Sergey Bubka: Early Life, Controversies & Net Worth

Sergey Nazarovych Bubka, professionally known as Sergey Bubka, is a former pole vaulter from the Ukraine.

Bubka represented the Soviet Union’s athletics team until its disbandment in 1991.

Likewise, Sergey Bubka was named Athlete of the Year by Track & Field News.

Similarly, in 2012, he got inducted as an inaugural member of the International Association of Athletics Federations Hall of Fame.

Also, Sergey was the first person to clear 6.0 meters and 6.10 meters in pole vaulting.

Further, Bubka has won an Olympic gold medal and six consecutive IAAF World Championships.

Similarly, Bubka has broken the world record for the men’s pole vault 35 times.

sergey-bubka-drinking-his-expresso
Sergey Bubka drinking the expresso

Likewise, Bubka’s first international success came in 1983, as he won the world championship in Helsinki, Finland.

Earning his universal acclaim, Bubka has set many world records in his career. But, likewise, in 2001, the athlete retired from the sports.

Moreover, Bubka has been serving as a Senior Vice President of the International Association of Athletics Federations since 2007.

Quick Facts

Before we dive deep into the bio of Sergey Bubka, here are some of the quick facts about him:

Name Sergey Bubka 
Native Name  Сергій Назарович Бубка
Full Name Serhiy Nazarovych Bubka
Birthdate 4th December 1963 
Birthplace Luhansk, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
Age 58 Years Old
Nationality Ukrainian
Zodiac sign Saggitarius
Body type Athletic
Hair color Brown
Skin Fair
Weight 176 lb (80 kg)
Height 6 feet (1.83 m)
Chest Not Available
Waist 30 inches
Profession Pole Vaulter
Years active 1981–2001
Coach Vitaly Petrov 
National Side Soviet Union (1981–1991)
Ukraine (1991–2001)
Total Olympic Wins Olympic Win
First Olympic Debut 1988; Seoul Six
Awards and Achievements
  • Best sportsman of the Soviet Union (1984 to 1986).
  • Prince of Asturias Award for Sports in 1991
  • Designated UNESCO Champion for Sport in 2003 
  • Panathlon International Flambeau d’Or – 2005
  • Marca Leyenda award – 2005
Jersey Number #23 (Both National and Domestic)
Education Ph.D. in Pedagogy and Physical culture
College Ukrainian Academy of Pedagogical Science and Kyiv State Institute of Physical Culture
Parents Nazar Bubka (Father) and Valentyna Bubka (mother)
Siblings Vasiliy Bubka
Relationship status Married
Wife Lilia TutunikFF
Children Nine children
Sergey Bubka Net Worth $245 million
Social Media Twitter
Merch Sergey Bubka (Book: Kindle Edition), Signed Photo
Last Update July, 2022

Sergey Bubka: Early life, Family, and Education

Sergey Bubka was born to parents Nazar Bubka and Valentyna Bubka.

Likewise, Bubka was very athletic from a young age as he was into sprints and long jumps.

Similarly, the pole vaulter started pole vaulting when he was just nine years old.

However, his coach told him that he couldn’t do pole vaulting until he was 12 years of age.

Eventually, at the age of 12, he received training and displayed considerable potential.

As for his education, Bubka attended the Ukrainian Academy of Pedagogical Science and Kyiv State Institute of Physical Culture.

There, he earned his Ph.D. in pedagogy and physical culture.

Likewise, after his graduation, Bubka began his pole vaulting career with complete devotion.

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Sergey Bubka: Age, Height, and Weight

Sergey Bubka was born on 4th December 1963. He is 58 Years Old.

Likewise, Bubka stands at 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in) tall. Similarly, the pole vaulter weighs 80 kg (176 lb).

Moreover, the athlete has an athletic body type. Bubka has a Brown hair color and fair skin color.

Sergey Bubka: Career and Controversies

Career

Sergey Bubka started his career in pole vaulting at the age of nine.

Likewise, Bubka won the 1983 World Track and Field Championships held in Helsinki with 5.7 meters.

Further, he also broke several records throughout his career.

serge-bubka
Sergey Bubka in a Match

Similarly, Sergey became the first athlete to jump 6.1 meters in San Sebastián, Spain.

Moreover, in 1994, Bubka achieved his personal best with a vault of 6.14 meters.

Despite his performance in National and International events, he had relatively poor performances in the Olympic Games.

Also, his only gold medal came in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, where he jumped 5.90 m.

Currently, Bubka is contributing to the sports as an active member of the International Olympic Committee.

Controversies

Doping Controversy

In 2015, Bubka was confronted by allegations of suspicious past test results.

Further, Bubka also talked with the World Anti-doping Agency about the need for cooperation, improving the overall testing & processing cases system, and the need for more funds.

Similarly, a leaked data belonging to IAAF, containing more than 12,000 blood tests from around 5,000 athletes from 2001 to 2012, had also surfaced.

However, the responsible body openly rejected claims that they had turned a blind eye to doping, describing the allegations.

Rio 2016 Bribe

The controversy ignites as Rio Governor Cabral claims he bribed the former IAAF President Lamine Diack.

Cabral had told a judge he paid $1.5 million in bribes through intermediaries to Lamine to secure up to six votes to help bring the Rio Olympics to South America for the first time in history.

However, the vice-president, Bubka, stated that the former president never contacted him for his vote.

Moreover, these accusations all seem to be false as Bubka fought legally and proved his innocence.

Currently, the former Rio Governor, Cabral, is serving a 14-year prison sentence.

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Sergey Bubka: Technique

Bubka has excellent strength, speed, and gymnastic abilities. Likewise, he held the pole higher than most vaulters to gain extra leverage.

Although, Bubka himself played down the effect of grip alone.

However, his mastery of the Petrov/Bubka technical model is also key to his success.

Further, the Petrov/Bubka technique is considered superior, as it allows the pole vaulters to continuously put energy into the pole while rising towards the bar.

The Petrov/Bubka technique concentrates on driving the pole up rather than bending it while placing it on the landing pad, merged with high running speed.

Moreover, the Petrov/Bubka model exploits the recoil of the pole and exerts more energy on the pole during the swinging action.

Sergey Bubka: Family Life

Sergey Bubka is a happily married man. He is married to gymnast Lilia Tutunik, whom Bubka met when she was only 21 years of age.

Sergey Bubka with his family
Sergey Bubka with his family

Likewise, the couple got married in 1984 and have two sons named Vitaliy and Sergey Jnr.

Similarly, his elder son is a businessman, and the younger son is a professional tennis player.

Sergey Bubka: Net Worth and Endorsements

Sergey Bubka is a well-respected athlete in pole vaulting and has made quite the fortune from it.

As of 2022, Sergey’s estimated net worth is believed to be around $245 million.

Similarly, according to the People With Money magazine, Sergey Bubka is the highest-paid athlete in the world.

Further, it’s been reported that Bubka earned $82 million between April 2020 and April 2021.

Moreover, he owns several restaurants in Kyiv, a football team, a Vodka company, and a fashion line called Sergey Bubka Seduction.

Likewise, Bubka’s first endorsement deal was in 1993 with Nike.

Also, he and his brother own a bakery and have dabbled in various gas stations, real estate investment firms, and grocery stores.

Books

Likewise, Bubka also wrote a book called Flying Bubka. The book covers his life story, including his childhood to current affairs.

Similarly, it also tells his story of becoming an athlete, patriot of his nation, and fulfilling his childhood dream.

According to Bubka, the book’s main objective is to help overcome one’s weaknesses and refine oneself.

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Sergey Bubka: Contribution after Retirement

Likewise, Bubka was chosen as the President of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine.

Similarly, after his active role in the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine, Bubka has implemented various cultural and educational programs.

Further, Bubka stated that his programs introduce the young athletes to the world cultures, acquaint them with the historical heritage of the Olympic movement and the Olympic values.

Similarly, the NOC of Ukraine got recognized as one of the leaders in the world for its promotion of sports and Olympic values.

Sergey Bubka: Social Media Presence

Bubka has only one social media account, and that is Twitter. But, likewise, Bubka has over 10.4k followers on his Twitter account.

In addition, he mostly tweets about the sports and related news for the awareness.

Furthermore, he also has an official website.

Sergey Bubka: FAQs

Who is Sergey Bubka married to?

Sergey Bubka is happily married to Lilila Tuntunik, who is a gymnast.

Is Sergey Bubka retired from the pole vaulting?

Yes, Sergey Bubka officially retired from pole vault in 2001 during his Pole Vault Stars meeting in Donetsk.

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