Sergey Bubka

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Languages: Russian, English
Geography: Russia & CIS countries

Sergey Bubka is a Ukrainian former pole vaulter. He represented the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991, was twice named Athlete of the Year by Track & Field News, and in 2012 was 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 pole vaulter to clear 6.0 metres and 6.10 metres. He held the world record of 6.15 meters, set on 21 February 1993 in Donetsk, Ukraine for almost 21 years until France's Renaud Lavillenie cleared 6.16 metres on 15 February 2014 at the same meet in the same arena.

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 then world record of 6.14 m (20 feet 13⁄4 inches) in 1994.

On 28 May 2013, Sergey Bubka confirmed that he would run for President of the International Olympic Committee. At the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires he lost the election to Thomas Bach.