Born on 25.03.1965 in Plovdiv
Stefka Kostadinova is an Olympic champion in high jump from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics in the USA. There she also set a new Olympic record in the discipline – 205 cm. Kostadinova also won a silver medal in Seoul, South Korea in 1988. She ranked fourth in Barcelona, Spain in 1992. On 30.08.1987, she became world champion in Rome, Italy, with a new world record of 209 cm, which remains intact until today. Her records are a total of 6 – always improved by a second attempt. She is a three-time world record holder in a hall – 204, 205, 206 cm.
Kostadinova is a two-time outdoor world champion – from Rome, Italy in 1987 and from Gothenburg, Sweden, in 1995, as well as holder of five titles from indoor World Championships: Paris, France in 1985, Indianapolis, USA in 1987, Budapest, Hungary in 1989, Toronto, Canada in 1993 and Paris, France in 1997. She is also European outdoor champion from Stuttgart, Germany in 1986 and holder of 4 gold medals from indoor championships of the Old Continent: Piraeus’85, Liévin, France in 1987, Budapest, Hungary in 1988 and Paris, France in 1994. She is also a Winner of the Canberra’85 World Cup final in Australia.
Stefka Kostadinova started training athletics under the coach Dobri Ivanov. Enyu Todorov also had a great impact on her development. She was only 14 years old when she covered the norm for sports master. Kostadinova graduated from the Vasil Levski Sports School and Paisii Hilendarski Plovdiv University. She is Republican champion and record holder in the high jump discipline in all age groups – pioneers, girls and women. Her great success was achieved when Nikolay Petrov became her coach in 1983. Throughout her career she only competed for the team of Trakiya. Kostadinova has participated in 3 Olympic Games, 7 World Championships and 6 European Championships. Her first jump over 2 meters she made on 25.08.1984 in Sofia, Bulgaria. This was followed by 197 jumps in a total of 130 competitions. Kostadinova was voted Sportsperson of the Year in Bulgaria four times and five times as Number 1 in the Balkans.
In 1999 Stefka Kostadinova ended her competitive career and began working in the governing structures of the sport. She became Vice President of the Bulgarian Athletics Federation. That same year she was elected Deputy Chair of the State Agency for Youth and Sports, and since 01.08.2001 she has been Deputy Minister of Sports. On 11.11.2005 she became Chairman of the Bulgarian Olympic Committee. Kostadinova is the only Bulgarian woman to be awarded the Sports Oscar. The award was given to her in 1987. Kostadinova is the sixth Plovdiv athlete who became an honorary citizen of Plovdiv in 1995. She is among the first athletes accepted in the Hall of Fame.