In March 2022, the former German biathlete Jens Steinigen founded the support aid fund for Ukraine ‘Athletes for Ukraine’. He included many sports champions in it, who call on sponsors to help Ukraine, and above all, to publicly oppose the war as well. Today he presented the project in Pokljuka.
Steinigen is announcing a bigger campaign for the World Cup next week in Ruhpolding, and part of the money from the fund will also be used to support young Ukrainians who have been training and living safely in Slovenia ever since the Russian aggression against their homeland.
The story with Steinigen has several interesting sides for the public and links to Rudno polje. He is a competitor who won third place in the men’s individual 20-kilometer race at the inaugural World Cup in Pokljuka in 1992/93. His greatest success is the Olympic champion title from Albertville in 1992.
It is interesting to see who supports the ‘Athletes for Ukraine’ project. The list includes French biathlon champion Quentin Fillon Maillet, German alpine skier Maria Höfl Riesch, biathletes Simon Schemp, Vanessa Hinz, Laura Dahlmeier, Miriam Gössner Neureuther and Denise Herrmann and many other champions.
As Steinigen points out, the main task is to help Ukraine, and above all, it is a clear sign from the athletes that they oppose any kind of war.