I wrote about the planning for Euro 2012 when I lived in Staroblesk, Ukraine, 2009-2011, expressing some worry about whether or not the new stadiums and roads would be finished, and voicing the hope that the games would shed a good light on the country I came to love, its people, culture, built and natural environment, and traditions.
|Photos by Vasyl Stefurak, Kyiv day and night (stadium & moon), |
and at the games.
Ukraine did not win its game, and there remains some controversy about a goal that was not counted, but I think the country is earning some accolades. A soccer-loving friend here in my hometown, who is watching every game, said the stadiums, the cities and the Ukrainian people look beautiful, the women with garlands of flowers in their hair, the men painted, all enthusiastic fans. Those of us who love Ukraine want it to grow and shine. So far, the games are helping build a sense of pride, unity, and hope for the future. ура украина!