Bulgaria Marks 30 Years since 1st Winter Olympic Medal as Vancouver Games StartSports | February 13, 2010, Saturday // 11:32| views
Bulgarian flag bearer Alexandra Jekova leads the Bulgarian delegation during the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, at the BC Place Stadium, Vancouver, Canada, 12 February 2010. Photo by EPA/BGNES
Bulgaria marks Saturday the 30th anniversary since its first ever Winter Olympic medal, on the first day after the opening of the XXI Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
On February 13, 1980, in the Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, New York, USA, Bulgarian skier Ivan Lebanov won a bronze medal in the 30 km event becoming the first Bulgarian to win a winter Olympic medal.
Lebanov (born 1957) is currently the Mayor of winter resort town of Velingrad in Southern Bulgaria.
Bulgaria’s only Winter Olympic gold medal was won by Ekaterina Dafovska in the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, where she triumphed in the 15 km individual biathlon event.
During the opening of the XXI Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Bulgaria’s national flag was carried at the opening by 22-year-old snowboarder Alexandra Jekova, who is believed to have the greatest chances of the Bulgarian team to carry a medal.
Bulgaria’s total number of contestants at the XXI Olympics swelled to 19 after snowboarder Ivan Ranchev also received the opportunity to participate in the games in Vancouver after a reshuffle of the bidders. He will be joining the Bulgarians in Vancouver on Saturday.