Stefka Kostadinova

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Stefka Kostadinova (born March 25, 1965, Plovdiv, Bulgaria) is a famous Bulgarian athlete specialising in the high jump. She finished the Plovdiv Sports School in 1982 initially concentrating on gymnastics and swimming, to transfer later to athletics.

Stefka Kostadinova won gold in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta setting an olympic record of 2.05 m. She also has an olympic silver from the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. Kostadinova is a double world outdoor champion - from the World Championships in 1987 and 1995.

Kostadinova has taken part in altogether five IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics - Paris 1985, Indianapolis 1987, Budapest 1989, Toronto 1993 and Paris 1997, winning gold in all five of them. She has also snatched gold in all European Championships in Athletics which she has competed in. She is a European outdoor champion from Stuttgart in 1986 and a four-time European indoor champion from Athens 1985, Lievenne 1987, Budapest 1988 and Paris 1994.

Kostadinova is still the reigning world record holder in the women's high jump with 2.09 m which she jumped at the 1987 World Championships in Athletics in Rome. Her world record is one of the oldest in modern athletics. Kostadinova has set altogether seven world records - three outdoors and four indoors, and has jumped over 2.00 m more than 100 times, an achievement unequalled by any other athlete in the women's high jump.

Kostadinova has been voted four times Sportsperson of the Year in Bulgaria (1985, 1987, 1995 and 1996) and five times Sportsperson of the Year on the Balkans. This makes her the sportsperson with the greatest number of such awards in Bulgaria and on the Balkans. She is also included in the Top 10 of the Twentiewth Century Female Athletes, according to the International Association of Athletics Federations.

In 1995 Kostadinova gave birth to her son, Nikolay, just several months before winning gold in the 1995 World Championships in Athletics. In 1999 she divorced her long-standing husband and coach, Nikolay Petrov. The same year she officially put an end to her athletic carrier, though she had actually not participated in any major sports competition since the World Indoors Championship in 1997. Since 1999 Kostadinova has been the vice-president of the Bulgarian Athletics Federation, and since 2003 deputy sports minister of Bulgaria.bg:Стефка Костадинова de:Stefka Kostadinova pl:Stefka Kostadinowa

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