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Teodor Tsvetkov to swim across 30 lakes in Bulgaria for charity

Teodor Tsvetkov is to swim across 30 lakes in different parts of Bulgaria, and not with the purpose of setting some kind of record, but to raise money for breast cancer victims.

Teodor launched his initiative on 31 May when he swam across the Nanyovo Blato Lake near Golyama Brestovitsa village in Lovech district. By 20 June, he will have swum across several lakes near Sofia, among them Chepinsko and Chelopechensko, and also lakes near Karlievo, Blagoevgrad, Smolyan, Bourgas, Balchik and Kavarna.

Dozens of friends and fans are expected to gather at the lakeside to root for the swimmer and his charitable idea.

Deyan Kostadinov, Teodor Tsvetkov (center) and his brother Valentin  /  Photo: Gergana Mancheva“I have always wanted to do charity work. Ever since I was a child I have longed to help people in need, and that is what swimming is all about for me, because it is something I love to do and I do it well,” says Teodor Tsvetkov. “We each choose the sport we love best, and with my swimming results I could do it professionally. I taught myself, I do not even have a coach. The Danube is not suitable for swimming or for practice because there are water currents and eddies and that is dangerous even for a professional swimmer. My longest swim could have been a world record – 50 kilometres with bound legs, which I did in 17 hours. But I am not out so set any record, or to win medals, what I want is to help. Many people support me in these initiatives but the person who helps me the most is my twin brother Valentin – he always has my back, I can always count on him. Everything I have done has been thanks to him. I also get help from my friend Deyan Kostadinov. I have many friends and they all do what they can so that we can raise more money for the campaign against cancer. We have taken all security precautions and the risk is down to a minimum. Out of all lakes I will be swimming across I only know one, the others will be a surprise and that is what will make this so interesting and at the same time hard. I am hoping that people will respond, that they will come and support me from the shore and, most of all, that they will help the foundation “1 in 8”. We got in touch with them because it was them we wanted to help. The bank account is indicated on our website “Lakes of Bulgaria for 1 in 8.  Unfortunately, people rarely respond to charity appeals, and I have noticed that it is the poor who do so more often. But nobody can be sure that at some point in their lives they will not be in need of help. That is why it is so important that we help one another. It is so difficult to get the better of one’s ego but if we do not look out for each other we shall never get ahead.”

Besides charitable, the initiative by the Tsvetkov brothers is also environmental. Teodor says that with every passing year the lakes are more and more polluted, and climate change makes the situation worse.

“We are planning to release an encyclopedia, with the help of sponsors that will include as many lakes in Bulgaria as possible,” says Valentin Tsvetkov. “The proceeds from its sale will go to the foundation for women battling breast cancer. But there is one more thing we want to achieve with this encyclopedia – to popularize nature in Bulgaria and to focus on pollution and the fact that some of the lakes have disappeared altogether.”

Photos: BulgarianLakesForOneOfEightFoundation and Gergana Mancheva

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