Sergueï Bubkanote is a Ukrainian athlete, specialist in pole vaulting, born on December 4, 1963 in Luhansk in the USSR (today in Ukraine). He was named Hero of Ukraine by President Leonid Kuchma on 4 February 20011.
He competed in the USSR until 1991, then with Ukraine until the end of his career in 2000. He was part of the unified team at the Barcelona Olympic Games. He was the first athlete to break the six-metre barrier on 13 July 1985 at the Jean-Bouin Stadium in Paris, and broke thirty-five world records in the discipline between 1984 and 1994 (17 times outdoors and 18 times indoors). In a career spanning twenty years at the highest level, he has performed forty-six jumps over 6 metres in forty-four competitions.
The pole vault is a very complicated event, there are many things involved. Of course, the psychological part, the tactics, are very important. You spend many hours thinking about the approximate height of the win. It is not enough to be strong, you have to work with your mind and be an intelligent person who knows how to calculate. It’s like having a small computer in your head.
He is the former world and indoor world record holder, dethroned by Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie before his very eyes in Donetsk on 15 February 2014.
He won the World Athletics Championships six times in a row (from 1983 to 1997), becoming the first Ukrainian World Champion in 1993, and four times the World Indoor Championships. He was also crowned winner at the 1988 Olympic Games and the 1986 European Championships.
Sergei Bubka has been a member of the International Olympic Committee since 1999, including chairing the Athletes’ Commission from 2002 to 2008 and serving on the Executive Board of the international body since 2013, and IAAF Vice-President since 2007. Sergei Bubka was also a member of the Ukrainian Parliament from 2002 to 2006. He was a member of the Party of Regions and an independent adviser to Viktor Yanukovych until 2014. He was defeated by Sebastian Coe by 115 votes to 92 for the presidency of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) at the Beijing Congress on 19 August 2015, but was re-elected vice-president in the same vote.