Kostadinova Who?

Stefka Kostadinova, Women’s High Jump World Record Holder For 33 Years

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Long ago, in the decade of the 80’s and 90’s, there existed a super-human aerial legend. This legend came from a country that already had a world record holder in the women’s high jump. The country is Bulgaria and this is high jump legend Stefka Kostadinova who launched her body over the highest standards and crossbar in history.

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Early Life

Stefka Georgieva Kostadinova was born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in 1965. Kostadinova became a high jump prodigy at an early age when she set a world record for her young age group. As a teenager, she could easily high jump 6’6″(https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/stefka-kostadinova-5907.php), a feat unequaled by most male competitors.


Kostdadinova burst onto the international scene in 1985 when she won the world indoor high jump championship. Her list of international high jump championships is stellar. She won the outdoor world championship twice, the indoor world championship five times, and the Olympic high jump championship once.

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Kostadinova’s super-human feat happened in Rome in 1987 when she high jumped 6’10¼” at the World Athletic Championships, setting the women’s world record that stands today, 33 years later.

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Two high jumpers, Kajsa Bergqvist and Blanka Vlasic have achieved a height within a ½” of Kostadinova’s record but the accomplishment still stands today!

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There are always a number of jumpers in the vicinity and this year, Mariya Lasitskene is a threat to clear a higher crossbar.

Personal Life

Kostadinova married her high jump coach, Nikolay Petrov, who guided Kostadinova to gold medals at the European Athletics Indoor Championships and the World Indoor Championships in 1985. Petrov also coached Kostadinova through all of her high jump success. Petrov and Kostadinova parented a son, Nikolay, just several months before winning gold in the 1995 World Championships in Athletics.

Unfortunately, the two divorced in 1999. The same year she officially put an end to her athletic career, though she had actually not participated in any major sports competition since the World Indoors Championship in 1997. In 2007 Kostadinova married her companion of some nine years, a businessman in the construction industry, Nikolai Popvasilev (http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Stefka_Kostadinova#/Early_career).

Sports Administrative Career

After retiring, Kostadinova started a career in sports administration. She has served as vice president of the Bulgarian Athletic Federation, vice president of the Bulgarian Olympic Committee and was deputy sports minister of Bulgaria from 2003 through 2005.
On November 11, 2005, Kostadinova was elected president of the Bulgarian Olympic Committee. She replaced Ivan Slavkov, who was expelled by the International Olympic Committee for violating its standards in ethics (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stefka_Kostadinova).

To answer the question, Kostadinova Who? The answer is reigning women’s high jump world record holder and sitting president of the Bulgarian Olympic committee!

Oh, and one more thing….. Lot’s of athletes have come close to this record but it’s lasted longer than the men’s record. When will it fall and is Mariya Lasitskene the athlete to do it?



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