Olga is, unfortunately, a timely film with a background of Ukrainians fighting for their freedom against pro-Russian forces.
Olga is a 15-year-old Ukrainian gymnast whose mother is a journalist covering the rising protests against the regime of Russian puppet president Viktor Yanukovych. Olga is recruited to try out for the Swiss national team because her late father was Swiss. She hates to leave her mother, Ilona (Tanya Mikhina), and her friends, particularly her best friend, fellow gymnast Sasha (Sabrina Rubtsova), but her mother urges her to take advantage of this opportunity.
As soon as Olga begins training in Switzerland, it becomes clear that she can play an important role in leading the Swiss team at the European Championships and perhaps even the 2016 Olympics. Other Swiss gymnasts are resentful of her arrival. Olga also has to deal with the normal angst experienced by 15-year-olds.
Meanwhile, back home in Kyiv in November 2013, Yanukovych refuses to sign a negotiated agreement to bring Ukraine closer economic ties with the European Union, preferring to align more closely with Vladimir Putin and the Russian government. Protesters begin demonstrating in Maidan Square. Olga’s mother becomes involved, as does Sasha. Increasingly panicked, Olga eventually learns that her mother has been badly beaten by Yanukovych’s forces. In order to compete for Switzerland, Olga must renounce her Ukrainian citizenship. Torn between her chance for Olympic glory and the emotional pull of her country’s fight for freedom, Olga is forced, at age 15, to make an extremely important decision.
It is worth noting that director Elie Grappe chose actual gymnasts to play many of the parts, rather than professional actresses. Anastasia Budiashkina, who plays Olga, represented Ukraine at the 2016 junior European Championships. Caterina Barloggio, who plays one of the Swiss gymnasts, in real life won a silver medal on the uneven bars at the 2019 Swiss Championships.