Revealed: Scandal of Bulgaria's Golden Girls Plight in FranceSports | September 28, 2011, Wednesday // 15:04| views
Bulgaria's golden girls during an award ceremony in Bulgaria on September 28 2011. Photo by BGNES
Bulgaria's women's rhythmic gymnastics team, which won gold in the 3 ribbons/2 hoops discipline final at the World Championship in Montpellier, France, have been forced to endure miserable conditions during their two weeks' stay there.
"These were the worst days of my life. It was complete madness. We arrived at Montpellier and were accommodated at a hostel for socially disadvantaged, which does not even have a telephone connection. It makes me sick just to remember what the toilets looked like," Iliyana Raeva, the coach, fumed at a press conference on Wednesday.
When she approached the French hosts, they explained that the Bulgarian federation was ready to pay for only this type of so-called hotel.
After failing to find a hotel for such a big group, Bulgaria's future world champions were forced to check into a motel, which turned out to be frequently visited by prostitutes.
"I was in despair, but the girls told me they won't be crushed that easily. They showed real strength and I thank them for that," Raeva, one of the Bulgarian legends in rhythmic gymnastics, said.
According to her the nightmare stay in France is the result of a deliberate plot by the Bulgarian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation and its head Maria Gigova.
"I am disgusted by the federation. They did not want us to win the world cup. They did not even want to give us the money needed for the trip. Why? Because over the last few years I asked some very serious questions and they would have been better off if I were out of the game. This was a pure sabotage," Raeva said.
Bulgaria's women's rhythmic gymnastics teams has won gold in the 3 ribbons/2 hoops discipline final at the World Championship in Montpelier, France.
Italy came in second after Bulgaria, and Israel's team came in third.
Before nailing the gold, Bulgaria's team featuring Reneta Kamberova, Mihaela Maevska, Tsvetelina Naydenova, Elena Todorova, Hristina Todorova, and Katrin Velkova earlier won the bronze in the 5 balls discipline final, and two bronze medals earlier.
In addition to the medals, the Bulgarian gymnasts won Saturday a quota for the Olympics in London in 2012.