Famous Ukrainian Sportsmen of 20th Century

Famous Ukrainian Sportsmen of 20th Century

Since the rise of its independence, Ukraine had shown brilliant results at various sporting events and types: from different sports at Olympic Games to football matches and boxing, there was always a place both for rising stars and well-known faces. Let’s see who climbed the stairway to the world of sport in the 20th century.

Serhii Bubka

The man who set the world record no one yet has been able to beat — 6,15 meters in vaulting. He became Honored Master of Sports way back in 1983 and collected champion titles: Bubka won the World Cup in 1985 and Europe Cup in 1986, and was a champion at Seul Olympics in 1988. He, without a doubt, is the man of records, not only for Ukraine but for the planet as well: 35 world records, including the one still unbent and unbroken till this day. Nowadays he is a member of several International sport organizations and committees.
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Larysa Latynina

She is one more record-breaking Ukrainian; her count of 18 Olympic medals was long unbroken until a famous swimmer Michael Phelps beat it in 2012. Young Latynina started her way with ballet since young years, but had to stop the lessons due to the school’s closure. She, however, found another passion for herself, the one that determined her future path of life — gymnastics. Despite a failure at the first serious contest she attended, Larysa never gave up, but only trained twice as hard. Through vigorous training and contests, she became the woman the world knows today: 9 gold, 5 silver and 4 bronze medals during the Olympics in Melbourne, Rome and Tokyo. She became world champion in international contests of 1958 and 1962. A loving mother, Larysa found time for both priorities — gymnastics and her kid. The most of her medals she collected after giving birth to her daughter.
Valerii Lobanovskyi

Rightfully one of the main figures in Ukrainian football, this man has a stadium named after him. Before becoming a renown couch, he was a footballer himself — he played in Kyiv «Dynamo», where his debut at the USSR championship rattled the whole country. Valerii not only used his flawless physical skills, but mathematical calculations and so-called Magnus effect to better estimate his game and the game of his opponents. During his time as a footballer, he played in FC «Chornomorets» and «Shakhtar». He was a coach for Dniepro «Dynamo» for 17 years and due to his skills and knowledge, the team won the USSR championship 8 times, was a six-time winner of the USSR Cup, won the UEFA Cup Winners Cup and UEFA Super Cup twice. Several years ago a biopic about Lobanovskyi was presented on the big screen and can be found in the Internet for watching today.
Stella Zakharova

Born in Odessa region, this girl whose name literally means «star» has chosen a way for herself. She began vigorous training in gymnastics, and her talent was noticed soon — she moved to Kyiv. Only a year later she won the World Cup in Japan. Her next achievements flowed like a river: silver medal in the World Cup in the United States, title of Olympic champion on the 1980 Moscow Olympics, title of USSR Honored Master of Sports…She brought victory to the USSR 12 times and much more - to independent Ukraine. Nowadays she teaches at her own sport school.
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Photo sources: bolshoisport.ru, bigkiev.com.ua, fakty.ictv.ua, fakty.ua. All images belong to their rightful authors.

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