IOC President Thomas Bach says Ukraine's victory in the women's biathlon relay was the standout moment of the Sochi Olympics, a powerful symbol of unity during the country's bloody political crisis.

Bach says in an interview with The Associated Press that the team's gold medal performance in the 4x6-kilometer race was "really an emotional moment."

After days of deadly anti-government protests in Kiev, the Ukrainian women earned the country's first gold medal in a Winter Games in two decades.

Bach praised the Ukrainian athletes who felt a "responsibility" to stay in Sochi and continue to compete for the country despite the crisis back home.

Bach says "mourning on one hand, seeing your capital burning, and feeling this responsibility, and then winning the gold medal, this really stands out for me."