Ukraine’s Sergey Bubka, the 35-time world pole-vaulting record holder, six-time IAAF World Champion and Olympic gold medallist, was guest of honour at the UIM Awards’ ceremony at Sporting Club Monte-Carlo on Saturday night.
Introduced by UIM President Raffaele Chiulli, the Ukrainian legend spoke passionately about his Olympic career, his new position within the IOC and also gave valuable advise to UIM racers, young and old.
“You cannot be the best every day,” said 54-year-old Bubka. “You need to work so very hard and never give up. If you have the skills and focus, then you will be the best of the best. Of course, the most important part is to analyse your performance. I also find some mistakes. Even if you have done well, you can always improve and realise even more potential and skills. I always used to fight to improve myself and I was always working very hard.
“My coach always used to say to me, ‘you can celebrate the World Championship or the Olympic gold, but the next day forget that you are the champion and start from scratch to do it again.”
Bubka is now Senior Vice-President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), President of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine and Honorary Member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Photo: Chris Davies