In the period July 27 to August 12 the 30th Olympic Games will take place in London. The opening ceremony is on July 27 at the Olympic Stadium, which will be transformed into the British countryside for the opening scene “Green and Pleasant”. It will show life in the countryside and will include real farmyard animals. The ceremony will be closed by legendary Beatles member Paul McCartney. The biggest bell in Europe will also ring at the opening ceremony.
On Sunday the Bulgarian flag was officially raised in the Olympic village in London. The Bulgarian flag bearer is gymnast Yordan Yovchev. He will participate for the record 6th time in the Olympics. The first Bulgarian Olympic competitor, who debuted at the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 was a gymnast too. This was Swiss teacher Charles Champaud.
Bulgarians have participated in 21 editions of the games. First Bulgarian to win an Olympic medal was boxer Boris Georgiev. In 1952 he won a bronze medal. The first Bulgarian Olympic champion was wrestler Nikola Stanchev, who won the gold in 1956 in Melbourne. Wrestling is the most successful Olympic sport for Bulgaria. Bulgarian wrestlers have won a total of 67 Olympic medals so far – 16 gold, 31 silver, and 20 bronze ones.
In London Bulgaria will be represented by 63 athletes, who will compete in 16 disciplines. Bulgarian Minister of Sports Svilen Neikov said he hoped Bulgaria would be more successful in London than it was in Beijing. We have chances for 10 medals, the minister said. Chairwoman of the Bulgarian Olympic Committee Stefka Kostadinova said she hoped for 5 or 6 medals from the games.
It is not only world-famous Yordan Yovchev but many other renowned athletes who are to represent Bulgaria. Two-time Olympic champion in shooting Maria Grozdeva is to compete again, as well as 5-time world and 5-time European wrestling champion among the women Stanka Zlateva. European champion in the 100-m sprint discipline Ivet lalova is to compete in London too. World boxing champion Detelin Dalakliev and European vice champion Tervel Pulev also have chances for medals.
Sport fans expect impatiently the performance of the Bulgarian rhythmic gymnastics team and that of the national volleyball team. Best Bulgarian badminton player Petya Nedelcheva and tennis player Tsvetana Pironkova are ready for their Olympic participation too.
Definitely, the coming days will offer sport fans tons of excitement. The Bulgarian National Radio wishes success to all Bulgarian athletes.
English version: Alexander Markov