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Rhythmic Gymnastics: Ivanka Tchakarova passed away

2009-06-26 09:37:00

LAUSANNE (SUI), FIG Office, June 25, 2009: The FIG is greatly saddened to announce the death of Ivanka Tchakarova (BUL), former member of the FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics Technical Committee (1966 – 1976) and FIG Honorary Member since 1976. The FIG was informed that Ivanka Tchakarova passed away on Monday, June 22, 2009 at the age of 75 after suffering a major heart attack.

Born in Varna, Bulgaria, she became involved in Rhythmic Gymnastics as a student in the National Sports Academy in Sofia. One of the best competitors of the 1950s and the early 1960s and later a devoted and knowledgeable coach, Ivanka Tchakarova soon became one of the most popular and respected personalities in the sport.

She was the Bulgarian National Rhythmic Gymnastics coach and one of the founders of the independent Bulgarian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation, to which she initially became Vice-President and then President (1966 –1973).

Ivanka Tchakarova was, indeed, one of the specialists who paved the way to the glorious successes of the Bulgarian Rhythmic Gymnastics School, which started with the world titles of Maria Guigova and the Bulgarian Group in Varna 1969. Her abilities as a leader and visionary have made her one of the most popular and beloved ambassadors of Rhythmic Gymnastics internationally.

In the early 1970s Tchakarova moved to Spain where she worked as a national coach for ten years and helped to build up the strong system and culture of Rhythmic Gymnastics. Her work eventually led to Spain’s Olympic Gold medal in the Group competition in 1996 in Atlanta (USA). 

Since the middle of the 1980s Ivanka Tchakarova had been living in Canada where she coached successfully at the prestigious Kalev Rhythmic Gymnastics Centre. She has also contributed to the development of the sport in Mexico and many other countries around the world.

Ivanka Tchakarova was a lady of enormous integrity, charisma, energy and talent, whose hard work has raised the profile of Rhythmic Gymnastics and led to its Olympic recognition.

On behalf of the FIG and its Authorities, President Bruno Grandi extends his warmest condolences to her family and closest friends.

(Credit: FIG)

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