Sunday, 28 February 2010

If Could Have Been A Bulgarian Winter Olympic Medal

It could have be a very different story is Bulgaria had been the chosen nationality and the medal became Bulgarian. This would have been the first medal in the winter Olympics for 30 years for Bulgaria and another day of celebration would have been made in the already cluttered days of celebration in late winter and spring. But is isn't and Slovakia claim that accolade.

Anastazia Kuzmina won the Olympics 7.5-kilometre biathlon sprint in Vancouver to give Slovakia its first Winter
Games gold, but only a few months ago she had been ready to compete for Bulgaria, said Bulgarian sports chiefs.
Former Bulgarian biathlon's national team coach Boran Hadzhiev said Kuzmina and her husband and coach contacted him to reveal she wanted to apply for Bulgarian citizenship and to compete for the Balkan country.
"It's true," Hadzhiev told Bulgarian media. "They were in Belmeken (southwestern Bulgaria) last summer and they asked me to help and let our federation know about Anastazia's desire to compete for Bulgaria.
"I discussed the situation with our federation's chiefs, but they decided against applying for Kuzmina's Bulgarian citizenship and her inclusion in the national team after all."
The 25-year-old had never won a World Cup event before her surprising victory at Whistler Olympic Park on Feb. 12. The Russian-born Kuzmina, who also works as a police officer as well as an athlete and a coach, switched allegiances to Slovakia in 2008.
"It's a shame because she's a top performer and could have helped the Bulgarian team," said Hadzhiev.
Bulgarian biathlon is going through hard times after the recent retirement of 1998 Olympic champion Ekaterina Dafovska and 2006 European champion Pavlina Filipova.
"In fact, Kuzmina got in touch with me again a few weeks later, but our officials didn't change their mind.," said Hadzhiev.
The Bulgarian Olympic Committee announced it would award enhanced cash bonuses to athletes who win medals in Vancouver, but despite the incentive the country has yet to record a podium finish with the Games finishing on Sunday.
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