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Ukrainian skier withdraws from Olympics to protest violence


Feb. 20, 2014: Ukrainian skier Bogdana Matsotska speaks during an interview with the Associated Press at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. The International Olympic Committee said on Thursday, Feb. 20, that Matsotska is leaving the Olympics in response to the violence in her country. (AP)

A Ukrainian skier has withdrawn from the Olympics to protest the deaths of anti-government protesters in her country.

Bogdana Matsotska tells The Associated Press "I don't want to participate when in my country people die."

The 24-year-old skier is refusing to ski in Friday's slalom, her third and best event at the Sochi Olympics.

Matsotska says Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych "has to be jailed, and for a long time ... for all the lives that he took."

She says "I hope that I will be heard by the world."

Matsotska wants to join protesters in Kiev's Independence Square but says she's been unable to book a flight home.

She is remaining with her father, who coaches her, in the Olympic athletes' village in the mountains above Sochi.