Ukrainian Michigan grad, gymnast stands strong with natives back home

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Alan Gerdov is a graduate student at Michigan and a gymnast. He also is the son of Ukrainian parents who feared religious persecution and fled their homeland when it was controlled by the Soviet Union.

Gerdov and his two older siblings know well the story of their parents, when young 24-year-olds Gregory and Lyudmila, realized in 1989 they could not raise children in an anti-Semitic environment. They forfeited their Soviet citizenship and eventually arrived in the United States under refugee status.