Sergey Bubka in 2007
|Native name||Сергі́й Наза́рович Бу́бка|
|Full name||Serhiy Nazarovych Bubka|
4 December 1963 |
Voroshilovgrad, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union (now Luhansk, Ukraine)
|Alma mater||Kiev State Institute|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Weight||80 kg (180 lb)|
|Country|| Soviet Union (1981–1991)
|Sport||Track and field|
|Coached by||Vitaly Petrov|
Updated on 8 September 2012.
Serhiy Nazarovych Bubka (Ukrainian: Сергі́й Наза́рович Бу́бка; Russian: Серге́й Наза́рович Бу́бка, Sergey Nazarovich Bubka; born 4 December 1963) is a retired Ukrainian pole vaulter. He represented the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991, was repeatedly voted the world's best athlete, and in 2012 was of one of 24 athletes inducted as inaugural members of the International Association of Athletics Federations Hall of Fame.
Bubka won six consecutive IAAF World Championships, an Olympics gold and broke the world record for men's pole vaulting 35 times (17 outdoor and 18 indoor records). He was the first to clear 6.0 metres and the only (as of July 2012) to clear 6.10 metres (20 ft).
He holds the current outdoor world record of 6.14 metres, (20 feet 13⁄4 inches), set on 31 July 1994 in Sestriere, Italy and the current indoor world record of 6.15 meters, set on 21 February 1993 in Donetsk, Ukraine.
Born in Voroshilovgrad (now Luhans'k) Bubka was a good track-and-field athlete in the 100-meter dash and the long jump, but he became a world-class competitor only when he turned to the pole vault. In 1983, virtually unknown internationally, he won the world championship at Helsinki, Finland, and the following year he set his first world record, clearing 5 m 75 cm (19 ft 2 in). Until the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in late 1991, Bubka competed for Soviet teams. The Soviet sports system rewarded athletes for setting new world records, and he became noted for establishing new records by slim amounts, sometimes as little as a centimeter higher. This allowed him to collect frequent bonus payments and made Bubka an attraction at track-and-field meets.
He has a son who is a professional tennis player, Sergei Bubka.
Pole vaulting career 
Sergey Bubka entered international athletics in 1981 participating in the European Junior Championships where he reached 7th place. But the 1983 World Championships held in Helsinki proved to be his actual entry point to the mainstream world athletics, where a relatively unknown Bubka snatched the gold, clearing 5.70 metres (18 feet 8 inches). The years that followed witnessed the unparalleled dominance of Bubka, with him setting new records and standards in pole vaulting.
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 current world record of 6.14 m (20 feet 13⁄4 inches) in 1994.
He became the first athlete ever to jump over 6.10 metres, in San Sebastián, Spain in 1991. As of September 2012, no other athlete has cleared 6.07, indoors or outdoors. He set the current world record of 6.14 metres in 1994 after some commentators had already predicted the decline of the great sportsman. Bubka increased the world record by 21 centimetres (8 inches) in the 4 years between 1984 and 1988, more than other pole vaulters had achieved in the previous 12 years. He cleared 6.00 meters or better on 45 occasions, more than all other athletes in history combined (as of 20 April 2009 there have been 42 clearances of 6.00 metres by other athletes).
Olympics curse 
Though he had complete dominance on pole vaulting at his time, he had a poor record in the Olympic Games. The first Olympics after his introduction into international athletics was in 1984, which was boycotted by the USSR along with most other Eastern Bloc countries. Two months before the games he vaulted 12 cm higher than the eventual Olympic gold medal winner Pierre Quinon. In 1988 Bubka entered the Seoul Olympics and won his only Olympic gold medal clearing 5.90 m. In 1992 he failed to clear in his first 3 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 making even one jump. In 2000 at the Sydney Olympics he was eliminated from the final after three attempts at 5.70 m.
IAAF World championships 
Bubka won the pole vault event in 6 consecutive IAAF World Championships in Athletics from 1983 to 1997:
World record progression by Bubka 
Bubka broke the world record for men's pole vaulting a total of 35 times in his career. He broke the outdoor world record 17 times and the indoor world record 18 times. In his dominance, Bubka lost his outdoor world record only once in his illustrious career. After Thierry Vigneron, of France, broke his record on 31 August 1984 at the Golden Gala international track meet in Rome, Bubka subsequently reclaimed the record on his next run, just minutes later.
The fact that most of the time the record he improved was his own demonstrates his absolute dominance in the event. Exactly how high he could have jumped at his best is unknown: because of the large prizes on offer from event promoters for breaking world records, the majority of his world record attempts were made at 1 cm higher than the existing record, and once achieved, he would not attempt another record jump until the next opportunity to collect a prize, even after a substantial clearance showing he could have achieved a higher height.
|6.14||31 July 1994||Sestriere|
|6.13||19 September 1992||Tokyo|
|6.12||30 August 1992||Padova|
|6.11||13 June 1992||Dijon|
|6.10||5 August 1991||Malmö|
|6.09||8 July 1991||Formia|
|6.08||9 June 1991||Moscow|
|6.07||6 May 1991||Shizuoka|
|6.06||10 July 1988||Nice|
|6.05||9 June 1988||Bratislava|
|6.03||23 June 1987||Prague|
|6.01||8 June 1986||Moscow|
|6.00||13 June 1985||Paris|
|5.94||31 August 1984||Rome|
|5.90||13 July 1984||London|
|5.88||2 June 1984||Paris|
|5.85||26 May 1984||Bratislava|
|6.15||21 February 1993||Donetsk|
|6.14||13 February 1993||Lievin|
|6.13||22 February 1992||Berlin|
|6.12||23 February 1991||Grenoble|
|6.11||19 March 1991||Donetsk|
|6.10||15 March 1991||San Sebastián|
|6.08||9 February 1991||Volgograd|
|6.05||17 March 1990||Donetsk|
|6.03||11 February 1989||Osaka|
|5.97||17 March 1987||Torino|
|5.96||15 January 1987||Osaka|
|5.95||28 February 1986||New York|
|5.94||21 February 1986||Inglewood|
|5.92||8 February 1986||Moscow|
|5.87||15 January 1986||Osaka|
|5.83||10 February 1984||Inglewood|
|5.82||1 February 1984||Milano|
|5.81||15 January 1984||Vilnius|
Bubka possessed great strength, speed and gymnastic abilities. His average speed during pole vaulting approach was reported as 35.7 km/h (9.9 m/s, 22.2 mph). He gripped the pole higher than most vaulters to get extra leverage, though Bubka himself played down the effect of grip alone. Bubka's strength meant that he could use a pole that was relatively heavy for his weight, thereby generating more recoil force. The statue erected in his image in Donetsk is using an incorrect (and impossible) vaulting-grip on the pole.
His development and mastery of the Petrov/Bubka technical model is also considered as a key to his success. A technical model is a sequence of positions and pressures that describe the method and form of a style of pole vaulting. The Petrov/Bubka model is considered superior to many others today because it allows the vaulter to continuously put energy into the pole while rising towards the bar. Most conventional models focus on creating maximum bend in the pole before leaving the ground, by planting the pole heavily on the landing pad. The Petrov/Bubka model follows from the technique used by Kjell Isaksson, which concentrates on driving the pole up, rather than bending it while planting it on the landing pad, combined with high running speed. While the traditional models depended on the recoil by bending the pole, the Petrov/Bubka model may exploit the recoil of the pole and exert more energy on the pole during the swinging action.
Awards and positions held 
- Bubka won the Prince of Asturias Award in Sports in 1991
- Bubka was awarded best sportsman of the Soviet Union for three years in a row from 1984 to 1986
- Bubka was voted Sportsman of the Year for 1997 by the influential newspaper L'Équipe
- Bubka was honored as the best pole vaulter of the last half century by Track & Field News
- Bubka was designated as an IAAF council member in 2001. In 2011, he was elected to a 4-year term as a Vice-President of the organization.
- He is currently serving as the president of National Olympic Committee of Ukraine and is an IOC member
- Bubka was designated UNESCO Champion for Sport in 2003
- In 2005 he received the Panathlon International Flambeau d'Or for his contribution to the development and promotion of sports.
- From 2002 to 2006, he was a member of the Ukrainian Parliament for For United Ukraine (Regions of Ukraine faction) and its committee on questions of youth policy, physical culture, sport and tourism
- Completed his term in IOC athletes commission in August 2008
Bubka is today a member of the ‘Champions for Peace’ club, a group of 54 famous elite athletes committed to serving peace in the world through sport, created by Peace and Sport, a Monaco-based international organization.
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- "I love the pole vault because it is a professor's sport. One must not only run and jump, but one must think. Which pole to use, which height to jump, which strategy to use. I love it because the results are immediate and the strongest is the winner. Everyone knows it. In everyday life that is difficult to prove." – Sergey Bubka
- "Here is a man who has personally altered his art form, changed the way competitors prepare for it and perform it, even the way spectators perceive it." – Gary Smith of Sports Illustrated about Bubka
- "My jump was imperfect, my run-in was too short and my hands were too far back at takeoff. When I manage to iron out these faults, I am sure I can improve." – In an interview after he was the first person to break 20 feet (6.10 m).
Sergey Bubka (1987). An Attempt is Reserved (in Russian). Moscow: Molodaya gvardiya.
- International Olympic Committee. "Mr. Sergey BUBKA". Official website of the Olympic Movement. Retrieved 27 May 2010. "...voted world's best athlete on several occasions."
- "Track and Field Athlete of the Year". Trackandfieldnews.com. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
- IAAF Hall Of Fame "IAAF Athletics". Retrieved 7 August 2012.
- "Bubka says farewell". BBC News. 4 February 2001. Retrieved 26 August 2007.
- "Top Lists: Pole Vault". IAAF.org. Retrieved 29 June 2009. (Indoor)
- "Top Lists: Pole Vault". IAAF.org. Retrieved 29 June 2009. (Outdoor)
- "World Outdoor Records – Men". IAAF.org. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
- "World Indoor Records – Men". IAAF.org. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
- "The Legendary Sergey Bubka". Inside Athletics (April, 2009 edition). www.insideathletics.com.au. Retrieved 20 April 2009.
- Pole vault legend Sergei Bubka retires. The Independent (4 February 2001). Retrieved on 12 February 2011.
- "Sydney 2000 results". IAAF.org. Retrieved 26 August 2007.
- Bubka finishes 1st in world-record vault battle Associated Press (1 September 1984). Retrieved on 21 May 2012.
- "Bubka vaulting sequence". Youtube.com. 7 July 2008. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
- "On the Road to Atlanta". The Ukrainian Weekly. 2 June 1996. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 27 August 2007.
- Video from the world record at 5.59m set at El Paso, May 23, 1972 at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7K-HZaXRpSA or http://vimeo.com/29876836 both retrieved on april 14, 2013
- Over and over again. Sports Illustrated report of the World record at 5.54m set at Los Angeles, april 1972, with interview http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1086018/ and discussion of Isaksson's technique at http://www.polevaultpower.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=17391#p124729 both retrieved on april 14, 2013
- "iaaf.org – International Association of Athletics Federations". Daegu2011.iaaf.org. 24 August 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- "IOC > Members > Sergey Bubka". Official Website of the Olympic Movement. Retrieved 26 August 2007.
- "Ukrainian athlete Serhiy Bubka designated UNESCO Champion for Sport". Unesco.org. 4 November 2003. Retrieved 27 August 2007.
- "Sergiy Bubka receives "Golden Torch 2005" international prize".
- Serhiy Bubka, Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine
- Ukrainian pole vault star running in domestic parliamentary elections, Kyiv Post (30 January 2002)
- "Fredericks succeeds Bubka as chairman of IOC's Athletes Commission".
- "Peace and Sport". Peace-sport.org. 8 July 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
- Sergey Bubka to Gary Smith in Sports Illustrated, 14 September 1988, referenced in "Current Biography Excerpts: Track and Field". HW Wilson. Retrieved 26 August 2007.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Sergei Bubka|
- Sergey Bubka's Official Site
- IAAF profile for Sergey Bubka
- Magazine article tracing Bubka's career
- A small video with the highlights of Bubka's career
- Masters T&F Pole Vault All-Time Rankings
- ESPN bio
|President of Ukrainian NOC
2005 – present
|Men's Pole Vault World Record Holder
26 May 1984 – 31 August 1984
31 August 1984 –
|Awards and achievements|
|Men's Track & Field Athlete of the Year
|United Press International
Athlete of the Year
|Prince of Asturias Award for Sports
|Men's Pole Vault Best Year Performance
1984 – 1989
1991 – 1994
1996 – 1997
|Flagbearer for Ukraine