Athletes Famous Athletes from Bulgaria

Reference
7.1k views 1,194 items

List of famous athletes from Bulgaria, listed alphabetically with photos when available. Bulgaria has seen some very talented athletes over the years, many of who have gone on to represent their country in the Olympics. These are some of the best Bulgarian athletes of all time, so if you're a native of Bulgaria and are aspiring to compete in sports professionally then these are people you should look up to. If you're searching for a particular popular athlete from Bulgaria then you can use the "search" box to find who you're looking for.

The list you're viewing is made up of many different athletes, including Kristian Dobrev and Ivan Kokonov.

This list answers the questions, "Who are the greatest Bulgarian athletes?" and "Which athletes are from Bulgaria?"

You can click on the names of these legendary athletes of Bulgaria in order to get more information about each one.

1
Maxim Staviski is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Maxim Staviski is a Russian-born naturalized Bulgarian ice dancer. With partner and fiancée Albena Denkova, he is a two-time World champion, a two-time European silver medalist, and the ...more

2
Dimitar Berbatov is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Manchester United F.C. Dimitar Ivanov Berbatov; born 30 January 1981 is a Bulgarian professional footballer who plays as a striker for AS Monaco. He captained the Bulgarian national team from 2006 to 2010, and is its ...more

3
Evgenia Radanova is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Evgenia Radanova is a Bulgarian female short track speed skater and racing cyclist who has participated in both the Summer and Winter Olympics. She was the world record holder in the 500 m short ...more

4
Manuela Maleeva is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Manuela Georgieva Maleeva-Fragniere is a Bulgarian former professional tennis player. She played on the Women's Tennis Association tour between 1982 and 1994. Through her marriage Maleeva began ...more

5
Stefka Kostadinova is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Stefka Kostadinova is a Bulgarian retired athlete and the current women's world record holder in the high jump. She is the president of the Bulgarian Olympic Committee.

6
Tsvetana Pironkova is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Tsvetana Pironkova is a Bulgarian tennis player and the current no. 1 Bulgarian in the WTA rankings. Pironkova is right-handed and plays with a two-handed backhand. She is best known for ...more

7
Naim Süleymanoğlu is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Naim Süleymanoğlu is a Turkish World and Olympic Champion in weightlifting. Nicknamed “The Pocket Hercules”, he became the strongest man ever, pound-for-pound, by lifting 3.17 times of his ...more

8
Noelle Quinn is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Noelle Quinn is an American professional basketball player for the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA, and for Botaş SK in the Turkish Women's Basketball League.

9
Maria Grozdeva is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Maria Zdravkova Grozdeva is a Bulgarian sport shooter, concentrating on both 25 metre pistol and 10 metre air pistol. She is the only woman to have successfully defended 25 metre pistol title at ...more

10
Doneeka Lewis is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Doneeka Lewis, née Hodges, is an American professional basketball player most recently for the Tulsa Shock of the WNBA. The 5-9 guard, was drafted with the 25th overall pick in the 2004 ...more

11
Rumyana Neykova is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Rumyana Neykova is a Bulgarian rower. Neykova competed at the 1992 Summer Olympics, the 1996 Summer Olympics, the 2000 Summer Olympics, where she won silver in Single Sculls, the 2004 Summer ...more

12
Pavlina Filipova is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Pavlina Ivanova Filipova is a Bulgarian biathlete. Her professional sporting career began in 1996. She has competed in three Winter Olympic Games. In 1998 and 2002, Filipova posted fourth-place ...more

13
Anna Krasteva is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Anna Krasteva is a short track speed skater.

14
Daniela Vlaeva is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Daniela Vlaeva is a short track speed skater.

15
Katerina Maleeva is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Katerina Maleeva is a former top 10 Bulgarian tennis player. She played in the WTA tour, competing in singles, doubles and mixed doubles between 1984 and 1997. Her best position in the WTA rank ...more

16
Tsvetanka Khristova is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Tsvetanka Mincheva Khristova was a Bulgarian discus thrower who competed from the early 1980s to the mid-2000s, with a career break for a drugs ban. Born in Kazanlak, Stara Zagora she became ...more

17
Peter Iliev is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Peter Iliev is a Bulgarian luger who has competed since 2000. Competing in two Winter Olympics, he earned his best finish of 31st in the men's singles event at Turin in 2006. Iliev also finished ...more

18
Armen Nazaryan is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Armen Nazaryan is an Armenian Greco-Roman wrestler who later represented Bulgaria. Nazaryan is a six-time European Champion, a three-time World Champion and a two-time Olympic Champion. He was ...more

19
Mariya Petkova is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Mariya Dimitrova Petkova is a retired Bulgarian discus thrower. In 1976 she won an Olympic silver medal behind Evelin Schlaak, a standing that would repeat itself in 1980. This year she also ...more

20
Alexandra Jekova is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Alexandra Jekova is a professional snowboarder.

21
Ivet Lalova is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Ivet Lalova-Collio is a Bulgarian athlete who specialises in the 100 metres and 200 metres sprint events. She is the tenth fastest woman in 100 metres history, and is tied with Irina Privalova ...more

22
Petya Nedelcheva is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Petya Nedelcheva is a Bulgarian badminton player. She was born in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria. At the Bulgarian National Badminton Championships she won more than 20 titles.

23
Tereza Marinova is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Tereza Moncheva Marinova is a Bulgarian athlete who competed in long jump and triple jump.

24
Ekaterina Dafovska is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Ekaterina Dafovska is a Bulgarian biathlete. She did not take up the biathlon until 1992. She made the national team in 1993 and came in 29th in the 15-kilometer competition at the Lillehammer ...more

25
Yordan Yovchev is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Yordan Yovchev Yovchev, is a Bulgarian gymnast. Yovchev was born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. He won silver in the men's rings at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens with a score of 9.850. In the same ...more

26
Venelina Veneva-Mateeva is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Venelina Veneva-Mateeva is a Bulgarian high jumper.

27
Iva Prandzheva is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Iva Prandzheva is a former Bulgarian athlete who was successful in both long jump and triple jump. Her best performance came at the 1995 World Championships where she won a silver medal with ...more

28
Yordanka Donkova is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Yordanka Donkova is a Bulgarian former hurdling athlete, notable for winning an Olympic gold medal and bronze medal as well as 9 medals at European indoor and outdoor championships. Donkova set ...more

29
Yavor Yanakiev is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Yavor Dimitrov Yanakiev is a Bulgarian wrestler who won the bronze medal in the Men's Greco-Roman 74kg at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Yanakiev currently competes for Slavia Litex, where ...more

30
Ivanka Khristova is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Ivanka Marinova Khristova is a retired Bulgarian shot putter. She won the gold medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics, and the bronze in 1972. In addition she won the 1976 European Indoor

31
Apostolos Nikolaidis is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Apostolos Nikolaidis was a Greek athlete, football manager and businessman. He was a leading board member and president of Panathinaikos.

32
Gürhan Gürsoy is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Fenerbahçe SK Gürhan Gürsoy is a Turkish professional footballer. He currently plays as a midfielder for Bugsaş Spor in the TFF Second League. Gürsoy was transferred from Adanaspor to ...more

33
Assen Pandov is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Assen Pandov is a short track speed skater.

34
Pedro Ríos is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Getafe CF Pedro Ríos Maestre is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Recreativo de Huelva as a right winger.

35
Matey Kaziyski is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Matey Kaziyski is a Bulgarian volleyball player, a member of Bulgaria men's national volleyball team in 2003-2012 and Italian club Trentino Volley, a participant of the Olympic Games Beijing ...more

36
Irina Nikulchina is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Irina Nikulchina Irina Nikulchina is a Bulgarian biathlete. At the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City she won a bronze medal in the 10 km Pursuit competition. She had also competed in the cross country ...more

37
Yordanka Blagoeva is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Yordanka Blagoeva is a Bulgarian athlete who competed mainly in the High Jump. She competed for Bulgaria in the 1972 Summer Olympics held in Munich in the High Jump where she finished second. ...more

38
Tezdzhan Naimova is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Tezdzhan Naimova is a Bulgarian sprinter of Turkish descent. She specializes in both the 60, 100 and 200 metres.

39
Zoran Janković is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Zoran Janković PFC Litex Lovech Zoran Janković is a Serbian-born Bulgarian football manager and former player. He is currently the manager of Serbian First League side FK Novi Sad. He has retired during winter break of 2010-11 ...more

40
Armen Ambartsumyan is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Enosis Neon Paralimni FC Armen Ambartsumyan is a former Bulgarian-Armenian football goalkeeper. He was a member of the Armenia national team, and has participated in 8 international matches since his debut in away ...more

41
Daniela Yordanova is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Daniela Yordanova is a Bulgarian middle distance runner who specializes in the 1500 metres. She tested positive for testosterone in an out-of-competition doping test in Sofia on 13 June 2008, ...more

42
Vanja Gesheva-Tsvetkova is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Vanja Gesheva-Tsvetkova is a Bulgarian sprint canoer who competed from the late 1970s to the late 1980s. Competing in two Summer Olympics, she won four medals with one gold, two silvers, and one ...more

43
Svetla Dimitrova is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Svetla Stefanova Dimitrova was a Bulgarian athlete who started out competing in heptathlon, and later specialized as a sprint hurdler. She represented her country four times at the Summer ...more

44
Lyudmila Andonova is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Lyudmila Andonova is a retired female high jumper from Bulgaria. In 1984, she broke the World Record with a clearance of 2.07 metres. She competed at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul and the 1992 ...more

45
Simeon Shterev is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
PFC Belasitsa Petrich Simeon Shterev is a Bulgarian footballer who plays for Belasitsa Petrich. He is a fast forward, currently playing by winger. His father Simeon Shterev is a former wrestling champion.

46
Tanyu Kiryakov is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Tanyu Kiryakov is a Bulgarian pistol shooter, the first shooter to have won Olympic gold medals in both the 50 metre pistol event and the 10 metre air pistol event, in which he was also the ...more

47
Diana Yorgova is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
Diane Yorgova is a former Bulgarian athlete, who competed mainly in the Long Jump. She competed for Bulgaria in the 1972 Summer Olympics held in Munich, Germany in the Long Jump where she won ...more

48
Predrag Pažin is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
PFC Lokomotiv Mezdra Predrag Pažin is a naturalized Bulgarian former football player of Bosnian Serb descent who played as a defender. Pazin had a decent spell at FK Partizan, before moving on to Levski Sofia in ...more

49
Tiago Silva dos Santos is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
K.R.C. Genk Tiago Silva dos Santos is a former Brazilian footballer. He holds a Bulgarian passport.

50
Lúcio Wagner is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Athletes from Bulgaria
PFC Levski Sofia Lúcio Wagner Freitas de Souza, known simply as Lúcio Wagner, is a naturalized Bulgarian professional retired footballer, originally from Brazil. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Wagner ...more