“Spirit Filled Pole Vault”
Production Year: 2009
Suggested Donation: $65 (100% of your investment will be used for ministry).
Recipients will be given a specifically numbered print of a limited edition of only 200 Prints that are personally signed and numbered by the artist. In addition, recipients will receive a signed “Certificate of Authenticity” that includes the following information from the artist:
Some of the world's greatest athletes were Ukrainians such as the legend Sergey Bubka who holds the world record in the Pole vault. Repeatedly voted the world's best athlete, he represented the Soviet Union until its collapse in 1991, Bubka won 6 consecutive IAAF World Championships, an Olympic gold medal, and broke the world record for men's pole vaulting 35 times (17 outdoor and 18 indoor records). He was the first to clear 6.0 meters and is the only person to clear 6.10 meters (20 ft).
I completed the original painting for this print in 1974, nearly 20 years prior to July 31, 1994, when Sergey Bubka achieved the current outdoor world record in Sestriere, Italy, with a flight of 6.14 meters (20 feet 13⁄4 inches). He had previously set the indoor world record of 6.15 meters (20 ft 2 1⁄8 in) on February 21, 1993, in Donetsk, Ukraine. Those records still stand today. Bubka competed with a great strength, tremendous speed and superior gymnastic ability. He told Gary Smith of Sports Illustrated, in an article published September 14, 1988,
“I love the pole vault because it is a professor's sport. One must not only run and jump, but one must think. Which pole to use, which height to jump, which strategy to use. I love it because the results are immediate and the strongest is the winner. Everyone knows it. In everyday life that is difficult to prove.”
In 2009, I produced this series of 200 limited-edition prints to honor those enthusiastic pole vaulters, both men and women, who are giving spirited efforts in rigorous training sessions and difficult competition schedules in order to accomplish towering heights. Several men have come close to breaking Bubka’s record, and in 1991 women also took up the event. Stacy Dragila won the first gold medal in women's pole vaulting at the 2000 Summer Olympics with a flight of 4.62 meter. Her best vault was 4.83 meters set in 2004. Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia holds the women's world record with a vault of 5.05 meters (16 feet 6 3/4 inches), set on August 28, 2009, in Zürich, Switzerland.
I encourage our pole vaulters to stay on course, even in those times when injuries occur, unexpected family emergencies arise, and financial pressures ensue. As Sergey Buka said, “… the strongest is the winner. Everyone knows it. In everyday life that is difficult to prove.”
In my life’s endeavors, I have discovered strength and encouragement in God through my personal relationship with His Son, the Lord Jesus. I have often claimed this section of scripture from Isaiah chapter 40, verses 28 – 31:
“The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”