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Caspar Simeonov: Volleyball was love at first sight for me

- Did sport choose you or did you choose the sport?

- I was chosen by the selection system for players, which existed in the past. There were a lot of school championships and I started from basketball, football because I was tall and I could play it all. But in sixth grade, my then coach, Slavcho Slavchev, directed me to volleyball. From the moment I caught the volleyball ball, I told myself I was going to be a volleyball player. Love at first sight.

- Besides the physical, what other preparation is needed to win an Olympic medal?

- The road to participating in the Olympic Games is very difficult. First, you start working at least 5 years with a 12-year-old child to make a product, an athlete, a competitor. This competitor has the physical abilities to participate and to establish himself in the national team. Then the team has to win a quota for the Olympics. It's a long way. You go through physical, moral, psychic training, as well as through many workouts and a lot of diligence. For me, hard working is the most important thing in sports. Next is the desire for self-improvement and only then is the Olympic Games, to the Masters of Sports. All the people who work with you are extremely helpful – coaches, medical professionals, psychologists, physical training.

- Volleyball is a team game. How much do you have to overcome yourself in the name of the common good of the team?

- It's not a selfish game. I am amazed by my fellow athletes how they make the crosses only by themselves. With me, if the team members aren't here, I wouldn't go. The collective game wants casualties. Players must be a group of likeminded people who are respected, impress and know their place-then a team is made and then success is achieved. On the camp before the Olympic Games in Moscow in 1980  with the people of the national team we looked at eah other and we said: We have to deal with it. And it worked!

- What attracted you to coaching work?

- There's no better thing than being a contestant. You're cared for, people work with you. While the trainer is on the other side-you have to deal with 15-16  "Crazy heads". Coaching work is very difficult and ungrateful, but it is also the most important. Especially in child-adolescent preparation, when the characters and habits are formed. The sport and the coach teach you to be organized, because there is time for everything – for school, for training, for recreation, for free time. There's always time for sports for 24 hours.

- What would you advise future athletes?

- Motivation today is more difficult because there is already a lot of fun. But it all depends on the educators who work with the children-to convey the spark to them, to give them a good example. There is no greater motivation than information about successful athletes and high results globally. This should be motivation for young athletes and they want to reach such high peaks.

 The interview is posted with edits by the author. All rights to the text created by the project "Olympic medalists of Plovdiv" belong to Municipal Enterprise "Youth Center Plovdiv"

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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

Youth Centre Plovdiv - a powerful factor for local development" under the „Local Development, Poverty Reduction and Enhanced Inclusion of Vulnerable Groups” programme with the financial support of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2014-2021 № BGLD-1.003-0002