“Vaulting Czar” Serhiy Bubka named UNESCO Champion for SportUNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura will name Ukrainian athlete Serhiy Bubka UNESCO Champion for Sport at a ceremony to be held in the presence of Mykola Kostenko, Minister of Physical Education and Sport of Ukraine, on November 4 at 6.15 p.m. at Organization Headquarters.
The appointment of the pole vaulter Serhiy Bubka as UNESCO Champion for Sport recognizes “his role in the promotion of peace and tolerance through sport and the Olympic spirit, his humanitarian activities in favour of young people, his action to enable disadvantaged children to benefit from physical education and his dedication to the Organization’s ideas.”
Six time world champion (1983, 1987, 1991, 1993, 1995 and 1997), European champion (1986) and Olympic champion (1988, Seoul), Serhiy Bubka, who passed the six-metre mark 44 times, became an international star of pole vaulting. He went on to found the Annual International competition “The Pole Stars” in Ukraine.
Named “Champion of Champions” by the French sports daily, l’Equipe, the three times “World Sportman of the Year”, has two sons. He created a Children’s Sports Club in Donetsk (Ukraine), which has 300 members. He is also a member of the Public Regional Coordination council for Social Protection of Disabled Children and Orphans.
Dubbed the “Vaulting Czar”, Mr Bubka has left an indelible mark on athletics at the end of the 20th century. Having retired from competition in early 2001, he was elected in the following year the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament of the Ukraine) and became a Counsellor of the Prime Minister.
In 2002, Mr Bubka became the first Ukrainian Chairman of the Athletes’ Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Created in 1981, the Committe serves to link competing olympic athletes and the IOC which is engaged in, among other things, the fight against doping, the promotion of women’s participation in the Olympic movement and environmental protection.
Other athletes named UNESCO Champions for Sport before Mr Bubka, are French judoka David Douillet (2001), and German Formula 1 driver, Michael Schumacher. Brazilian footballer Edson Arantes do Nascimiento, also known as “King Pelé” has been UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador since 1994.