Top-10 Athletes Who Made Ukraine Famous
Thanks to them, Americans, Frenchmen, Germans, Japanese, Australians and other millions and billions of the world’s inhabitants quickly learned to identify the blue-and-yellow flag, find Ukraine on the map and correctly pronounce its name. Thanks to them, the image trail of negative Chernobyl and corruption associations is now diluted with significant achievements, and that is with no irony attached.
Best Ukrainian sportsmen
Thanks to them, Ukrainians, regardless of their location, social environment and political likes successfully learn to be one. For 22 years of independence Ukrainian athletes did perhaps more for the approval of Ukraine in geopolitical space than all politicians, analysts, diplomats, public figures and others. They often ran faster, jumped higher and further, thus setting new records.
And the whole world watched their victories and incomparable moments of real naked emotions on the Olympic, world, continental pedestals of honor – the territory of honoring the whole country.
10. Ruslan Ponomarev
In 2002, Ruslan Ponomarev became the first world chess champion in the history of independent Ukraine. He was very young when he got to the Olympus of masters of strategy and combinations. In 1998, 14-year-old Ruslan became the youngest grandmaster. And four years later, again with the same adjective the youngest, he became a world chess champion along with such celebrities as Garry Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov, and Viswanathan Anand.
9. Anatoly Timoshchuk
For his football career Anatoly Timoshchuk, currently the midfielder of St. Petersburg’s Zenit managed to play in the championships of Ukraine, Russia and Germany. And not just to play, but to become the winner of national championships of these countries. In addition, during his career, Tymoshchuk won the Champions League, the UEFA Cup and the Super Cup.
8. Liliya Podkopayeva
In 1996, at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, this fragile 17-year-old girl from Donetsk won the absolute championship in artistic gymnastics and made the president of America Bill Clinton and 45 thousand spectators of the Georgia Dome hall applaud standing. After this success at this Olympics, Liliya also won gold in free skating and silver in balance beam. Up till now nobody, even among men can do her signature double sault forward with a 180-degree turn.
7. Inessa Kravets
In 1995 at the world championship in Sweden, Gothenburg, Inessa Kravets, Olympic champion of the Games in Atlanta, silver medalist of the Games in Barcelona, multiple world champion and world record holder created a miracle in triple jumping, flying to the mark of 15.50 m. And for 18 years no one can surpass this fantastic record of the Ukrainian athlete.
6. Oksana Bayul
Oksana Bayul will always remain in history as the first Olympic champion of independent Ukraine. In 1994, in Lillehammer, no one including the organizers of the Olympics (who as it turned out did not even have a record of the Ukrainian anthem) expected gold from a 16-year-old Ukrainian skater. At that moment this little girl, who after more than an hour’s delay of the awarding ceremony (because of the search for the melody of the Ukrainian anthem) wiped away tears at the highest podium, probably did not even realize how much she did for her small country. And that evening of her triumph, hundreds of thousands of people around the world first discovered a new country that debuted at the Olympics, and immediately won gold.
5. Vasiliy Lomachenko
Vasiliy Lomachenko is the most titled athlete of Ukraine in the amateur ring: Olympic champion in 2008 and 2012, two-time world champion in 2009 and 2011, European champion in 2008, 2006 junior world champion, 2004 European champion among juniors, multiple champion of Ukraine, winner of the Val Barker Trophy. In the summer of 2013, Vasily Lomachenko started his career in professional boxing and signed a contract with American promoter company Top Rank.
4. Yana Klochkova
At the Olympic Games the Ukrainian national anthem was played our times to honor Yana Klochkova; the blue-yellow flag was raised five times. She was nicknamed the “golden fish”. Indeed, no one has ever brought more Olympic gold to Ukraine than Yana. She also won the championships and cups of the world, European championship, and set world, continental and national records.
3. Sergey Bubka
Even before the birth of independent Ukraine Sergei Bubka became a legendary man; in 1985 he was the first in the world to reach 6 m height during his jump. However, a part of 35 Bubka’s records were set under the blue-and-yellow flag. After the end of his sports career, he began to actively engage in the Olympic movement. Today Sergey Bubka claims to be the president of the International Olympic Committee. And, according to experts, his chances to become the main man of the world Olympic movement are rather high.
2. Andriy Shevchenko
Starting from the late 90’s and up to our time, every European who does not even know the subtleties of geography or history, after hearing the name “Ukraine”, immediately affirmatively responds to this toponym and will name Shevchenko. The winner of the Golden Ball, the winner of the Champions League, the winner of the UEFA Super Cup, the multiple champion and the winner of the Cup of Ukraine and Italy, the FA Cup winner, the best scorer of the Ukrainian national championship and the Italian Serie A, quarter-finalist of the 2006 World Cup, leader of the national team of Ukraine on Euro-2012. This is not a complete list of achievements and merits of Andriy Shevchenko.
With his talent and hard work, he raised the image of Ukrainian football and of Ukraine in general to a much higher level. In addition, Shevchenko became an example and an idol for hundreds of thousands of children who aspired or sought to be like him.
1. Vitaly and Vladimir Klitschko
The Klitschko brothers made a name in the world of professional boxing in 1996 and since then, year after year, they taught the world to pronounce their names and distinguish their faces. They are considered to belong not only in Ukraine, but also in Germany and in general in Europe. They are respected and feared in America and other continents. For many years the name Klitschko is almost a household name, like Pele or Schumacher. And on July 2, 2011, Vitaly and Vladimir managed to a fantastic dream come true – collect all the most prestigious heavyweight champion belts in one family.
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