UKRAINIAN TENNIS STAR ELINA SVITOLINA ON SPORTS DIPLOMACY DURING WAR - The Atlantic Council and the Women’s Foreign Policy Group (WFPG) hosted an #ACFrontPage conversation with Ukrainian tennis champion Elina Svitolina. CBS News’s Margaret Brennan moderated the discussion on the role of sports diplomacy in times of war and athletes’ efforts to strengthen Ukrainian resistance against Russian aggression.
Svitolina, Ukraine’s first-ever Olympic medalist in tennis and the first Ukrainian woman to rank in the top ten tennis players in the world, reached a career-high ranking of world number three in 2017 and is now number twenty-seven after a remarkable comeback this year.
Since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Svitolina has used her platform to raise awareness about the ongoing invasion and brutal crimes being perpetrated against Ukrainians. She has actively encouraged Russian and Belarusian players to speak out against Moscow’s war of aggression in international competitions, and she has used her appearances at Wimbledon, Roland Garros, and other tournaments as an opportunity to advocate for Ukraine. As an ambassador of the Ukrainian fundraising platform UNITED24, Svitolina continues her efforts to unite the world’s sporting community in support of her country and raise relief funds for medical supplies, defense, and civilian infrastructure damaged by Russian attacks.