© CIO - Photographe:Herbert Knosowski
Family name: Bubka
Given name: Sergey
Nickname: The Tsar
Discipline: Pole vault
Date and place of birth: 4 December 1963 in Louhansk, Ukraine
Olympic titles: 1 gold medal Seoul 1988
World Championships: 6 gold medals
Pole jumper Sergey Bubka caused a sensation on the international scene, winning his first world championships at the age of 19. On 13 July 1988, he became the first pole vaulter to cross the mythical six-metre bar. That same summer, he obtained his first and only Olympic medal at the Seoul Olympic Games.
At the following edition in Barcelona, he missed his three jumps and was eliminated, despite being the firm favourite. During his career, he broke the world record 35 times, setting it at 6.14 metres. This record still stands today.
The key to Bubka’s success was a running and jumping technique which he mastered perfectly, thanks to his gymnastic qualities, speed and strength. This enabled him to use longer and harder poles than his opponents and to thus obtain a better catapulting action. Bubka became a member of the International Olympic Committee in 1999.
He chaired the IOC Athletes’ Commission from 2002 to 2008. In 2004, he was elected to the Executive Board, the body which manages the IOC’s affairs.