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Absolute record holder in the shooting Petar Zapryanov: Sport made me a man

- Why did you choose to practice sport shooting?

- I grew up with weapons - my grandfather was a hunter. It was a pleasure to interact with the weapons. My patriotic motivation must also be taken into account - to prepare myself properly for the protection of the Fatherland. That's why I chose shooting - it was just the sport I dreamed of since first grade. I managed to get into the sports school and started training.

- What is the "burden" and responsibility of the medal?

- When a Bulgarian becomes famous, he becomes the face of the nation. He must take this into account and always act properly, responsibly, and in no case to discredit themselves. The responsibility of the medal is great. It obliges you much.

- In 1981 you put an absolute record in your discipline - 600 out of 600 possible points. How is an excellent shape achieved in order to achieve excellent results?

- One year after the Olympic Games I set a record - 600 of the 600 possible in my discipline. I was getting ready for the Balkaniad in Sofia. I managed to achieve this result on a corridor that was central to the door. Then I was a regular student - I went to lectures and training. I just had accumulated training from the previous year. But in general, who has been in the great sport knows that, in order to achieve results you want, you have to overcome yourself. This means you have to bet on your instinct and preparation and wherever you can get something positive. That's how I achieved 600 out of 600. After a few years the targets were changed - they made them with smaller tens, but the last record was mine. It's still mine. Now this discipline is recorded differently. That's why there's a new record count, but they have not improved mine yet.

- Does sport help in life?

- Sport always helps in life. It was  exactly the sport that made me a man. If it was not the sport, I do not know what I would be. Probably an engineer. I was still going to achieve something in my life, but I'm grateful to the sport for everything I've achieved.

- How would you motivate future athletes?

- The motivation for me was to be the best - not in the world but in Bulgaria. I reached this at the age of 19 and I maintained it for 13-14 years. I went through 4 Olympic cycles. Therefore, young people must necessarily want to be the best - at least in Bulgaria, and then to compete with the best of other countries who have the same motivation. Especially in our sport is like that in one competition participate at least half of the participants and they can become first. It's not like the other sports, two or three are the best, and finally the question is what medal they will take. In our sport everyone can become a champion. And if there are bad meteorological conditions - then the good ones are first. When everything is fine - there is no wind, no sun, no haze, the target is visible, you do not know who will win. It could win both a young man and a mature man. Bad weather separates men from children.

*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