SPECIAL EPISODE: Ukrainian Gymnast Illia Kovtun & The Story Behind The Photo Seen Around The World

Blind Landing is a documentary podcast that takes listeners behind the scenes of elite sports. The series has been featured in publications like The New York Times and Rolling Stone, and was named one of The Atlantic’s Best Podcasts of 2021.

A Season 2 special episode featuring Ukrainian gymnast Illia Kovtun is now live. With unmatched courage, he has defined the epitome of perseverance and the true spirit of sport competing and winning gold on parallel bars at both the Cottbus and Doha World Cups.

The team at Blind Landing brings you Kovtun’s perspective about what it’s been like for him and his Ukrainian teammates over the past month and the story behind the controversial moment when Ivan Kuliak wore the “Z” symbol next to him at the Doha World Cup. Illia communicated in writing about what it’s been like to compete thousands of miles away from his family during the invasion of Ukraine and the story of how politics found its way onto the competition floor. “Each time we go out doing what we’re supposed to do, because we do believe our country needs it,” Kovtun wrote for the podcast.

On March 2, in an Instagram photo with his team, Kovtun captioned: “We will fight in our arena. And let’s show that Ukraine does not give up.” 

You can listen to the full episode here: Blind Landing – Ukrainian Gymnast Illia Kovtun & The Story Behind The Photo Seen Around The World

Blind Landing can be found on Apple Podcasts. Click Here to Listen!

Blind Landing is hosted by Ari Saperstein.

Photo credit: Volker Minkus/FIG

Subscribe now at www.shopinsidenation.com for our Inside Gymnastics magazine Commemorative Olympic Issue! Subscribe for 3 Years & receive an autographed MyKayla Skinner issue* or 2020 Olympic Commemorative Issue FREE! *While supplies last

Check out our New App!