Bulgaria's Ex Golden Girls Coach Enters Politics, Sets Up Party
Bulgaria's former rhythmic gymnastics coach Iliyana Raeva, who was elected president of the country's federation last year, has set off on a political career.
This emerged on Saturday, when Raeva, speaking in a TV channel interview, announced she has established a new party, called “United Bulgaria”.
"I think I have qualities that can be put to good use in politics, which is the reason why I set up the party. My aim is not to be a better version of Margaret Thatcher, but to help find the right direction,” Raeva told Nova TV channel.
"Politics make me sick. Both the rich and poor Bulgarians are disgusted by what is happening in Bulgaria. Bulgarian politicians just raped the country," she said.
"My aim is to unite Bulgaria. We need new faces with high moral values on the political scene.”
Bulgaria's rhythmic gymnastics coach Iliyana Raeva unexpectedly submitted her resignation in the middle of September 2012, exactly one month after the final day of 2012 Olympic Games.
The girls, who headed for London to grab gold medals after making spectacular performances at the World Cup tournament, ranked at the disappointing sixth spot in the Olympic finals, saying the pressure was huge and they just could not cope with it.
Raeva however said her decision to drop the curtain on her coaching career, which features many fabulous moments, has nothing to do with the failure at the Olympic Games.
"I did my best, but I am not leaving because of the unsatisfactory Olympic ranking. I just want to do something new in my professional life."
As head of the country’s federation, she replaced Maria Gigova, who made it clear she will not run for another term at the prestigious post and who was frequently and harshly criticized by her successor.
Iliana Raeva, herself one of the Golden Girls of Bulgaria that dominated Rhythmic Gymnastics in 1980's, competed in modern rhythmic gymnastics for her country from 1978 to 1982.
She relied on style and artistry, rather than excessively complex moves, with her 1980 ribbon routine to Zorba the Greek and clubs routine to Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, which remain outstanding examples of the sport.
After retiring from active competition she married Bulgarian world cup footballer Nasko Sirakov.
She was appointed head coach of the Bulgarian national rhythmic gymnastics team in 2008.
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