The Winnipeg Jets will pay tribute to Ukraine in a unique way prior to Tuesday’s matchup against the Montreal Canadiens.
The team announced that it has invited the Hoosli Ukrainian Male Chorus to sing both the Canadian and Ukrainian national anthems prior to the game.
According to the CBC, Canada is home to one of the largest Ukrainian populations outside of Ukraine and Russia. Of that population, more than 180,000 people live in Manitoba.
“Ukrainian-Canadians in Canada, and in Manitoba in particular, are an extremely vibrant and dynamic group that have contributed a lot to the cultural, historical, political and other spheres of development of Manitoba,” Yuliia Ivaniuk, co-ordinator of the Centre for Ukrainian Canadian Studies at the University of Manitoba, told the CBC.
The Hoosli Ukrainian Male Chorus was founded more than 50 years ago at Saint Vladimir’s College, a former Catholic seminary in Roblin, Man. According to its website, the group’s founders started the chorus “to create a group that would encourage, promote, and preserve their Ukrainian heritage.”
The sports world has responded in a number of ways since Russia invaded Ukraine unprovoked last week. The International Ice Hockey Federation announced Monday that Russia and Belarus would be banned from all international competitions — including the men’s and women’s world championships this summer. The IIHF will also be re-locating December’s world junior hockey championships out of Russia in response to the invasion.
Both Hockey Canada and USA Hockey endorsed the IIHF’s decision, with Hockey Canada adding that the two countries would also not be permitted to participate in any non-IIHF international events hosted on Canadian soil.
The NHL announced that it would be ending business agreements and shutting down its Russian-language websites and social media platforms. The league said that it will not consider Russia as a location for any future NHL competitions.
“We also remain concerned about the well-being of the players from Russia, who play in the NHL on behalf of their NHL Clubs, and not on behalf of Russia,” the league statement added. “We understand they and their families are being placed in an extremely difficult position.”
On the fifth day of Russia’s invasion, here’s how the sports world responded
Since Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 23, sports federations, as well as athletes, have weighed in on the conflict. Here’s what you need to know about what was said and enacted on Monday, the fifth day of the war.
• FIFA and EUFA announced that they have suspended all Russian teams from international competition in response to the invasion, changing course after their initial sanctions against the country and its allies were widely chastised as being insufficient.
• The International Ice Hockey Federation has suspended Russia and Belarus from every age category in international play until further notice.
• Canada Soccer said it would not compete at any level against Russia “until sovereignty and territorial integrity are restored.” Canada Basketball followed suit, saying it “stands in solidarity with Ukrainians.”
• The International Olympic Committee “strongly urged” sports federations and event organizers to not invite or allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in international competitions, in a decisive recommendation that comes as the 2022 Paralympic Games are set to begin.
• Wayne Gretzky lamented the human toll of the ongoing crisis while zeroing in on what Edmonton, the host of the upcoming world juniors tournament, can do to make a difference.