 months ago
Youth Olympic boxing medalist killed fighting for Ukraine
Photo by Alex Chan Tsz Yuk/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A Ukrainian boxer who was a medalist at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games was killed while fighting for Ukraine during Russia’s ongoing invasion.

Maksym Galinichev was reportedly serving in the occupied eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk region when he died.

“On March 10, silver medalist of the 2018 Youth Olympics Maksym Galinichev laid down his life for independent Ukraine,” Ukrainian skeleton racer Vladyslav Heraskevych wrote on Twitter. “Glory to hero.”

Galinichev won a silver medal at the Buenos Aires 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games. He also gold at the EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships.

The 22-year-old reportedly refused to take part in last year’s European Boxing Confederation (EUBC) Men’s European Boxing Championships in Armenia in order to join his country’s armed forces. His death marks the latest in a number of Ukrainian athletes who have died since Russia launched its invasion in February 2022.

In March 2022, a kickboxing champion and member of the controversial Azov regiment, an ultra-nationalist unit of the National Guard of Ukraine that includes neo-Nazis, was while fighting Russian forces in Mariupol. Three months later, Ukrainian boxer Oleg Prudky was killed while fighting in the war.

Over the past few months, the Boxing Federation of Ukraine has barred its athletes from competing in tournaments featuring Russian and Belarusian athletes. Most recently, the federation opted not to send any athletes to the International Boxing Association (IBA) Women’s World Championships.

Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee is considering readmitting Russian and Belarusian athletes to international competitions as neutral.

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About the author
Karim Zidan
Karim Zidan

Karim Zidan is a investigative reporter and feature writer focusing on the intersection of sports and politics. He has written for BloodyElbow since 2014 and has served as an associate editor since 2016. He also writes for The New York Times and The Guardian. Karim has been invited to speak about his work at numerous universities, including Princeton, and was a panelist at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival and the Oslo Freedom Forum. He also participated in the United Nations counter-terrorism conference in 2021. His reporting on Ramzan Kadyrov’s involvement in MMA, much of which was done for Bloody Elbow, has led to numerous award nominations, and was the basis of an award-winning HBO Real Sports documentary.

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