Nikolay Buhalov - Canoeing

Born on 20.03.1967 in Karlovo

Nikolay Buhalov is the first and only Bulgarian athlete to win two gold medals at a single Olympic Games in 1992 in Barcelona, Spain (at C1 – 500 m and 1,000 m). He is bronze medalist from the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, at C1 – 1,000 m. Buhalov participated in a total of four Olympiads in 1988, 1992, 1996 and 2000.

Buhalov is a two-time winner of the Canoe World Cup – upon the establishment of the Cup in 1993 and in 1995. He became part of the national men’s team in 1986. His first participation in the World Men’s Championship was in 1986 in Montreal, where he ranked third with canoe at 500 meters. His first World Cup title was in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1993, when he won at C1 – 500 m. He is the only Bulgarian canoe champion for men from all championships under the aegis of the ICF and the ECA.

His wins from world championships are as follows: in 1993 – champion from Copenhagen, Denmark, at C1 – 500 m; in 1994 – Mexico City, Mexico, at C1 – 200 m and 500 m; in 1995 – Duisburg, Germany, at C1 – 200 m and 500 m; in 1991 – World Vice Champion from Paris, France, at C1 – 500 m and 1,000 m; in 1994 – Mexico City, Mexico, at C1 – 1,000 m; 6 bronze medals: in 1986 from Montreal, Canada, at C1 – 500 m; in 1989 from Plovdiv, Bulgaria, at C4 – 1,000 m; in 1990 from Poznan, Poland, at C1 – 500 m, C4 – 500 m and C4 – 1,000 m; in 1991 from Paris, France, at C4 – 1,000 m. Nikolay Buhalov’s wins from European championships are as follows: in 1997 – Plovdiv, Bulgaria, win at C1 – 500 m and silver medal at C – 1,000 m; in 2000 – Poznan, Poland, bronze medal at C1 – 500 m.

Buhalov was attracted to canoeing by the coach. Georgi Uchkunov and started training in the Trakiya Army Sports Society in 1980. He graduated from the Vasil Levski Sports School in Plovdiv. Between 1986 and 2004 he won 31 (24 gold, 6 silver, 1 bronze) medals from state championships, 14 (6 gold, 2 silver, 6 bronze) from World Championships and 3 (1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze) from European championships.

Nikolay Buhalov is the best Bulgarian canoe competitor of the twentieth century. He was ranked Bulgaria’s No 1 Athlete in 1992 and Bulgaria’s No 2 Athlete in 1994 and 1995, and was part of the Top 10 Bulgaria’s Best Athletes in 1991, 1993 and 1997. He has been honorary citizen of Plovdiv since 1992. Buhalov graduated from the National Sports Academy. In the period from 2003 until 2008 and in 2014 he was coach of the national team and Head of the Canoe Division. He is also Town councilor, President of the Trakiya Canoe-Kayak Sports Club and the face of Bulgaria during applications for hosting of large championships in Plovdiv.

Project "Establishing Youth Centre in the city of Plovdiv", with the financial support of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2009-2014 ДО3-9/28.01.2014