As a new ongoing initiative, Second Front encourages you to participate in a virtual run and raise funds for Ukraine.
We asked Olga Amelina, our volunteer and an avid runner, what motivates and inspires her about running.
Why are you running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon?
It is a great honour for me to represent my homeland, Ukraine, at the Chicago Marathon 2022.
On February 24, 2022, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of the territory of Ukraine, destroying Ukrainian cities and villages, killing, raping, and torturing the civilians. Russia is using heavy weapons and artillery prohibited by all military conventions on a large scale. The entire territory of Ukraine is under missile attacks every day, sirens are sounding all over Ukraine, and people are hiding in basements and bomb shelters.
My whole family and friends are in Ukraine. Many of my friends joined the ranks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to defend our country and our independence. This war takes the lives of many brave and humble people every day.
The world should know about what is happening in Ukraine! And I’m here to speak up about it. The war isn’t over yet. And we , Ukrainians, need your help.
Ukraine now represents the interests of the entire democratic world, and your daily support is crucial.
That’s why I’m here, with the most precious Ukrainian flag in my hands.
I call on everyone not to be silent and help Ukraine win this terrible war.
Help stop the terror that Russia has unleashed on our people.
Who or what is your running motivation and inspiration?
I am inspired by our brave Ukrainians and how they are united for the sake of victory.
I volunteer for the Second Front Ukraine Foundation – this nonprofit organization was founded by my friends in Toronto on the second day after the full-scale invasion of Russia in Ukraine.
We work 24/7, organize charity events and raise funds so that the Ukrainian army has everything necessary to bring our victory one step closer. We buy protective and medical equipment, transportation, clothing and send it to Ukraine.
This team inspires me! And the bravery of all Ukrainians: from our Armed forces to my friends and schoolmates who joined our territorial defend units.
Determined, brave, unwavering.
We must be strong and act for those on the front line protecting our homeland, those who gave their lives for our freedom, and those who continue risking their lives every single day.
What does running mean to you in your life?
I love running for many reasons. Some of them is the joy of being in the fantastic scenery, the opportunity to take part in new adventures and experiences and a getaway from my daily routine.
Running is my form of mindfulness, a sense of perspective and a special kind of meditation.
It is an honour for me to run holding the Ukrainian flag and represent my country. The Сhicago Marathon is no exception 💙 And again, I’ll proudly raise the Ukrainian flag over my head 🇺🇦
I believe that our community of runners is built by the most motivated and supportive people worldwide—people who are always ready to help. And Ukraine needs our help right now! More than ever.
Together we can help Ukrainians by showing our love through running and helping organizations like @secondfrontua, which can get all the necessary supplies and protective equipment to people in Ukraine.
Glory to Ukraine!!! #RunForUkraine