Interview with world champion and four-time Olympic medalist Yordan Yovchev

1. Let’s imagine that sport is a wild forest. Like which animal do you see yourself in the forest and why?

I see myself as a wolf. Our sport is individual and requires to give a lot of yourself, and if you want to survive you have to push the pedal to the end. I like the wolf characteristic. First of all, I like the wolf as a vision – combative and beautiful.

Olympic games, Athens 2004

2. How do you understand the phrase «social justice» and does it really exist?

In my opinion, since it has it as a term, it exists. The question is strictly individual how the person understand it. Social justice, in my opinion, is when you’re concerned with the activity you’re doing. I am tolerant on the road. During my sport career many people have been helping me, and I think it’s positive to pass it on to people and kids who want to do sports. It is not all about the money, there has to be such a social activity.

3. Have you been able to earn your “million” and has the sport brought you money?

Modern sport brings money. Once upon a time, we all wanted to be successful, and we didn’t think so much about the money. I’ve known since I was a kid that you had to get a result first. To be rich – you have to be successful, no matter in sports or in any other activity. It takes a lot of work and effort, for which you are ready to spend your time. You create goals and obstacles all the time, you harass yourself, and through sport when you’re aiming for high sportsmanship and results, you can’t help but go through all kinds of difficulties. And then when you make the world know about you, you get to the point where it brings you financial benefit.
You can win from sports.

4. Is there happiness in money and what happiness is for you?

If you don’t have money, you wonder how to earn them and suffer, because the modern world requires financial resources. Everyone person who respects yourself, wants to work for money. When a person has money – he is independent and can be happy. The money makes it possible to travel a lot, and if you decide today, you can buy a ticket to Miami. In my opinion, a person with money should have financial discipline, because a big amount of money can also lead to troubles. For me, happiness is when you have people who love you and when you can share the good moments with them. I also feel happy when I have the opportunity not only to receive, but also to give, to spend time with people around me.

5. What human flaw can you forgive? And what you can’t forgive?

There’s nothing I can’t forgive. I’ve been always able to forgive all kinds of flaws. I can’t hate anyone. People must always give a second chance. It’s hard when a loved one intentionally hurts you, but even then it’s possible to forgive.

6. What historical personality inspires you?

Vasil Levski! Two days ago I visited the village of Vasil Levski in Karlovo municipality. It’s a great village that takes you back to a time when people gave a lot for their freedom. Old houses, stone walls, Renaissance atmosphere makes you feel proud to be Bulgarian. Freedom wasn’t measured in money. This goal is extremely meaningful and real. People can have inspiration from personality like Vasil Levski.

7. Do you have a favorite book?

“There is nothing better than bad weather” by Bogomil Raynov and Nicholas Sparks’s “The Notebook.” I like to read books that enrich me and diversify my daily life.

8. Do you have any other infatuations (hobbies) besides gymnastics?

I really like tennis. I like playing and watching tennis. It’s something I’ve rediscovered over the time, and I’m trying to find more and more time to practice it. Otherwise, as a hobby to deal with, I am organizing competitions at Parkour and Street Fitness.

9. Do you have a dream?

I have a son (19 years old) and like any parent I want to be successful and most of all healthy.

10. Do you believe in signs and symbols? Do you have any personal superstitions in sports or in life?

No. During races, I haven’t thought about which bin I’m going to smear myself with magnesium, whether it’s red or blue. I have always believed in my powers, in my preparation, and I have prayed to the God to be with me, to keep me alive and well, and to give me the strength to show my abilities.

11. When you meet God, what would you say to him?

That’s a very interesting question. Your question is really one in a billion. No one’s ever asked me that before. I don’t know… and what would he ask me… Wow, how many things are running trhough my head. “Couldn’t the world be better?”

Author: Evgenia Styleofsky Photos: Peyo Peev