Every magazine in these days is talking about Valentyna Veretska. But who is she and what is her story?
Valentyna is a Ukrainian marathon runner, who just won this year’s Jerusalem Marathon, on Friday the 25th. She’s only 31 and she comes from the city of Mykolaiv, Ukraine. After Russia attacked her country, one month ago, she had to fled Ukraine with her eleven-year-old daughter, leaving her husband behind, to fight against the Russian army. Valentyna and her daughter found refuge in Poland. Then, she reached Israel to take part of the marathon: on Friday morning, at 6.45 a.m., she was ready to start the competition.
It was a challenging race, even because of the cold and rainy weather. But in the end, after two hours, forty-five minutes and fifty-two seconds, she crossed the finish line, draped in both Ukrainian and Israelian flags.
“It was a difficult marathon,”- she said to the journalists – “but we did it!” It was a very emotional and symbolic moment, the victory of a war refugee in a country (Israel) in which there are armed conflicts every single day. It was the union of two States who really need peace right now. Valentyna declared “It’s a big day for me. I run for peace today”. Valentyna gave the entire world a message of courage and peace and soon became the expression of a brave nation that won’t give up, but will keep fighting to defend their freedom and pursue their dreams. “One of my goals is to show all my country that we always fight. We can do it and we’ll win. I know it” – she said in the end.