Sochi Olympics 2014: A Look at Bulgaria’s Athletes
In the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Bulgaria will be represented by 18 athletes.
Here is a brief introduction of the men and women who will proudly wear the national colors of Bulgaria in the biggest winter sporting event.
Maria Kirkova – Bulgaria's flag holder at the opening ceremony will appear at her 2nd consecutive Olympics. She has also been in 3 World Cups, with a 22nd place finish at the Alpine combined in Val d'Isere, 2009.
Georgi Georgiev – Georgiev has 23 starts for the World Cup, with a best finish of 21st place in the Alpine combined in Bansko, 2011.
Nikola Chongarov – Chongarov's strongest discipline is the slalom, on which he's reached 18th place in Val d'Isere, France.
Stefan Prisadov – The 23-year old was born in one of Bulgaria's mountain towns, Chepelare, known for its skiing courses. Prestigious 7th place finish at the Winter Universiade in Trentino, December 2013.
Veselin Tsinzov – Tsinzov's best performance is 9th place at the 15km race in Kontiolahti, Finland in December, 2013.
Andrey Gridin – Born in 1988 in Kazahstan, Gridin receives a Bulgarian passport in 2013. His dream to compete in Winter Olympics will come true in Sochi.
Antonia Grigorova-Burgova – In Vancouver 2010, Grigorova-Burgova competed in the 10km and 15km races. She also has 2 World Championships behind her back, but will look to improve on the 59th place finish, which is her best so far.
Teodora Malcheva – The 31-year-old Malcheva holds a prestigious 7th place finish at the 2009 Ski Orienteering World Championships in Japan.
Vladimir Zografski – The 20-year-old made a name in 2011, when he became a world youth champion. His father, Emil Zografski was also an Olympian. Zografski will be the only Bulgarian flying high above the hills of Sochi.
Krasimir Anev – European youth champion in Bansko, 2007. Anev finished 25th in the Vancouver Olympics, and also has a number of high finishes (8th-12th) in World Cup starts.
Vladimir Iliev – Member of the Bulgarian national team since 2004. Experienced biathlonist, with 1 Olympic and 5 World Championships in his career. Best finish, 16th in 2012 at Ruhpolding.
Miroslav Kenanov – First Olympics for the 25-year-old from Samokov. Highest finish, 49th in a World Cup race in Hochfilzen.
Ivan Zlatev – First Olympics for the 23-year-old from Bansko, who is part of the national team since 2010.
Mihail Klechorov – Klechorov's career began in the early 1999. Since then, he's earned several national and Balkan cups, as well as 13th place in a World Cup race.
Desislava Stoyanova – One of Bulgaria's promising youngsters. He biggest achievement so far is a 4th place finish at the youth World Cup in 2011.
Aleksandra Jekova – 'Sani' was Bulgaria's flag-holder at the 2010 Olympics, where she was favored as the country's biggest hope for a medal. Her unfortunate fall and injury in the qualifying rounds ended her dream, but she will be even more hungry for success this time. Her career landmarks include a 1st place World Cup finish in boarder-cross in 2011.
Radoslav Yankov – Yankov will participate in the parallel giant slalom and the parallel slalom. A 2-time youth world champion, the 24-year-old nearly made the 2010 Olympics, where he was in the reserve list.
Stanislav Benyov – Benyov finished 39th in last year's World Championships in Canada. His preliminary races will be on February 8th, while the finals are on the 9th.
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