Olympic champion and concentration camp survivor Viktor Chukarin celebrated by NOA of Ukraine

In November 2021, the NOA of Ukraine celebrated the centennial anniversary of the birth of Ukrainian gymnast Viktor Chukarin. Born on 9th November 1921 in Krasnoarmeyskoye, Chukarin survived imprisonment as a prisoner of war in 17 Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War, before becoming an Olympic champion in 1952. At the 1952 and 1956 Olympic Games, he won a total of 11 medals including seven gold medals and the individual all-round title on both occasions. With these medals, the gymnast was the most decorated athlete at the 1952 Olympics. In 1954, Chukarin also became the all-round world champion.   

As part of a series of events organised to commemorate his life and achievements, the NOA of Ukraine hosted commemorative seminars at specialist higher education institutions in Kyiv, Lviv, Dnipro and Kharkiv. In addition, leading Ukrainian gymnasts including Olympic and world champions gathered at the Educational and Scientific Olympic Institute to pay their respects to Chukarin in memorial ceremonies.  

The 11-time medal winning gymnast has also been celebrated in a biographical film which has been produced by the Olympic Academy together with the NOC of Ukraine. This film will enable people in Ukraine to learn more about Olympic heritage and the story of Chukarin’s remarkable achievements. 

In December, the Ukrainian Olympic family will celebrate the centennial anniversary of the birth of legendary Greco-Roman wrestler Yakiv Punkin, who also survived imprisonment in a Nazi concentration camp and achieved Olympic gold at the 1952 Olympics.

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