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Peter Merkov: After every difficulty always comes the sweetness of life

- When did you start kayaking for the first time?

- In 1989, on September 1, when I went to the sport school. I started with my personal coach Marin Marinov. I met him a few years earlier, as I was a classmate of his daughter. He knew me, my personality, that I was stubborn, he saw my skills from a coaching point of view. He invited me to apply for the sport school and accepted me. I wanted to train because I lived 50 meters from the sport school. I have felt the sporting atmosphere as well as the atmosphere of the old and the new Regatta Venue. And I've always loved the water.

- What's the secret of winning more than one medal in one Olympic Game?

- What helped me mostly was my coach. The secret is may be that the more a person is wild in a certain situation, he must be more modest and suffer deprivation in other  to reach the great peak. The deprivation consists of regime, food, sleeping, keeping the whole training, prepared by a team, plan. A strong psyche is most needed, because the competition is huge. Here most boats go to a photo finisher and it all depends on ten thousands of the second and ten hundreds of the second.

- How do you mentally deal with the losses?

- It is difficult. Then the whole race is drawn, you see where you are losing, the intermediate times are watched, you work on them so you do not lose in the given part of the discipline or the distance. You train your weak part so you can make a better performance at the next race.

- What is the emotion of victory?

- I, personally, when I won, I have never showed emotion. I feel it after 2-3 weeks, analyzing the whole competition, feeling the strength and the essence of what I have done.

- Is there any difference between earning an Olympic and another medal?

- Maybe people are seeing the Olympic medal to be more worthy. But for me, the work, commitment and responsibility of each competition are the same.

- Which is the hardest moment in a competition?

- As the competition starts. Once you start, it is very important that you can gather your thoughts and spirit to be yourself and to show what you are capable of. Physical and mental preparation are also important.

- What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a competitor and being a coach?

- The advantage of being competitor is that the a whole team takes care of you - a masseur, a rehabilitator, a doctor, a coach of a unit, senior coach and federation leadership. Everything is provided to you and you only have to do it, and the team that works with you can correct your mistakes. Coaching is harder. When I was a senior coach, I cared about 35 athletes for four and a half years. The responsibility is great. In the evenings, you can not sleep, you think, analyze, keep notes, talk to the contestants so you can improve the results. You experience everything with them - which is both sweet and very difficult. But after every difficulty, the sweetness of life always comes.

- How would you motivate young people today?

- I'd tell them to restrain themselves and to be more patient, to put computer technology down. To rely on the mind, the psyche, and the desire of the heart. I wish them to be  healthy, perseverance and patience.

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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