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Sikia Kelbcheva: With the Olympic title we raised the British Queen

- How did your love for sport begin?

- Above all, you have to have it inside yourself. With me started by participating in school championships. Then I turned to rowing, as with my fellow student we walked together to the Regatta Venue. I have been training since I was 19 years old. If one now says they have begun to professionally engage in sports at that age, they will think this person is crazy and it is too late.

- How did you reach the Olympic Games?

- With a lot of desire, with a lot of hard work and proving myself as a person who wants to be a professional athlete.

- What is the feeling of winning an Olympic medal?

- After winning the medal, the feeling is very pleasant - that you have done your job perfectly. You have to be there to feel it.

- You are the first Olympic champion from Plovdiv together with Stoyanka Gruycheva. How were you met in town after winning the medal? What was the atmosphere?

- After we returned to our hometown, people were very happy. The encounter was unbelievable. There was also a celebration. These pleasant memories remain forever.

- What is the most memorable moment in the process of winning the Olympic medal?

- The most pleasant feeling is when you climb the stairs for the awarding. Me and Stoyanka were so tired that we struggle to go there. We could not even smile, we did not realize what had happened. But when we heard the national anthem, my partner caught my hand and that was very memorable for me. In addition to this the Queen of England attended our awards,  and the feeling was indescribable. Still, we knew we had raised the Queen of England.

- What does an Olympic medal bring?

- When you participate in the next Olympics, you just have to chase the top. Our second participation in the Olympic Games (in Moscow) was very difficult for us because we started training only a year before them. However, we already had families and missed races and preparations. But we succeeded because we worked, we did everything by ourselves. This second medal for me is much harder to win because it was related to personal and professional deprivation.

- How would you motivate young athletes?

- It is hard to motivate children. Yet there are young people who want to sport and achieve their goals. I feel sorry that for so many years there are no medals in rowing, it is noted that there is a back wave. Every profession requires dedication, labor, persistance, discipline, will to overcome yourself, set goals, and achieve them step by step. Let's hope that the old athletes will be an example for the young ones, who reminds them that everyone can, as long as he wants.

The interview is published with edits by the author. All rights to the text created under the project "Olympic Medalists of the City of Plovdiv" belongs to "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