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Ukraine at the Olympics

Ukraine first competed under its own banner at the Olympic Games in 1996, and at all Games since then. In the past Ukraine athletes competed as part of the Russian Empire from 1900 up to 1912 and competed as part of the Soviet Union from 1952 up to 1998. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Ukraine was part of the Unified Team that competed in 1992.

Historically speaking there a handful of competitors from Ukraine who had also represented Romania, Poland, and among other nations. Keep in mind that not all athletes are of ethnic Ukrainian decent though.

Ukrainian Tatiana Gutsu proved to be the finest athlete of the Unified Team in 1992 as she won the women’s all-around title in women’s artistic gymnastics.

Competing as an independent nation, Ukraine is a powerhouse in gymnastics and also earned medals in different sport disciplines such as boxing, swimming, wresting and weightlifting.

Popular Ukrainian athletes include Larissa Latynina, Sergey Bubka, Liliya Podkopayeva and Yana Klochkova. Gymnast Larissa Latynina won six medals for three Olympic Games in a row; she remains the Olympic athlete with the most medals (18) and the most medals in individual events (14).

Gymnast Larissa Latynina on a Russian coinGymnast Larissa Latynina on a Russian coin

The six-time world champion and 1988 Olympic gold medal winner Sergey Bubka bettered the men’s pole vault record 35 times and was the first-ever athlete to clear the 6-meter mark.

Podkopayeva emerged as the women’s all-around champion in 1996 edition of the Olympics and is considered as one of the finest gymnasts in the world of all-time. The prolific Ukrainian gymnast piled up a total of 80 medals (45 gold, 21 silver and 14 bronze). Klochkova won five medals (4 of which are gold medals from 200-m individual medley and 400-m individual medley) at the Olympics.


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