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Magdalena Georgieva: In my entire career, I did not have a year without a medal

-Tell us about your first steps in the sport.

-Before practicing at the sports school I trained basketball in the village of Brestovitsa for 2 years. I took part in the entrance exam with the desire to play basketball, but there was no class starting from the 8th grade. I presented myself well and I had two options - athletics or rowing. I chose the rowing. Perhaps for  this choice also helped me the fact that at that time Vania Gesheva (who is also from Brestovitsa. She was already a Republican champion. This may have also motivated me to choose the water sport in front of athletics. This happened in 1976, and my life has since passed with rowing.

- You are the first Bulgarian world champion of the skiff. What is the feeling of being first?

- Being first in any sport of big competitions is unique. Skiff is a heavy discipline - it is different from collective boats. When you win the right to compete on a single boat, it is a great responsibility, as well as recognition of the work done and the results achieved. 1987 was very "strong" for the entire national team. I became a world champion, but we had two more championship titles and one third place.

- And then the Olympic Games. What is the emotion to win an Olympic medal?

- Anyone who participated in the Olympics will say that the emotion of being in such a place is unique. They have nothing to do with other sports forums around the world. From the arrival in the Olympic village to the closing ceremony - it's all unforgettable. The competition itself is not much different than the rest, but the atmosphere makes you feel different. When you compete and achieve success, you are happy. The feeling of satisfaction comes later, not the race itself. At the moment I was pleased to have achieved a good result, but the real emotion came when we returned to Bulgaria. When you are surrounded by loved ones, friends and even strangers who enjoy you, then you understand that you have succeeded.

- Which is the hardest time during a race?

- The race is not difficult. There I go to show how good I am. There is nothing more difficult than the training process. The race shows whether I have trained well, whether it was enough and how much I have been motivated. Competition has never scared me. I know that what I am capable of I will do it. It is a different thing what the others will do and how prepared I am. I'm giving everything, and what I'm doing right now is my top score. I do not regret. I can only draw conclusions.

- So, do you need mental training?

- Yes. Psychological training is extremely important, both in the preparation process and during the competition itself. In my opinion, the work of the psychologist with the contestants in the preparatory part would help them a lot to deal with the tension before and during the start.

- What does sport give to a person? Why should someone train professionally?

- I had a long and successful career and I can say I owe everything to sport. I can not be dissatisfied by the fact that all these years I have always been among the medalists. In practice, in my ten-year sport career I have no year without a medal. Rowing is an amateur sport and training professionally means giving all your energy both in preparation and during a race. You need to be committed to achieving even higher results. What sport offers to young people is a field of expression and many different possibilities. The discipline and the ability to mobilize in difficult moments are qualities that would give a good chance of realization in other spheres after the end of the sport career.

* 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