The Underdog Wins!

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 Ukraine’s first EURO2012 match.

The world predicted tonight’s game would be no big deal and that Sweden would easily defeat us. They were wrong.

I’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 Ukraine’s football team led by the legendary Shevchenko.

I’m pretty certain the world is surprised by tonight’s turnout, but in some ways I’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 don’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 she’s a fighter.