Kiev, April 11, 2016
European Games wrestling silver medallist Zhan Belenyuk was the best athlete awardee at the 10th annual ‘Heroes of Sports Year’ Ceremony – one of the main sport celebrations in the country, organized jointly by the National Olympic Committee and the Ukraine Youth and Sport Ministry in the Ukrainian capital.
Best athletes of the year: Zhan Belenyuk (Greco-Roman wrestling, world championships gold, European Games silver – 85 kg) and Valentyna Semerenko (biathlon, world championships gold and bronze – mass start, sprint), together with Coach of the year Hennadiy Sartynsky (artistic gymnastics, coaches Oleg Vernyaev) and the winners of 9 nominations – athletes, teams, coaches and administrators – received the most prestigious national sport awards.
The ceremony took place at the National Operetta on 8 April, welcoming dozens of athletes and coaches, as well as politicians, show biz stars and media, who came to celebrate the 10th ‘Heroes’ jubilee.
After greeting the Ukrainian Sports Academy members – the greatest nations’ champions who annually make the final choice at every award’s nomination – the guests saw the award winners of the 9 previous years, as well as the biggest successes of Ukraine’s athletes in 2015.
Sergey Bubka opened the ceremony saying, ‘When I was an athlete, I dreamt Ukrainian athletes would have an event like this. I’ve always been sure our athletes and coaches are worthy to be recognized and praised at a national level, to gain much more publicity and media coverage. Time goes so quickly – we today celebrate the 10th anniversary of the gala I once planned in my mind. Every year I walk on the ‘Heroes’ red carpet with the same special feelings and anxiety I experienced 10 years ago at the inaugural ceremony.’
For the full list of awardees see: www.noc-ukr.org