Ukrainians, as people of most former USSR countries, are very much into sports. As in many European countries, soccer is the most popular sport. Young people can be seen playing soccer everywhere and surely, many of them have the goal to join one of the Ukrainian teams one day. Ukraine’s soccer team is doing very well – one example of its performances is the fact that they were the first team to qualify for the 2006 World Cup Finals in Germany._
Although Ukraine participates in both winter and summer Olympics, it usually does quite well mostly in the summer games. At the 2004 Olympics summer games held in Athens, they won 9 gold medals, 5 silver medals and 9 bronze medals, for a total of 23 medals – putting them in the 12th row for countries with the most medals. Among the many disciplines Ukrainians
participate in, gymnastics and especially rhythmic gymnastics are considered some of the most popular sports ever in Ukraine.
Among popular Ukrainian gymnasts are: Larisa Latynina, Lilia Podkopayeva, Tatyana Gutsu and Viktoria Karpenko and in recent years came the names
of Anastasia Koval, Alina Kozich and Iryna Krasnianska. When it come to rhytmic gymnastics, the names of Olena Vitrychenko, Anna Bessonova, Natalia Godunko, and Olexandra Tymoshenko are very popular as considered to be among the top rhythmic gymnasts in the world.
Ukrainian boxers are also very famous – especially heavyweight boxers. To name a few: Wladimir and Vitali Klitchsko which have won world titles many times and held the WBC, WBO, IBF, IBO and Ring Magazine titles between them.
As most of former USSR countries, Ukraine is also into ice hockey. The country has a professional league, named the Ukrainian Major League. Their most notable team is Sokil Kyiv. Their national hockey team has competed in several World Championships and at the Olympics.