Sergey Bubka claims to have had sleepless nights as he looks to provide aid to Ukrainian athletes ©Getty Images

International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Sergey Bubka has urged Ukraine's athletes to keep competing in sport despite the ongoing invasion of the country by Russia and Belarus.

In his role as President of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Ukraine, Bubka has been tasked by the IOC with coordinating all aspects of humanitarian assistance provided by the Olympic Movement to Ukrainian sport.

"Our athletes can inspire others by showing the resilience of the Ukrainian people and help send a message of solidarity and peace," said Bubka.

"The recent amazing performances by the Ukrainian Paralympians who won the second highest number of medals at the Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing, are a good example of this.

"The International Federations and NOCs understand this too and have been amazing by going above and beyond to welcome Ukrainian athletes and facilitate their participation in international sports events."

The Seoul 1988 gold medallist claims to have been in close contact with Ukraine's Minister of Youth and Sport Vadym Huttsait who is said to be increasingly appreciative of the solidarity efforts from the global sporting community.

He has also encouraged athletes to keep competing on behalf of the Ukrainian Government.

"Despite the difficult conditions, our athletes continue to train," said Bubka.

"They are showing the strength of their spirit and are dedicated to winning.

"We also want Ukrainian athletes to participate in international sports competitions.

The IOC has tasked Sergey Bubka with coordinating humanitarian efforts for Ukraine from the sporting community ©Getty Images
The IOC has tasked Sergey Bubka with coordinating humanitarian efforts for Ukraine from the sporting community ©Getty Images

"We want them to have the chance to win.

"We want to see our flag and to hear our anthem at all sports venues around the world."

Bubka reports that his days are spent in constant communication with NOCs and International Federations in an attempt to get help for Ukraine's athletes and sports movement.

"We have been putting all our energy in the task that was given to us," said Bubka.

"I spend my entire day in meetings and on the phone.

"I can have dozen of calls in as many minutes.

"I sometimes fall asleep at midnight with the phone in my hand.

"But like all Ukrainians, every day I struggle to sleep.

"So, I wake up again at three in the morning and turn back to my phone to make more calls and exchange messages with family, friends, athletes and others in our sports community.

"I sometimes take sleeping pills, but they only get me another couple of hours until sleep is interrupted again.

"Our hope is that we can help as many Ukrainian athletes and Ukrainian people as possible."

In spite of the difficult circumstances faced by athletes from the country, Ukraine's Paralympic team finished second in the overall medal table during the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics.

Ukraine's final tally was 11 gold, 10 silver and eight bronze medals.