Tonight there is celebration in the air. Shouts and songs declare Ukraine is the best. The pop of fireworks exploding outside my window announces the victorious end of Ukraineâ€™s first EURO2012 match.
The world predicted tonightâ€™s game would be no big deal and that Sweden would easily defeat us. They were wrong.
Iâ€™m not really a football fan (soccer for all my American friends), but I had to pull for my country in their first EURO 2012 match. So I enjoyed the game from the comfort of my couch with my roommates while eating potatoes and sausage and trying to get rid of a headache that has plagued me all day. The headache is still with me but admittedly was forgotten a couple of times as we cheered on Ukraineâ€™s football team led by the legendary Shevchenko.
Iâ€™m pretty certain the world is surprised by tonightâ€™s turnout, but in some ways Iâ€™m not.
Ukraine is accustomed to being the underdog. The history of this nation is filled with people who had to be strong to survive a world that seemed to constantly be out to defeat them. Ukrainians donâ€™t just lie down and take a beating, if they are going down it is with a fight.
Tonight in Kyiv that fight gave them a 2:1 victory over Sweden.
If I were the world I would pay more attention to this nation, and not just in the football arena. Hope is still alive in Ukraine and sheâ€™s a fighter.