Sport in Ukraine

/ / Sport in Ukraine

Sport in Ukraine stands high since ancient times. Warriors of Kiev Rus defended Ukrainian borders from foreign invaders for ages.  Protection of national borders was a hard work and required a strong sportsmanship. Necessity of being in top form for fights and wars passed in to simple desire to keep shape and be healthy. This love for sports remains unaltered nowadays.

Sport in Ukraine. Historical facts

The golden age of development of sport in Ukraine was Soviet Union period. Sport faculties have been founded both in schools and universities. A lot of stadiums and sports grounds have been built during this period. Bicycle racing and hiking gained popularity. As a part of USSR Ukraine took part in bicycle racing from Odessa to Vladivostok. Total distance of bicycle racing was 14317 km and 30872 km. accordingly. In the times of Soviet Union Ukraine gave world a lot of talented sportsmen. For example, Larisa Latynina (gymnast) won 18 Olympic medals, football club “Dynamo” was 13 times champion of USSR and holder of UEFA super cup, Igor Belanov and Oleg Blohin were the holders of “Golden ball” cup.

Sport in Ukraine in the times of Independence does not lose its popularity and importance.

What are the most famous sports in Ukraine today?

The most popular sports in Ukraine nowadays are:

Popular sport in Ukraine

Athletics in Ukraine

Sport in Ukraine is famous for it’s athletes and strongmen. Ukrainian strongman who is famous all over the world is Vasyl Virastyuk. He is holding the title of “the strongest man in the world” since 2007.

Basketball in Ukraine

Active development of basketball in Ukraine started from establishing of Ukrainian Basketball League in 2008. It was created on 20 June 2008 as an alternative body to Ukrainian Basketball Federation. The key point of Ukrainian Basketball League was to “Ukrainilize” domestic basketball. The point is to have a minimum of one Ukrainian player out of five in a team. It helps to involve Ukrainian players in games and bring talent of newbies to light.

Football in Ukraine

Football in Ukraine is popular as well as it is popular all over the world. Ukrainian football is actively developed and maintained at all levels. Football in Ukraine is one of the favorite activity among children and adults. The highest league in Ukrainian football is Ukrainian Premier League. There are also Ukrainian First League, Ukrainian Second League and Amateur Level. One of the most important recent events in football sphere is that Ukraine was the host to the UEFA European Football Championship in 2012.

The most famous football clubs in Ukraine:

Name of team City
Dynamo Kyiv Kyiv
Shakhtar Donetsk Donetsk
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk Dnipropetrovsk
Metalist Kharkiv
Chornomorets Odesa Odesa
Karpaty Lviv Lviv
Vorskla Poltava Poltava
Metalurh Donetsk Donetsk
Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih Kryvyi Rih
Metalurh Zaporizhya Zaporizhya
Obolon Kyiv Kyiv
Zorya Luhansk Luhansk
Illichivets Mariupol Mariupol
Hoverla Uzhhorod Uzhhorod
Obolon Kyiv Kyiv

Football clubs in Ukraine include both national players and invited players from different countries. Among national players there are quite lot famous Ukrainian footballers. Ukrainian football players are known worldwide for their professional play and qualities.

The most popular Ukrainian footballers:

Name of player Club
Vyacheslav Kernozenko Dnipro
Oleksandr Shovkovskiy Dynamo
Andriy Pyatov Vorskla/Shakhtar
Volodymyr Yezerskiy Dnipro/Shakhtar
Oleksiy Gai Shakhtar
Hryhoriy Yarmash Vorskla
Andriy Rusol Dnipro
Dmytro Chyhrynskiy Shakhtar
Bohdan Shershun Dnipro
Oleksandr Hrytsai Dnipro
Oleksandr Kucher Shakhtar
Andriy Berezovchuk Kharkiv
Oleh Husev Dynamo
Serhiy Pylypchuk Spartak Nch
Dmytro Lepa Dnipro
Andriy Vorobei Shakhtar/Dnipro
Volodymyr Homeniuk Tavria
Oleksandr Hladkiy Shakhtar
Ruslan Fomin Shakhtar/Metalist
Serhiy Serebrennykov Cercle

Hockey in Ukraine

Development of hockey in Ukraine is closely related to establishing the first one hockey team in Ukraine “Dynamo” Kiev in 1963. “Dynamo” was a part of USSR hockey federation. At once after collapse of USSR Ice Hockey Federation of Ukraine has been founded. It is accepted that the date of creation of Ice Hockey Federation of Ukraine is 20th of February, 1992. Since that time hockey in Ukraine continues its development as a part of sport culture of independent country.

Ukrainian hockey is currently developed at national level only because of lack of funding. Ice Hockey Federation of Ukraine focuses on hockey expansion among young players. As there are no resources to internationalize current Ukrainian hockey teams it is needed to make efforts and improve performance of Ukrainian youth league.


In 2002 Ukrainian hockey team passed qualifier and took 10th place in Olympic games. There was the first time when Ukrainian hockey team has not been eliminated in the first round.

Best Ukrainian hockey players

Player Club
Volodymyr Aleksyuk Donbass Donetsk
Vitali Andreikiv HK Kremenchuk
Denys Isayenko HK Kremenchuk
Denys Petrukhno Donbass Donetsk
Olexander Pobyedonostsev HK Generals Kiev
Volodymyr Romanenko HK Kremenchuk
Vsevold Tolstushko Donbass Donetsk
Kyrylo Zhovnir HK Kremenchuk

Ukrainian hockey players are members of both Ukrainian and foreign hockey teams. As an example, a lot of Ukrainian hockey players are capped for Belarus, Kazakhstan, Romania and even USA.

Gymnastics in Ukraine

Rhythmic gymnastics in Ukraine. Historical view.

Rhythmic gymnastics is a quite young kind of sport however it rapidly gains popularity all over the world. Ukraine is not an exception. As a separate kind of sport rhythmic Gymnastic in Ukraine was acknowledged in the days of Soviet Union. Firstly, female rhythmic gymnastic was implemented in plants and factories in order to keep women in good shape and health. Then it was decided to increase number of specialists who are aware of different training technologies and who will be responsible for rhythmic gymnastics training process. The first one woman started practice was Zinaida Verbova.  The first one studio of female physical training was opened in 1923. This newly created studio included such activities as plastic, gymnastics, acrobatics, elements of choreography, floor exercises, anatomy, biomechanics and political primer. This studio prepared physical-education teachers for secondary schools and colleges.

After a while a meaning of female physical training has been changed in to rhythmic gymnastics. The first group of rhythmic gymnasts graduated in 1938.

The first one championship in Soviet Union was held in 1949 in Kiev. And the first prize on this championship took native of Kiev Lubov Denisova. This championship was the first major step in development of rhythmic gymnastics as a separate kind of sport in Soviet Union and in Ukraine accordingly.

Ukrainian gymnasts at the Olympic games

Ukrainian gymnasts shown high results and professionalism during all the period of establishment of rhythmic gymnastics in the world. Gymnastics in Ukraine still remain one of the most popular and successful kind of sports. There are a lot of represents of rhythmic gymnastics in Ukraine who shown good results in different championships, including the Olympic games.

At the Olympics which was held in 1992 in Barcelona Ukraine took place as a part of Soviet Union, because a separate team of Ukrainian gymnasts has not been formed yet. It is noted that the first place at Olympics of 1992 was taken by Alexandra Timoshenko.

As an independent country Ukraine made a debut at the Olympics in 1996, in Atlanta. Championship took Ekaterina Serebrianskaya and gymnast from Spain.

The most famous and successful representatives of rhythmic gymnastics in Ukraine are Alexandra Timoshenko, Natalia Godunko, Ekaterina Serebrianskaya, Lilia Podkopayeva and Anna Bessonova.

Boxing in Ukraine

Boxing in Ukraine is considered to be one of the most popular and actual kind of sport nowadays. With such champions as Klitschko brothers and Vasyl Lomachenko Ukrainians can be proud of level of boxing in Ukraine.

Flashback in the history of boxing

It is thought that the first one professional fight was held in 1892 between Sallivan and Kobett. This fight laid the foundation of development of professional boxing in a form we know it now. Of course, there is a difference in boxing of past times and nowadays. For example, boxers of the past generation were less overall than modern boxers. So, there was not strict weight separation. Also, a big difference was in profits. As an example, in 1892 amount that Sallivan asked for one fight was $250 and Vitalii Klitschko has up to $6 mln for one fight nowadays. These are not the only differences in boxing, however these are the important ones.

In 1838 boxing rules were almost finally formed in “Marquis of Queensberry Rules”. Thanks to this set of rules, we know box as it is now. The only one thing that has not been written in the rules of 1838 was a number of possible rounds. The longest one fight was in 1855 and it lasted for 6 hours 15 minutes.

Boxing. Independence

Boxing in Ukraine has a long history and a list of worldwide famous names. The main persons who influence a history of Ukrainian boxing and made a contribution to development of international boxing are Klitschko brothers and Vasyl Lomachenko.

Sport in Ukraine. Klitschko brothers Klitschko brothers

Klitscho brothers (Vitalii and Wladimir Klitschko) are considered to be the best boxers in the world of their era. And this meaning is proved by their fights and achievements. These Ukrainian heavyweight boxers are known for holding all high weight world titles. From 2011 to 2015 Klitschko brothers had all the major heavyweight belts. Brothers promised to their mother not to fight each other, that is why they have never had a just. They supported each other in training and fights and together run professional boxing promotion campaigns “K2 Promotions” and “K2 East Promotions”. Also, they run a charity organization “Klitschko Brothers Fund”.

After Vitalii’s retirement in 2013 Wlodimir continued his career and retired only in 2015. More information about biography of Klitschko brothers you can find here:

Sport in Ukraine. Vasul Lomachenko. Ukrainian boxer Vasul Lomachenko

Vasyl Lomachenko is a professional Ukrainian boxer. He started his amateur career in 2007 and turned pro in 2013 after winning second gold medal in amateur championship. Vasyl Lomachenko made his debut in professional boxing in 2013. The fight was held in the United States of America, that day he started his professional career defeating Mexican fighter Jose Ramirez.

Vasyl Lomachenko is two-times Olympic games champion. The first Olympic games he won was held in Beijing in 2008 and in the second time he became a champion in 2012 in London.

Currently he keeps on training and fighting. Lomachenko is considered to be one of the most perspective Ukrainian fighters of nowadays. Vasylii Lomachenko set a record and became a world champion in two weights simultaneously just for 7 fights.

More information about biography of Vasyl Lomachenko you can find here: .