Bronze medal winner Ilia Burov, of the Russian Olympic Committee, left, hugs silver medal winner Ukraine's Oleksandr Abramenko as they celebrate after the men's aerials finals at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, in Zhangjiakou, China. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

BEIJING (AP) — In idealistic terms, the Olympics are a time for nations to cast aside politics and conflict. This year's Beijing Games, against a backdrop of human rights concerns and the latest Russian doping scandal, have challenged those values.

And yet there are occasional hints that the Olympic spirit lives on.

Perhaps none of these has been more poignant than the embrace shared Wednesday night between Russian and Ukrainian athletes at the freestyle skiing mean's aerial final.

Associated Press Photographer Gregory Bull captured the moment when bronze medal winner Ilia Burov, of the Russian Olympic Committee, hugged silver medalist Oleksandr Abramenko of Ukraine.

With Russia's troop buildup along its border with Ukraine fueling global fears of an imminent invasion, a celebratory moment between two friends takes on added symbolism.


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