Sergei Bubka was born and brought up in Lugansk. His father was a soldier and his mother a medical assistant. He commented that both of them were not active in sports. He had a ferocious competitive spirit which was channelled into multiple sports until he met the pole vault coach Vitaly Petrov. Bubka started pole vaulting at the age of 10. In 1978 at an age of 15, Bubka moved to Donetsk, Ukraine with his coach for better training facilities.
Bubka officially retired from his pole vault career in 2001
Pole Vaulting career
He entered athletics in 1981 participating in the European Junior Championships where he fetched a 7th place. But the 1983 World Championship held at Helsinki proved to be his
actual entry point to the mainstream world athletics, where a relatively unknown Bubka snatched the gold clearing 5.70m (18 feet 8 inches). The years that followed witnessed the unparalleled dominance of Bubka on pole vaulting with him setting new records and standards in pole vaulting.
He set his first world record of 5.85m in 26 May, 1984 which he improved to 5.88m a week after and then to 5.90m a month after. He cleared 6.00 metres (19 feet 8 inches) on 13 July 1985 in Paris. This height had long been considered unattainable. With virtually no opponents, Bubka improved his own record over the next 10 years till he reached his career best and the current world record of 6.14m in 1994.
He was the first and only (as of May, 2006) athlete ever to jump over 6.10 metres in San Sebastian, Spain in 1991. He set the current world record of 6.14 metres in 1994 after some
commentators had already predicted the decline of the great sportsman.