The eighth world sport dance championship was held in Ukraine in December 1999. The event was organized by the Association of Sport Dance of Ukraine which is headed by Svyatoslav Vlokh, a member of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine. The venue was the Meridian Sports Complex in Kyiv. 585 best dance pairs from all over the world competed for the title of world champions in the "Youth" category, European programme, and in the Latin American programme (with participants of the international open contest held under the auspices of IDSF International Federation of Sport Dance). Oleksandr Prysyazhnyuk and Mariya Antonova won the title of Absolute World Champions; another Ukrainian pair that took part in the contest won bronze medals.
In January 2000, an agreement was signed between the well-known Korean company Samsung Electronics and the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine (NOCU). Ivan Fedorenko, president of NOCU, from the Ukrainian side, and Yong Jo King, vice-president of Samsung Electronics, from the Korean side, put their signatures under the agreement that provided for the establishment of prizes for Ukrainian athletes, would be medal winners at the Olympics 2000 in Sydney, Australia. NOCU has given Samsung the status of an official sponsor of the National Olympic team of Ukraine.

On January 22, 2000, the National Professional Box League of Ukraine tournament Parade of the Champions was held in Kyiv. At this international event the WBA world champion title was won by the Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Vyetukh in a bout against Henry Huges, USA. Vitaliy Kopytko, another Ukrainian boxer, won the title of the intercontinental champion (in the category of 72.2 kilograms) in a bout against the American Terri Ford.

Back in November 1998, representatives of the basketball associations of five European countries Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Sweden and Finland gathered at a conference at which in a revolutionary (or "subversive" as it was called by some observers) move it was decided to create a new basketball association North European Basketball League, NEBL. The rules and charter of the new League differ considerably from those of the International Basketball Federation, FIBA. Firstly, the participants of the NEBL championships do not have to pay a single penny for participation in the competition; moreover, all the expenses on transportation, accommodation, meals, refereeing are taken care of by NEBL. Besides, NEBL has set up a prize fund of one hundred thousand dollars that will go to the four best clubs; in a series of games played among themselves these four teams will determine the size of the share each of the teams gets.
In the year 2000, four other countries joined NEBL: Ukraine, Denmark, Russia and Germany. At the NEBL championship this year, Ukraine will be represented by the basketball club Kyiv. The games will be played in accordance with the new rules, laid down by NEBL: a match lasts four periods, 10 minutes each; an attack is allowed to last only 24 seconds. These rules will hopefully contribute to making the games more dynamic and exciting for the fans to watch. The finals will be played in April 2000.

On April 4 through 6, 2000, the Meridian Sports Complex in Kyiv was the venue of the Davis Cup match in which the Ukrainian team played with the Portuguese and convincingly won 4:1. This victory allowed the Ukrainians to remain in the first Afro-American group of the Davis Cup tournament and automatically gave the Ukrainians the right to take part in the competitions of the year 2001. The Ukrainian tennis team next will challenge the Moroccan team which is considered to be the second strongest in the group after the Swedes.

Dmytro Dmytrenko, a Ukrainian figure skater, won a bronze medal at the European Figure Skating Championship which was held in Austria in February 2000. He showed two skating programmes winning the third place at the European championship for the second time, after a seven-year interval, evidently, thanks to his second wind.

In the south Korean capital of Seoul the best fencers were competing for the right to take part in the next Olympics 2000 which will be held in Sydney, Australia. The Ukrainian team of foilswomen created a sensation by beating the French team. Olena Koltsova, the new champion, later said that the victory was somewhat a surprise for her, too, and that she was very sorry for the French foilswoman who, upon losing, fainted right there on the fencing strip. Serhiy Holubytsky, a foilsman from Kyiv, won the championship for the third time running. No other foilsman has ever won three championships in a row. Altogether, 9 Ukrainian foilsmen, foilswomen and other fencers have won the right to go to Sydney.

On February 11-12, 2000, the first Junior European Cup in mountain skiing was held at the Protasiv Yar stadium in Kyiv. 53 young skiers from Slovenia, Hungary, Macedonia, Russia, Latvia and other countries in which mountain skiing is a popular sport, took part in the competition. The Ukrainian skiers won the first, second and third place. The participants and journalists praised the way the competition was organized, efficiency, logistics and equipment. Now, a possibility of nominating Kyiv as a potential venue of the winter Olympics of the year 2008 is seriously considered.

Andriy Shevchenko, 23, a former Kyiv Dynamo player who now plays for Milan, was named the third best player of 1999 by journalists of 51 countries, UEFA members. The poll was traditionally, for the 44th time, organized by France-Football periodical. Shevchenko is one of the most popular young soccer players in Italy. Rivaldo, a Brazilian playing for Barcelona, Spain, and David Backham, Manchester United, were named correspondingly, the first and second best. According to a poll, organized by FIFA, in which 140 coaches of national soccer teams took part, Shevchenko is the seventh best player in the world.

Serhiy Bubka, who has set 35 records and won world championships 6 times in pole-vaulting, is one of the 10 newly elected members of the International Olympic Committee. Prior to Bubka, Ukraine was represented in the IOC by Valeriy Borzov, formerly a well-known sprinter. At the IOC 110th session that was held in Lausanne, Switzerland, several amendments to the 105-year-old Olympic Charter were adopted. The two main ones: no more permanent memberships and certain restrictions imposed on the prerogatives of the IOC president. Another good news for Serhiy Bubka: he was named by Associated Press poll one of the 13 best Olympic champions of the 20th century. At present, Bubka, 36, has gone into training as he plans to take part in the next Olympics in Sydney.

By L. Kovalenko and
H.-H. Pylypenko