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Sports Minister Iliev: We Listened to Bulgarian Athletes’ Every Single Problem

In a Bulgarian National Radio interview, Youth and Sports Minister Dimitar Iliev commented on the work that has been done in the Sports Ministry during his first nine months in office. “The thing I am most proud of is that we listened to every single problem of the Bulgarian athletes, as well [to those] of the youth organizations. We have tried to find a solution to most of them. Of course, it has not been possible to help all of them to the extent that they have expected us to, but in the end, we have made the upcoming Olympic Games our top priority from the very beginning,” Iliev explained. “We have created an opportunity to secure funds for all [sports] federations, additional funds for Bulgarian athletes to prepare well for the upcoming Olympics […] We have made great changes in the regulation, which evaluates, which respects the work of Bulgarian athletes”, the Sports Minister added.
In his words, for the first time the Sports Ministry has funded junior athletes, providing them bonuses for achievements at world and European championships. “Somehow, their huge amount of hard work has gone unappreciated before, and people [the Bulgarian athletes] have not felt that the state cared about them. I am glad that we have been able to achieve that. I am glad that we have created peace in the system. The sports federations’ feedback has been extremely positive,” Iliev stressed, adding that he feels satisfied with the work that has been done in the Ministry since he has been appointed minister. “There is not a single country in the world that bears 100% of the cost of sport. Sport is an activity that can always be even better funded, even better conditions for training can be created. But what I see and I believe, and we have the assurance of the federations themselves, is that the way we have made the allocations for 2024 will be absolutely in line with the needs that they have. Of course, the Olympic sports have always been a priority, and, naturally, they will be better supported. We have made new programmes for athletes who now have quotas. They will be most strongly supported, their coaches too. I live with the satisfaction of knowing that people are happy, relaxed and that the only concern they have at the moment is to prepare and train for the biggest sporting forum to come,” Iliev stressed, noting that he is optimistic that Bulgarian athletes will perform decently at the Olympic Games in Paris.