World record-setting pole vaulter who won a gold medal at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.
He began his career as an all-around athlete, also excelling in sprints and long jumps.
He won six World Championships in his career, in 1983, 1987, 1991, 1993, 1995, and 1997.
He has a son, Sergei, who is a professional tennis player.
In 1991 he succeeded Michael Johnson as the Men's Track and Field Athlete of the Year.