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Ukrainian biathlete pulls out of event at Paralympics after father captured by Russian forces | CBC Sports

Ukrainian biathlete pulls out of event at Paralympics after father captured by Russian forces | CBC Sports

Ukrainian biathlete Anastasiia Laletina was forced to pull out of the women’s sitting middle distance event at the Beijing Winter Paralympics on Tuesday after her father was captured by Russian forces, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Paralympic Committee.

“Her father is a soldier in the Ukrainian army and [was taken] prisoner by Russian soldiers. They beat him,” said Ukrainian Paralympic team spokeswoman Nataliia Harach, to AFP News.

The spokeswoman told Reuters they had no further details on his capture.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last month, which Moscow describes as a “special operation” to disarm the country, prompted the International Paralympic Committee to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from the Games.

Belarus has been a key staging area for Russian troops.

The spokeswoman said that the 19-year-old Laletina was still in Zhangjiakou, China — the venue for the cross-country skiing and biathlon events — and will fly out to Poland with the rest of contingent at the end of the Games.

Despite the initial uncertainty around their participation, Ukraine continued to collect medals at the Games on Wednesday by winning a silver and bronze in cross-country skiing. They are third in the table, where the ranking is based on gold medals won, behind hosts China and Canada.

WATCH | Russian, Belarusian athletes barred from Beijing Paralympics:

Russian, Belarusian athletes banned from Winter Paralympics

Organizers of the Winter Paralympics have reversed course and expelled athletes from Russia and Belarus. The about-face came less than 24 hours after the International Paralympic Committee announced it would allow Russians and Belarusians to compete, but only as neutral athletes. 3:57

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Retired Milwaukee photographer captured community, big events

Retired Milwaukee photographer captured community, big events

The sound of a camera clicking brings excitement to photographer Robert Bell. 

“It’s like a machine gun,” Bell said. 

Robert Bell has been firing off rounds of film for much of his adult life. He used his passion to capture community and monumental Milwaukee events for decades. 

“I used to work for the Milwaukee Times, Milwaukee Courier and I just went at it,” Bell said. “What I like about those jobs is I was in the mix and being in the mix, I was taking pictures of history.

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Hundreds of photographs line the walls of Bell’s home studio. From local political leaders to former First Lady Michelle Obama and Former President Barack Obama on the campaign trail. 

“I was at one of Barack Obama’s affairs. He was shaking hands and I went snap snap snap the picture and I caught him,” Bell said. 

The retired photographer is grateful for the adventures. 

“I learned from people, and I met a lot of people when I took those pictures. It was a reward to me,” he said. 

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Most photographers capture moments. Robert Bell captured life’s bigger picture. Finding joy in the journey.  

“Once you find that enjoyment, just do it and do it the best you can,” Bell said. “It’s not all about the money. It’s just being able to take pictures.”