Inspiration from Jordan Jovtchev

I’ll start today’s entry with a trivia question. What do the following years have in common?

1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012

Sure, they are all years that the Olympic games took place, but they are also years that Jordan Jovtchev has competed as an Olympian. This 39 year old husband, father, and coach is currently competing in his 6th straight Olympic games.

One of his qualifying performances can be seen below.

As for his motivations, one is to keep gymnastics alive in his country. Jovtchev is the president of Bulgarian’s gymnastics federation. In his own words,

“If we didn’t have a male going to the Olympics, it would’ve been tough for the Bulgarian gymnastics federation to survive.”

In other words, Jovtchev is the Bulgarian Olympic team. He’s doing all that he can to ensure the sport’s survival and future growth in Bulgaria.This means competing at an almost unheard of age for world class gymnasts. It also means competing with nagging injuries that would have sidelined many others. He’s currently dealing with a partially torn bicep and a partially broken wrist.

More about this incredibly inspiring man can be seen below. The video is well worth a look…

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  1. Gymnastics is one of those sports where often you’re considered “old” at 25. Particularly among the female gymnasts who seem to always be teenagers or barely twenty, if that. Wasn’t Nadia Comanechi like 15 years old when she thrilled everyone in the 1976 Olympic Games? And I believe Olga Korbut was all of 17 when she captivated audiences in the Munich games held in 1972. Personally I believe gymnasts are the best pure athletes in the world, followed closely by the decathlete competitor. Don’t know how many Olympic games Al Oerter the discus gold medal winner competed in, but I know it was several. The bad thing about many of these fine athletes in a lot of Olympic sports like gymnastics, track & field, and other sports, is they are probably the hardest working athletes in the world, but the only time they ever see any real recognition is every four years at the Olympic games. To be 39 years old and having to support and raise a family, and still finding the time and having the capability to compete against youngsters half your age in a “youth” sport like gymnastics is incredible. Of course not only is he competing against kids half is age but he’s competing against kids who are world class Olympic athletes at that. Put a big S on that guys chest.

  2. Amazing athlete. He also competed in Ninja Warrior in Japan quite a few times. He’s not the only older gymnast at The Olympics this year either, Oksana Chusovitina’s story is quite amazing too. Winning a Gold for the Soviet Union in 1992 and then going to Germany to train in order to raise money for her son’s Leukemia treatment. She’s competing for Germany this year at 37 years of age.

  3. It is nice to see a Bulgarian that does not tarnish Bulgaria, but brings a good name to it instead. Before the Beijing Olympics 11 weightlifters tested positive for steroids. Unfortunately the translation the second video is bad.

    Here is a better translation: I am one of, not one of, maybe I am the oldest gymnast in the Olympics and I see a lot of new kids which I do not know anymore, basically for me they are new. But the good thing is, in the Olympics come a lot of my old friends who watch like Alexei Nemov, Ivan Ivankov, Yuri Chechi and some of them now work in television and it is nice. I see big stars in sports gymnastics on these forums. Only gold metal gets me in the mood and I would be endlessly disappointed if it did not happen. I am playing a joke. I like what I have done and just to be in the 6th Olympics for me would be super. Eh, for sure at that time the emotions and the adrenaline were a lot but somehow I got over it quickly, somehow very quickly…I am a person accepts things weather I am 5th, 1st, 2nd. If I was 1st it would have been super for sure because you can’t turn back time. This will be my 6th Olympics is hard, realistically if we had to look at it to go and wrestle for the first 3 spots…not to say impossible, which I fully understand. I think to this moment, right now 3 years we are able to give attention for Bulgarian Federation Gymnastics, when we put trainers, inside calendar, international competitions and because of this I am not as active in my career… so I think we are making some kind of balance. How am I succeeding? Well when the competition comes close my only motivation is that I do not want to look bad. When the time for the competition comes I have to come prepared, I can’t afford…after all the people know that I have always been above the middle ground and I should not look like an outsider. Right now I am not so much… and its normal for someone almost 40 year old person to spend his whole time(referring to training). I know that gymnastics till now has been my profession… right now its just 1 part of it..and I do my best, of course I try when I am in the gym to give it my all(he actually says maximum) even though a big part of the gym time I spend talking with the trainers, I see some kids crying and I try to calm him down…all sort of moments(situations) are in my interest..not only that I have to prepare. When I come in, even though I have had other work, the trainers come and tell me who got hurt, or how it went, or somebody shares something before I start training..around 1 hour is my training..2 hours are my talks. For example today will be around 3 hours, I think. The training, realistically finished work is maybe half an hour, realistically around 20-30 minutes is how much I train. Oh, yes, yes, the last Olympics. Yes! Yes yes yes. Right now I say yes, later I might say no. I don’t know but yes I think yes. And I will probably miss gymnastics but soon or late the moment comes and there is nowhere for me to be pushing for. I can compete more, truly I can compete.

  4. Bejeezus that’s impressive. Not only that he’s managed to compete that long, but that he’s also dragging his whole country behind him!

    Many thanks also to the previous commenter for posting the full transcription!

    Keep it up,

  5. Gymnasts are hands down the best athletes in the world. Ross I bet you could right now start training and get a iron cross down within a year or two. I bet you could even do a reverse muscleup which is a goal of mine. Its basically curling your own bodyweight upside down. I only seen one persone do it and it was like a 13 year old boy. Gymnasts are beyound strong and I think would make good fighters or armwrestlers.

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