Bubka honoured with prestigious award after Ukrainian success at Olympics
Friday, 31 August 2012
August 31 - Sergey Bubka, the President of the Ukrainian National Olympic Committee (UNOC), has been awarded the prestigious Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise (III grade) after leading his nation to 14th place on the medals table at London 2012.
Ukraine won 20 medals, including six golds, and the accolade, one of the nation's highest honours, has been given in recognition of the 48-year-old's contribution to the Olympic success.
"It is a great honour for me," said Bubka (pictured top), the 1988 Olympic pole vault champion who still holds the world record of 6.14 metres dating back to 1994.
"My feelings are different to those I had when being awarded Olympic and World Championship medals, which were mostly just for my own and my coach's recognition.
"I would like to share this latest honour with all my colleagues from the Olympic Movement, athletes and coaches whose hard work and achievements in London provoked a great celebration in Ukraine, making the population so proud of their country."
The award (pictured above) caps a successful London 2012 for Bubka who was elected onto the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board on the eve of the Games.
Bubka also serves as the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) vice-president and will take great heart from the London 2012 athletics competition being hailed as one of the best in the entire history of the sport.
But Bubka will perhaps take the greatest satisfaction from receiving the award, which also recognises the implementation of myriad UNOC initiatives designed to bring young people closer to sport, promote a healthy lifestyle and promote the Olympic ideals.
Under Bubka, the UNOC's activity in the recent years has led to the growth in popularity of Olympic sports in Ukraine with record television ratings for London 2012 being achieved.
Previous recipients of the award include famous Ukrainian artists, scientists, clergymen and politicians, along with those from overseas such as Japanese Emperor Akihito, Israeli President Shimon Peres and former French President Jacques Chirac.
May 2012: Bubka lays foundation stone for new stadium named in his honour