Yordan Yovchev - Gymnastics

Born on 24.02.1973 in Plovdiv

Yordan Yovchev started practicing gymnastics in 1980 under the coach Ivan Slavchev. After that, he continued his training under Zhivko Dobrev. He competed for the teams of Trakiya (1980 – 1983), Spartak (1983 – 1990), CSKA (1990 – 1992) and after 1992 again for Spartak. Yovchev has been part of the national men’s team since 1990. He is one of the thirteen Bulgarians who have won more than one medal from Olympic Games. He is ranked third among the Bulgarians who have won four medals at Olympic Games. In his collection he has silver and bronze medals (2004 in Athens, Greece) and two more bronze medals from Sydney, Australia, in 2000. At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics Yovchev was sixth on rings and sixth in the team rankings. He is also the only gymnast in the world with six participations in Olympic Games (from 1992 until 2012). Yovchev has won nine awards (2, 4, 3) from World Championships. At the 2001 World Championship in Ghent, Belgium, he won two gold medals – floor and rings. There, he also became the first Bulgarian world champion in gymnastics. Yovchev became European champion on rings in 2002 in Patras, Greece. He has won five silver medals and one bronze medal in European championships. Thus, his awards from these championships are a total of 20 (5 gold, 9 silver, 6 bronze). He has also won 9 (3 gold, 4 silver, 2 bronze) medals from Gymnastics World Cups.

Yordan Yovchev was named Best Sportsman on the Balkan Peninsula in 2003 in a poll by the Bulgaria Telegraph Agency and became Sportsman of Bulgaria for 2001 and 2003.

In 1996, Yordan Yovchev moved to the United States but continued to compete for Bulgaria. He returned to Bulgaria in 2007. Yovchev has been an honorary citizen of Plovdiv since 2001. In December 2008 he was elected as Chairman of the Bulgarian Sports Gymnastics Federation. He was also Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports for the temporary governments in 2013 and 2014.

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