Stoyan Delchev - Gymnastics

Born on 03.07.1959 in Plovdiv

Stoyan Delchev is the first Bulgarian to win two medals in one Olympic games (in Moscow in 1980) – bronze in the all-around (24.07.1980) and gold on horizontal bars (25.07.1980). In Moscow, Russia, he became our first Olympic champion in gymnastics. In 1980 he participated in the final on gymnastic equipment and collected 17.33 points from the unofficial ranking. With these points Delchev ranked before Greece, which up to that moment was at 26th place with 17.00 points.

Delchev entered the gymnastics hall at the age of seven. His first coach was Nikola Angov, and after that he was briefly prepared by Evgeni Zemskov. In the fifth grade he was admitted in the Vasil Levski Sports School. From 1972 until the end of his career he worked in tandem with Nikola Nikolov and competed for the team of Trakiya. Delchev graduated from the National Sports Academy.

He was only 18 years old when he patented in his name two positions on horizontal bars – the Delchev-1 somersault and the Delchev-2 somersault. At the 1977 European Championship in Vilnius, Lithuania, he became a champion at horizontal bars. In 1979 in Essen, Germany, he also won the absolute European title in the all-around. This is the first and only similar success of a Bulgarian to date. In Essen, Germany, he played the final of all six different disciplines. He took gold on floor, silver on horizontal bars and bronze on jump and became fifth on rings and seventh on pommel horse and parallel bars. This success of four medals has not been surpassed by other Bulgarian gymnastics so far. At the 1979 World Cup tournament in Tokyo, Japan, Delchev won a bronze medal in the all-around and a gold medal on floor. He is the first Bulgarian gymnast who has reached the gold in such a competition.

Stoyan Delchev stopped competing in 1982. After 1985 he devoted himself to coaching. Between 1987 and 1989 Delchev prepared the national team. He managed to establish himself as the only coach in Bulgaria with a title as a competitor and as a coach (Lyubomir Geraskov in Seoul, South Korea in 1988) in gymnastics. In 2001, Delchev was named Best Bulgarian Gymnast of the Twentieth Century. On 09.02.2008, Stoyan Delchev was admitted to the Gymnastics Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City (USA) and became its 64th member. He is the only Bulgarian included in this Hall of Fame and is in the company of 81 stars from 21 countries of the world gymnastics. Delchev also received recognition from the World Acrobatic Association, which in 2011 included him in its Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, USA. Delchev now has his own training center Deltchev Gymnastics in Reno (Nevada, USA). Stoyan Delchev has been honorary citizen of Plovdiv since 2001.

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