How Ivan Abadjiev Transformed Bulgarian Weightlifting

“Ivan the taskmaster”

The Beginning

The success of the Bulgarian Weightlifting team began with the hiring of Ivan Abadjiev as head coach of the National team. Abadjiev had been an assistant coach for many years but, in 1959, he got into trouble with government authorities by organizing a National Teenage Weightlifting Championship. The thinking at that time was that those under the age of 17…