“It was really exciting. You run with a stick and after you jump, you fly. If you do it wrong, you can kill yourself. It is a really serious event. But when I started, I started simple: jumping across benches or tables,” says Sergey Bubka, describing how he first began the art of pole-vaulting which would propel him to legendary status.

Bubka broke the world record a whopping 35 times (17 outdoor and 18 indoor) — in fact, once he broke it, he only bettered his own record, which is testament to his dominance in the sport. His career saw him get the gold medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics besides six golds at the World Championships and four gold medals at the Indoor Championships.

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