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Sergei Bubka

     Serhiy Nazarovych Bubka is a former Ukrainian pole vaulter, born on 4 December 1963 in Voroshilovgrad (now Luhans'k), Ukrainian SSR,Soviet Union. Bubka was a track-and-field athlete in the 100-meter dash and the long jump, but became a world-class champion only when he turned to the pole vault. Until the dissolution of the USSR in late 1991, Bubka competed for Soviet teams and then for Ukraine.

     Sergey Bubka started competing on the international athletics scene in 1981 when he participated in the European Junior Championship finishing seventh. But the1983 World Championship held in Helsinki was his actual entry point to the world athletics, where a relatively unknown Bubka snatched the gold, clearing 5.70 metres (18 feet 8 inches).

     Bubka possessed great strength, speed and gymnastic abilities. He gripped the pole higher than most vaulters to get extra leverage, though Bubka himself played down the effect of grip alone.

     He set his first world record of 5.85m on 26 May 1984 which he improved to 5.88m a week later, and then to 5.90m a month later. He cleared 6.00 metres (19 feet 8 inches) for the first time on 13 July 1985 in Paris. This height had long been considered unattainable. With virtually no opponents, Bubka improved his own record over the next 10 years until he reached his career best and the then world record of 6.14 m (20 feet 1 3/4 inches) in 1994. He cleared 6.00 meters or better on 45 occasions. Bubka officially retired from pole vault in 2001 during a ceremony at his Pole Vault Stars meeting in Donetsk.

     The first Olympics after Bubka's introduction to the international athletics was held in 1984 and was boycotted by the USSR along with the majority of other Eastern Bloc countries. In 1988 Bubka competed in the Seoul Olympics and won his only Olympic gold medal clearing 5.90 m. In 1992 he failed to clear in his first three attempts (5.70, 5.70, 5.75 m) and was out of the Barcelona Olympics. At the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 a heel injury caused him to withdraw from the competition without any attempts. In 2000 at the Sydney Olympics he was eliminated from the final after three unsuccessful attempts at 5.70 m.

     Bubka broke the world record for men's pole vault 35 times during his career. He broke the outdoor world record 17 times and the indoor world record 18 times.

Award and Positions

     Bubka was awarded the best sportsman of the Soviet Union for three years in a row from 1984 to 1986. Won the Prince of Asturias Award in Sports in 1991.Bubka won the Marca Leyenda in 2005 which is an award given by the Spanish sports newspaper Marca to the best sport professionals in history.

     Bubka was designated an IAAF council member in 2001. In 2011, he was elected a Vice-President of the organization for a four-year term. From 2002 to 2006, he was a member of the Ukrainian Parliament and its Committee on youth policy, physical culture, sport and tourism.

     He is currently serving as the president of National Olympic Committee of Ukraine and is an IOC member.

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