1 April 2017
Ukraine’s most prestigious annual sport awards were delivered to their winners and nominees at the ‘Sport Heroes of the Year’ ceremony at nation’s principal venue NSC Olympiysky in Kyiv.
Three hundreds of prominent athletes, coaches and sport administrators joined the nominees of 10 nominations to find out the highly anticipated outcome of choice made by Ukraine’s Academy of Sports. The event is organized annually since 2006 by the National Olympic Committee and Ukraine’s Ministry of Sport and Youth. The results of Academy members’ vote were kept top secret until the announcement adding intrigue to the show featured prominent show biz stars.
The European Olympic Committee acting president Janez Kosijancic attended the show as a part of his visit to Kyiv on the invitation of Sergey Bubka, NOC President. Mr Kosijancic also took part at the ceremony bringing the IOC 2016 commemorating pins for Ukraine’s Rio medalists.
Sergey Bubka who has received Laureus ‘Life Achievement Award’ back in 2008 was a founder of Ukraine’s annual ‘Sport Heroes of the Year’ Award. He said after the ceremony, ‘I know this feeling at the day of the ceremony – a lot of nerves, but lots of excitement in the end. I am so happy to see nation’s greatest athletes and coaches of many generations together enjoying the celebration. We are doing this show for them but our Award is also great promotion for sport as it receives more and more media attention every year. Yes, every year this is one of the happiest, and today I am again happy the ceremony has been a success’.
Bubka also praised EOC acting President Janez Kosjiancic who joined the show as a representative of international Olympic movement. He said, ‘Mr President’s visit was very important for Ukraine’s Olympic family. My colleague had a chance to discover the system and the projects of Ukraine’s NOC and to discuss strengthening of National Olympic Committees. I am happy we share this vision’.
Oleg Verniaev, Rio 2016 gold and silver medalist in artistic gymnastics, and Olha Kharlan, the most illustrious nation’s sabre fencer, who won silver and bronze medals in Rio, were awarded as Athletes of the Year. Olga’s female sabre fencing team was voted as ‘Team of the Year’.
Anna Rizatdinova, rhythmic gymnastics’ star, and Yuri Cheban, who won C1 200 m gold medal in canoeing at the second consecutive Games, received ‘People’s Choice’ Awards, while Yuri’s coach Vjacheslav Sorokin is awarded as ‘Coach of the Year’.
Full list of winners
2016 SPORT HEROES OF THE YEAR winners
MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR – Oleh Verniaev, artistic gymnastics. Rio 2016 gold (parallel bars) and silver (all-around) medalist. European championship’s gold and silver medalist
FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR – Olha Kharlan, sabre fencing. Rio 2016 silver (team) and bronze (individual) medalist. European championship’s bronze medalist (team and individual)
COACH of the Year – Vjacheslav Sorokin, canoe sprint. Coach of Yuri Cheban, Rio 2016 gold medalist (C1 200 m)
TEAM of the Year – fencing, women’s sabre team (Olha Kharlan, Olena Kravatska, Olena Voronina, Alina Komashchuk), Rio 2016 silver medalist, European Championships bronze medalists
PARALYMPIC athlete of the Year – Maksym Krypak, swimming, 5 gold medals and 3 silver medals in Rio 2016
NON-OLYMPIC athlete of the Year – Anna Muzychuk, chess. 42nd Chess Olympiad individual competition’ winner, team competition’ bronze medalist. Rapid chess and blitz world champion
JUNIOR athlete of the Year (‘Olympic Hope’) – Khrystyna Dmytrenko, biathlon. Winter Youth Olympics’ gold medalist (pursuit)
GLORY OF UKRAINE’S SPORT (Lifetime Achievement Award)
· Larysa Karlova, handball. 1976 and 1980 gold medalist, 1988 bronze medalist
· Andriy Khimich, canoe, C2 1000. 1964 Gold medalist
DEDICATION TO SPORT – Emmanuil Ganev, founder of Museum for football in Odessa
· Men – Yuri Cheban, canoe sprint. Rio 2016 gold medalist (C1 200 m)
· Women – Anna Rizatdinova, rhythmic gymnastics. Rio 2016 bronze medalist