Sportsperson №1 with disabilities in the annual “Sportsperson of the Year” Awards in Bulgaria this year was the table tennis player and world vice champion Denislav Kodzhabashev. The silver medalist in the World Table Tennis Championship in Slovenia shared that his big goal is Tokyo 2020. Denisov received the prize personally from his mother. In his thankful speech during the ceremony, he said:
“It’s a pleasure to be here on this scene. There is nothing better in this world than getting your own mother to reward you with such a prize. Thank you everyone for your support. I also want to thank my coaches – Asen Asenov, Marin Gadev, my first coach in Varna Tsetso Nikolov, as well as the club I am competing at – Mr. Petar Petrov. I also thank the Bulgarian Table Tennis Federation and the Bulgarian Paralympic Association. I wouldn’t have had this success without them. I also thank the Ministry of Sport and Minister Kralev. I wish you all joyful holidays and successful New Year!”
The winners in the rest of the categories included: the female wrestler Taybe Yusein as Sportsperson No. 1 in Bulgaria for 2018, the national rhythmic gymnastics team that won the award for Team of the Year, Petar Kasabov (coach of the national wrestling team for women) who won the annual award “Coach of the Year”.
Marking yet another year full of successful results for our athletes, the official ceremony took place on the 20th of December, 2018 in the Arena Armeec hall, Sofia and was organized by Nove JSC Holding. Over 130 active Bulgarian sports journalists from 49 different electronic and print media voted in the poll in order to select the winners in this year’s ranking. The main categories included athlete of the year, athlete with disabilities, team of the year, as well as the traditional “coach of the year award”, given by “Trud” newspaper.
All of the journalists who voted successfully participated in a tombola for a smartphone A1 Smart N9, provided by the main sponsor of the event – the telecommunication company A1. Mr. Gabriel Evtimov, Sales Manager of the company, announced the winner’s name – Valeria Videova working for BNT.
The ceremony, known for its impressive musical part, surprised and pleased the audience for another consecutive year. As part of the musical program and show, the organizers managed to preserve the Bulgarian spirit and traditions by inviting some of the biggest names in the Bulgarian music industry – Nina Nikolina, Orlin Pavlov, Mihaela Fileva and Vladimir Mihailov.
The event was broadcast live on the Bulgarian National TV and Darik Radio as well.
The story of the “Sportsperson of the Year” Awards begins in 1958 when the Naroden Sport newspaper and specifically Aleksandar Yasnikov, establish the event for the first time. Several decades later, Vasil Bojkov, the great Bulgarian businessman, antique collector, and supporter of the Bulgarian sport, took the rights to the Awards and now continues the tradition. For the last 20 years, he has been one of the most important patrons of the Bulgarian sport, with his companies helping and sponsoring a great number of young talents, elite athletes, and sports organizations.