about us




  issue 3, year XI, 2004

INTERVIEW EUROPA: Vassil Ivanov-Lucciano, Minister of Youth and
Sports: "We shall win more titles in comparison with the previous
   An Interview by Nadia Stancheva          page 4

INTERVIEW EUROPA: H.E. the Ambassador of the Republic of Greece in
Bulgaria: "Culture is the other side of sports".
An Interview by Tsvetanka Elenkova          page 5

INTERVIEW EUROPA: Ivan Slavkov, President of the Bulgarian Olympic
Committee: "Sofia is an excellent place for carrying out of Olympic Games"
   An Interview by Nadia Stancheva          page 6

   Ass. Prof. Feim Chaoushev, Deputy Minister
of the Ministry of Youth and Sports          page 6

   This current year the Olympic Games are having a comeback to Greece - the land where they got started in 776 B.C. In 393 A.D.Emperor Theodosius forbids the Olympic Games qualifying them as a pagan occupation. The modern Olympic Games are revived in 1896. In 2004 Bulgaria has the great chance that the most remarkable event in the sports life of the Planet will be carried out in neighbouring Greece. We keep believing in the ideas of the Olympic movement. Sport brings people closer and gives an impulse for a healthy life style.We expect a number of foreign athletes to carry out their pre-Olympic training in Bulgaria. The Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Economy, the Bulgarian Olympic Committee, the Bulgarian-Greek Information Center, the Bulgarian Sport Federations, the Bulgarian Tourist Chamber, the Association of the tour-operators and the Association of the Hotel-and-Restaurant Owners in Bulgaria jointly established the BULGARIAN TOURIST POOL. The mission and the goal of this structure is to successfully offer on the market the resources of the Bulgarian sports organizations and sport bases for pre-Olympic training and acclimatization for the forthcoming Summer Olympic Games - Athens 2004.

Short History of the Summer Olympiads
   Veska Georgieva          page 11
   Bulgaria has always took pride in being one of the 14 countries that have participated in the First Modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. In the history of the Olympic Games the Bulgarian athletes also have their place there, who with their high prizes have contributed significantly to the development of sports and the Olympic movement. 262 Bulgarians have won 200 medals altogether, namely: 49 gold medals, 83 silver medals, and 68 bronze medals. Among them are the twofold Olympic champions Boyan Radev /wrestling/, Petar Kirov /wrestling/, Norair Nurikyan / weightlifting/, Tanyu Kiryakov /shooting/, Nikolai Buhalov /canoe kayak/, as well as the unique Vanya Gesheva /canoe kayak/ with a total of 4 medals, out of which a complete set of medals from the Seul '88 Olympiad, the world record-holder Stefka Kostadinova, and many more. They all brought to Bulgaria Olympic and world sports fame and a lasting presence in the golden book of world sports.

   Ministry of Youth and Sports         page 15

   Alexander Gigov         page 17
   The Olympic Flame of the XXVIII Summer Olympiad was lit up at noon on 25 March 2004 in Hera's temple, among the ruins of ancient Olympia. Following the ancient tradition the flame was lighted from the reflection of the sun's rays focused on a concave mirror. This year the Olympic Torch is made in such a way that it resembles an olive leaf - a symbol of peace and freedom. The uniqueness of the Torch Relay, that will precede the Greek Olympic Games, lies in the fact that for the first time in the history of the Olympic movement the Olympic Fire will travel over all five continents. 11 000 torchbearers will take part in the Torch Relay, and 2 200 more companions will be attached to them. 3 600 are the torchbearers on the five continents. In the host country 7 700 famous Greeks will be handing over the torches to one another. The Olympic Flame will pass from hand to hand, along with the usage of automobiles, airplanes, helicopters, boats, bikes and motorcycles. The organizers have envisaged the Olympic Flame to "cover" 80 000 km by air. In the period from 25 March to 13 August 2004 the Olympic Flame will have to change time zones 37 times and to visit countries with 20 different currencies. It has been estimated that more than 260 000 000 people live in the towns and cities which will host the Torch Relay. While the inhabitants of the countries /27 in number/, through which the Olympic Relay will pass, come up to nearly 4 billions. If we can speak of some strict sport regulations, we should say that they envisage each torchbearer to cover a distance of 400 m. At the same time, the companions will have to run a distance of 2000 m each. It will be a great honour for us, the Bulgarians, to welcome the Olympic Flame on our soil. And that will be our third time. In the distant year of 1972 the Olympic Flame crossed the Bulgarian territory on its way to Munich. In 1980 the sacred flame passed through Bulgaria along the route to Moscow. As a part of the festive activities this current year we would like to point out the famous opening of the clock that counts the days to the arrival of the Olympic Torch Relay in Bulgaria on 7 July 2004.

Optimal conditions for the Bulgarian athletes
   "Sports" Directorate at the Ministry
of Youth and Sports         page 20

         page 24
   ROWING - Rumiana Neikova - twofold World Champion in rowing for the years 2002 and 2003. Second place at the Sydney Olympiad, Australia 2000.
   CANOE/KAYAK - Boika Pindjeva - second place at the World Championship on canoe/kayak on 200 m in Seville, Spain, 2002; second place on 500 m at the World Championship in Atlanta, USA, 2003; Petar Merkov - European Champion on canoe/kayak on 500 m in Zagreb, Croatia, 1999; Vice-World Champion on 500 m in Seville, Spain, 2002; fourth place at the World Championship on 1000 m in Atlanta, USA, 2003.
   JUDO - Georgi Georgiev - gold medal in the 66 kg category at the World Judo Championship Armies/SISM, 2002; bronze medal from the European Championship in 2003; Tzvetana Bojilova - silver medal in the 78 kg category at the European Judo Championship in 1999; bronze medal in the 78 kg category at the European Judo Championship in 2003.
   WEIGHTLIFTING - Milen Dobrev - World Champion and twofold European Champion in weightlifting for men, 94 kg category. Has won for Bulgaria 20 medals from European and World competitions; Isabela Dragneva - World Champion for women, sevenfold European Champion in weightlifting for women, 48 kg category. Has won for Bulgaria 47 medals from World and European competitions.
   BOX - Boris Georgiev - twofold Vice-European Champion in box 2000-2002; Vice-World Champion in 2000; Dimitar Stilyanov - twofold European Champion in box 2002-2004; Vice-World Champion for 2001. Holder of the "Strandja" Cup for 2000.
   SHOOTING - Tanyu Kiryakov - twofold Olympic Champion in shooting in Seul 1988, Sydney 2000; European Champion in 1998. Holder of 4 silver and 2 bronze medals from Championships on the European continent. Has broken a world record at the World Cup in Hiroshima in 1995; Maria Grozdeva - Olympic Champion in shooting in Sydney, 2000. Seven times European Champion and five times Vice-Champion; Emil Milev - Olympic Vice-Champion in shooting in Atlanta 1996; silver medal at the European Championship in Zurich 1995, and in the European Championship in Pilsen in 2003.
   ARTISIC GYMNASTICS - Simona Peycheva - Vice-World Champion in artistic gymnastics, 2001.Three gold medals at finals; World Cup in 2002 - gold medal for ball performance; Elisabet Paisieva - bronze medal at final with ribbons - World Championship 2003; Artistic Gymnastics Ensemble: Eleonora Kejova, Janet Ilieva, Kristina Rangelova, Vladislava Tancheva, Galina Tancheva, Juliana Naidenova, Zornitsa Marinova - Vice-European Champions for 2003 - gold medal at final with 3 hoops and 2 balls, silver medal at final with 5 ribbons. Vice-World Champions for 2003 - 2 silver medals at finals.
   WRESTLING - Armen Nazarian - twofold Olympic Champion in Greco-Roman wrestling, categories 52 and 58 kg, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000; World Champion in Moscow 2002; 6 times European Champion. Two times holder of the Golden Belt "Nicola Petrov" - 1998, 2003; Serafim Burzakov - twofold World Champion in free style, 63 kg category in Teheran 1998 and Sofia 2001. Threefold European Champion. Olympic Vice-Champion in Sydney 2000. Threefold holder of the Golden Belt "Dan Kolov; Nikolay Paslar was born on 12 June 1980 in Moldova. World Champion in free style, 69 kg category, from the Championship in Sofia in 2001. Designated by FILA as the best free style wrestler for 2001.
   CYCLING - Evgenia Radanova - the first Bulgarian athlete to take part in both Summer and Winter Olympic Games. First place in sprint cycling in Group B at the World Championship in Switzerland; first place in sprint at Grand Prix in Paris, 2003. Medalist at the Salt Lake City Olympiad, USA, 2002;
   RHYTMIC GYMNASTICS - Evgenia Kuznetsova - silver medal from the Olympic Games in Atlanta, USA, 1996; silver medal from the World Championship in Lozana, Switzerland, 1997; gold medal on beam from the European Championship in Sanct Petersburg, Russia; silver medal from the World Championship in Tianjin, China, 1999; gold medal from the European Championship in Paris, France, 2000. Having played for the Russian team, she is currently playing for Bulgaria; Yordan Yovchev - 2 world titles and one bronze medal at the World Championship in Gent, Belgium, 2001. Proclaimed as gymnast of the Planet for 2001.

   An Interview by Vanya Dermendjieva      page 27

   Blagorodna Filevska       page 30
   "As there is no warmer or brighter star in heaven in daytime than the sun, so there is no bigger sports meeting than the Olympic Games. "
   Pindar, Greek lyric poet, 5th c. B.C.
   Eager to follow closely the Olympic competitions, nearly 1,5 million visitors from all continents are expected to arrive in Greece this summer! What's more - they would like to see in action the already famous grandiose sport facilities! It is said, for instance, that the Olympic Stadium with its new roof - a creation of the Spanish architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava, will become a symbol of modern Athens...
   From this year on the long list of Athens' "classical" tourist sites will be enriched with the sport facilities of Olympiad 2004, namely: the Olympic Weightlifting Hall in the Nikaia neighbourhood, the Olympic Stadium in the Galatsi neighbourhood, the Olympic Wrestling Hall in the Ano Liossia neighbourhood, the Olympic Equestrian and Shooting Centre in the nearby village of Markopoulo, the Olympic Rowing and Canoeing Centre in Schinias, the Olympic Sailing Centre in Agios Kosmas , the Marine and Beach Volleyball Coastal Zone Olympic Complex in the Faliron neighbourhood, the Olympic canoe/ kayak Centre and the open-air stadia /for baseball, hockey and softball/ in the Heliniko neighbourhood, the Olympic complex in the Goudi neighbourhood, and, certainly, the Olympic Village and the totally renovated Athens Olympic Sports Complex /OCO/ with its stadium on one of the central Athens boulevards "Kifisias".

   Vassilena Matakieva       page 36
   "The reason I was in Australia in September 2000 was the first big international competition in the new century - the Olympic Games in Sydney", the author writes. That was the most imposing Olympiad in history with representatives of 200 sport nations. Nearly 11 000 athletes - a record number for any Summer Games - took part in the XXVII sports forum. Sydney and Australia had been preparing for 7 years for the sport start of the Millenium and did it in such a way that the Honorary President of the International Olympic Committee Juan Antonio Samaranch exclaimed: "Brilliant! These are the best Games ever!" Bulgaria again returned from Sydney with its Olympic champions. Among the present 200 countries, Bulgaria ranked 16th in the general alignment by nations, owing to the titles of Maria Grozdeva, Tanyu Kiryakov, Tereza Marinova, Galabin Boevski and Armen Nazarian, to the silver medals of Rumiana Neikova, Georgi Markov, Alan Tsagaev, Serafim Burzakov and Petar Merkov and the not less prestigious 2 bronze medals of Yordan Yovchev. The sport battle was won by the Americans, followed by Russia and China.

   Prof. Chavdar Popov   page 38
   Hagion Oros /the Holy Mountain/ is an autonomous monastic republic, a self-governed part of the territory of Greece, which is simultaneously under the jurisdiction and the spriritual dependence of the Oecumenical Patriarchy in Istanbul. Its first Charter /971-972/ has been preserved and is active to this day. Its chronology goes back to the 9-th century although ascetics have definitely lived on these lands even much earlier. The main flow of hermits however has most probably come here only after the period of iconoclasm /8-9th c./ The Athonian priests are heirs to the first monastic communities from the era of the early Christianity from Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Kapadokia and Constantinopol. In spiritual and religious aspect, within the frames of the East Orthodox Church, monkhood has been directed entirely towards the saving of the soul and the unity with God Almighty. The monastic republic is an orderly community, organized under the hierarchy rules. It has its own capital - Karyes. Its governing is realized by the Holy Community, whose seat is there. This governing body comprises of representatives of all monasteries, situated on Mt. Athos. Together with the monasteries, which are dormitories, there are also "scits" /hermits' cloisters/, "kelis" -independent small monastic dwellings, and deserts /found mainly at the foot of and around Mount Athos, 2000 m high/, where hermits live, having adopted the most extreme forms of independent life, totally isolated from the world. The monasteries are 20 altogether and their number cannot be changed. They are aligned in a definite order, accepted by the kynotis /the Community/. Of these the Zograph monastery is Bulgarian, the Hilendar monastery is Serbian, and the Saint Panteleimon monastery is Russian. The rest are Greek monasteries.

   Zdravka Mihailovas   page 42
   Taking the responsibility to organize and host the Olympic Games in 2004, Greece has proposed the creating of a new institution - a Cultural Olympiad, whose ambition is the Olympic cultural activities, that have had so far an important, yet auxiliary significance, to acquire an independent image, so that a number of ideas and values, contained in the Olympic ideal, could stand out. The fan of the events, organized in the frames of this Cultural Olympiad /2001-2004/, is wide and multi-coloured: meetings on the topic of digital culture, audio-visual means, architecture, literature, fine arts exhibitions, theatre, music, dances, etc. One of the interesting events in 2003 was the Festival "Ritual and sacred music from all over the world", which took place in the ancient Odeion of Herodes Atticus, situated at the food of the Acropolis. In 2003 a double jubilee was celebrated, namely the 140-th anniversary from the birth and 70 years from the death of the great poet of the Greek diaspora - K. Kavafis from Alexandria. A new museum, so different from all others, is being born in the heart of Athens, not far from the ancient cemetery - the archeological site Kerameikos. It will house exhibits from the "Islam art" collection of the Benaki Museum, masterpieces by Botticelli, Titian, Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Donatello, legendary names of the Italian Renaissance. "The Light of Apollo" was lit up in the homonymous exhibition at the National Gallery in Athens /22 December 2003 - 19 April 2004/. In the programme of the Cultural Olympiad the aristocratic art designed for the refined Florentine rulers, coexists along with the square spectacle. "The Greek Theatre of the shadows, figures of light and history" was another event in Athens, which was performed in the period 22 March - 9 May 2004.

   Zdravka Mihailova      page 44
   From 14th to 19th of April 2004 the easternmost Cycladic island Amorgos was host to the Second Meeting of the press and media titled "Iperia 2004". Among the participants were journalists and authors of travel notes from prestigious printed publications and TV teams from Greece, the United States, Sweden, Finland, Poland, Bulgaria, China and many others. In parallel with the work of the Conference, the aim of its organizers was to make the guests witness and experience the local customs, connected with the celebration of Easter /Christ's Resurrection/ and the holidays of the rebirth of Nature in spring, kept alive in the folk calendar.

   Dochka Kisyova-Gogova      page 46
   The art of the sculptor Georgi Chapkunov cannot be squeezed in any frames. The key to his uniqueness lies in the fact that he creates an exquisite piece of art despite the material he works with, and yet it looks as if it has been untouched by human hand. A specific theme constantly agitates the artist. It has inspired him already in the 70s and 80s of the 20th century , when in many of his small works of plastic art he combines in an unified composition the figures of man and animal, such as "Woman with bird", "Man with fish", "Man feeding birds", "Girl with geese", "Kissing a bird", and many others. The artist touches upon this theme in his monumental works, too, which are being created for a specific architectural environment. Georgi Chapkunov is also the author of many prize statuettes and plaques for various competitions and festivals, namely: of the statuette "Askeer" - the prize of the Army Theatre for theatrical mastery; for the Festival of Radio-and-Television programmes for arts and culture "The Eighth Muse", a plaque - prize for journalism named after Dimi Panitsa, etc. The artist does not miss participation in representative exhibitions of the Bulgarian arts the world over, his independent shows being more than 30 in Bulgaria and abroad.

         page 48

         page 51
   Kristin Dimitrova was born in 1963 in Sofia. She has graduated the English Philology Department at the Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", where she works currently as an Assistant in the "Foreign Languages" Chair. She is author of 5 books of poems, namely: "James's Thirteenth Child" /1992/, "An Image Under the Ice"/1997/, "Closed Figures"/1998/, "Faces With Intertwined Tongues"/1998/ and "Talismans' Repair" /2001/. Dimitrova is holder of the prizes "Golden Chain" of the "Trud" daily /1996/, a prize for poetry of "Century 21"/1997/, "The Golden Metaphor" of "AB" Publishing House /1997/, "Ivan Nikolov" of "Janet-45" Publishing House /1997/, second prize for team participation in the Poetry Olympiad in Stockholm, organized by IOPP /1998/, "Argus" /2001/, third prize for sci-fiction story, "Trud" 's prize for story-telling /2003/, prize of the Association of the Bulgarian writers for poetry /2003/. She is also compiler and translator of the book with selected poems by John Dunn "The Anagramme" /1999/.

         page 53

   at the Ministry of Youth and Sports      page 57

         page 57
   Our ambitions are connected with the flow of people that will pass through Bulgaria for the Olympiad. Around 13 000 athletes and over 1 million tourists are expected as a whole to come to the Athens Olympic Games. Around 2000 athletes and 50 000 tourists will actually come in Bulgaria. The money returns for Bulgaria will not be more than 20 million USD, which is too small. The Olympiad in Athens will bring to that country around 4 billion USD. Unfortunately, it has turned out that we do not have enough sport facilities in Bulgaria. There are many other existing problems, too, including the infrastructure of the roads, airports and the continuing building ... Corruption is the first of all obstacles to the development of tourism.

   Ass. Prof. Dr. Erika Lazarova      page 59
   The spell of the Olympic Games is associated not only with the apotheosis of the physical strength and valour, but also with the historical establishment of given virtues, subordinate to the spirit and essence of the Hellenic civilization. The very idea that only free citizens can take part in the competitions, is a direct consequence from the implementation of the ideal for democratic style of government. Heraclitus used to oppose the "crowd" to the hero, saying: "For me, one equals ten thousand, if he is the best". His antipode is Democritus, called "the laughing philosopher". He accepted the vicissitudes in the world as inevitable and apt to be conquered by the strength of the will of the virtuous man. Philosophers from the rank of Pythagoras /famous for hand-to-hand fightings/ or the athlete Plato, the "Father of Medicine" Hippocrates /a well-known wrestler and charioteer/ and the poets Sophocles and Euripides, distinguished at the Olympic poetic competitions, have also proved that the notion about the harmonious man is not solely an utopia.