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Sports in Ukraine, sporting nation

Sports such as football and arm wrestling have been popular in Ukraine since the 19th century, when strongman Ukrainian wrestler Ivan Piddubny was a real legend throughout Europe. Legends of the 20th century include such names as pole vault champion Sergey Bubka (35 world records), and footballers like Oleg Blohin, twice European Footballer of the Year. Ukrainian gymnasts like Larisa Latynina and Iryna Deryugina both took a haul of Olympic medals in their time. Latynia won 9 gold, 5 silver and 4 bronze medals! Altogether Ukrainian sportsmen have won over 400 Olympic medals so far.

Today Ukraine gives the international sports scene such names as boxers Vitaly and Vladimir Klichko, track and field athlete Zhanna Pintusevich, tennis player Andriy Medvedev, swimmer Yana Klochkova, gymnast Anna Bezsonova, and footballer Andriy Shevchenko, who is considered something of a national hero in Ukraine.