Sergei Bubka: pole vaulter of the century

Sergei Bubka is the living legend of sport, the hero of our time. He is the first person in the world which hopped vault to a height of six meters. He is world record holder (6.15 m) from 1993, which is not beaten to this day.

The athlete was born in 1963, in Voroshilovgrad (formerly name of Lugansk). He decided to devote his life to the most mesmerizing and seemingly impossible type of athletics (the pole vault) at the age of 10 years. It is even more surprising decision knowing that his father (an ensign) was never gravitating to the sport, because it was quite enough of military service. His father confessed that he first visited the stadium when his son became the champion of the world. Coach of Sergei was famous Vitaly Petrov, who prepared the first Soviet pole vaulter, who took 4-meter height, Gabriel Raevsky. Although, Petrov never been able to take the height of more than 4.4 m, he got a natural eye for talent. The coach suggested suitable for training hall in Donetsk, where he moved. And if Sergei's mother did not succumb to the entreaties, the career of the great jumper could have ended before it began.

Sergei Bubka won his first gold medal at the first World Championships in Athletics, in 1983 in Helsinki (Finland) at the age of 19 years, jumping to a height of 5.7 m. Then the jump called a blind luck and did not believe in the possibility of the "upstart". His first world record he set a year later in Bratislava (Slovakia), it was 5.85 meters. And in 1985, in Paris, he overcame 6-foot threshold. For 10 years, Sergei Bubka set 35 world records. Interestingly, during the tournament in Tokyo (Japan), he won with a modest result for yourself: 5.95 m. However, the legend was born when the computer is spotted flying at a height of 6.37 m. However, there are no official evidences to suggest this.

It is necessary to dwell on the historic jump on Sergei on the Jean Bouin Stadium in Paris. Sergei Bubka considered his main rival the French athlete Terry Vignon, who a year earlier in Rome broke the record of Ukrainian athlete, and was a world champion... for five minutes. Sergey admitted that he did not want to turn into Bob Beamon, "a living mummy". This American was competing in the long jumps and his record (8.9 m) remains the best Olympic result since 1968. However, he was never able to get even close to this result after this jump. In a sports career of athlete were failures too. All Olympic Games, besides Seoul in 1988, was for him a failure. And the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, the Soviet authorities did not let him go, because they boycotted Games for political reasons. It was a sure win for Sergei. The best result these days showed the Frenchman Pierre Cynon (5.75 m), which was already lower than the best result of Sergey Bubka (5.94 m). Practicing before the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Sergei took aim at the height of 6.2-6.3 m. He did not spare himself in training, paying no attention to the coaches’ warnings, so he was injured. The diagnosis is Achilles tendon tear. Prior to 1997, prior to the event in Athens, the victories were not even mentioned. Despite the fact that the injury still bothered the jumper, he won the gold. His last competition was on the Games in Sydney (2000).

Although Sergei Bubka remains the only athlete in the world, which became the world champion six times in a row, experts believe that the athlete did not disclose his full potential. His second coach Eugene Volobuev believed that the potential of Sergei is 6.4 m, and assuming that what happened in Japan, probably, he was right. Fans looking the Ukrainian’s jumps said that he has no equal. Well, Sergei Bubka called two names, which, in his opinion, could compete with him, which "were the incentives to victory". They are an American Bill Oldson and Rodion Gatulin. However, Sergey remained the "King of the pole" for 16 years and remains to this day, even though he retired from active business.

For outstanding achievements in sports Sergei Bubka marked not only by number of sporting awards, but also the state arads: he obtained the order Hero of Ukraine, three Orders of Prince Miroslav the Wise, two "Orders of Merit", Order of the State, the Order of Lenin, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, etc. In addition, he is one of the few who obtained a monument during lifetime. Today Sergey is a member of the executive committee of the International Olympic Committee. And now he claims to be its president. After completing his sports career, he was involved in politics, being a deputy of Ukraine in 2002-2006, he worked in the Committee of the youth policy, tourism and sports. In 2010, he became a supernumerary adviser to the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych.
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