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Stoyan Gunchev: Young people need to be more brave and self-confident

- What brought you to the first volleyball training?

-  I was taken to my first volleyball training by assistant Pascal Paskalev. He came to my school, made tests related to athletic disciplines, and invited me to an exam at the sport school. In 1969 and 1970, they organized a group of high-level training. Now I know there is no such thing. During this training we were prepared for many disciplines such as athletics, gymnastics and others. During our first year we specialized, and I definitely got involved in the volleyball group. That's what brought me to volleyball - a purposeful selection.

- What are the advantages and disadvantages of the team game?

- The advantage of team play is that it is basically a model of life. The disadvantage is that it does not make you independent. Autonomous - yes, but not self-sufficient. The game disciplines you, teaches you to act correctly with colleagues.

- How is the emotion of winning an Olympic medal different from any other?

- The difference is enormous, as the Olympic Games are every four years and there are people from all sports from all over the world - the best examples. Contacts during the Olympics remain a memory in your for life time. There is no other such event. Other competitions are definitely more specific, as they are, for example, only for volleyball players.

- Can we say that it is the top of your career - to participate in the Olympic Games?

- I myself, am more ambitious than the Coubertin's motto "Participate." But it is not the only thing, to play and to win is something very great and I think that for an athlete the Olympics is a supreme achievement. I do not underestimate the World and European championships, but the emotion is different.

- Competitor or coach - which role do you like?

- If I was young - surely a competitor. Now I tell the children playing volleyball that if I were their age, I would have taken the libero position. At least I will not be changed because at the moment the competition for this position is not big. And if I have the opportunity to manifest myself now, I would become a coach. This is a completely different thing. Coaching is related to leadership skills, physiological compliance, workout arrangements, psychological impact on the contestants in a positive direction, and a number of similar things. Because of this and now at this age, I would become a coach.

- What is your covenant to young people? How would you motivate them?

Covenant sounds very pretentious. But I would tell them to be more brave. To have a realistic self-esteem that does not hinder them. The only advice I can give them and tell them is to be more humble in sports.

* 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