Bulgarian Skating Federation (BSF) celebrated its 50th anniversary with
a grand Christmas party and gala exhibition on the ice at the end of
1999. The Executive Board of the Federation, represented by its President
- Mrs. Evgenia Karnoslka, paid tribute and awarded prizes for different
merits to former presidents, coaches, judges, competitors, functionaries.
The best figure skaters of the 90's were announced: Ivan Dinev - Men,
deceased Viktoria Dimitrova - Ladies in Figure Skating, Ice Dancing
couple Albena Denkova and Maxim Staviyski. Evgenia Radanova and lady's
relay /Radanova, Georgieva, Vlaeva, Krasteva/ took the prize of the
best Short Track Speed skaters. The awards for the best coaches were
given to Mrs. Ludmila Mladenova, Mrs. Evelina Panova, Mrs. Fani Parusheva
in Figure Skating and Mr. Ivan Pandov in Short Track Speed Skating.
was founded on September 16th 1949, when the Republican section of skating
and ice hockey had been established within the former Bulgarian Committee
of Physical Culture and Sports. That chronology, of course, is connected
only with the institutional development of the Skating sport in our
country. Skating with primitive skates made of bone or wood dates back
to the distant past and the fashion of the "patinage" came
from Europe at the end of 19th century.
Alexandar Batenberg I, Head of the Third Bulgarian Kingdom /1879 - 1886/
opened the first "ice rink" leaving his golden tracks on the
ice of a frozen marsh in the outskirts of Sofia.
The first skating, walking and breathing instructions on the ice rink
were given in a guidebook, printed in 1901, even before the manual of
the Russian Figure skater Panin Kolomenkin to come to Bulgaria in 1938.
In the 20's the "skilful skating " definitely made its way
in Bulgaria and what is more it had attracted not only the young people.
There is a statistic data about an independent metropolitan society
of figure skating from the end of January 1929. Sections to some sports
clubs were created - "AS 23", "FC Slavia", FC "Levski"
and there were training sessions in individual skating, waltz in couple
and relay skating.
The ice on the lake at the entrance of the Park "Borisova gradina"
was preferable place for the skating-minded people. On February 17th
1929 the first competition of "skilful skating and speed skating
with a special program" was held. The old registers show that more
than 10 000 people practiced ice- skating in the capital. Most of them
were active athletes - football players, tennis players, field and track
athletes, basketball players who kept fit in winter.
After the World War II, for lack of artificial ice rinks and insufficient
and primitive equipment, broke down the earlier progress and enthusiasm
of the Bulgarian skaters. Nevertheless, at the beginning of the 50's
the most tenacious dreamers made a real exploit - an effort worthy of
the Guiness book. The competitors froze over the 250-meters strip of
"Musala" peak - 2400 m. above the sea level, in order to convert
it into a track for speed skating. 12 men and 2 women for the first
time ran at 500, 1000, 1500 meter /men/ and 500, 1000 meter /ladies/.
In 1954 at the frozen capital cycling track the first Bulgarian figure
skating champions were nominated.
Right after the building of the first artificial ice rink in 1960, at
the "Druzhba" Stadium, the skating sport assumed more specific
character. Parallel with the building of new sports facilities, the
teams and sections of figure skating won recognition in the bigger sports
societies in Sofia, Pernik, Stara Zagora, Veliko Tarnovo. There is active
participation in all the competitions part of the national and international
events. The Sofia - Zagreb bilateral figure skating meeting in 1965
initiated the beginning of an international tournament, later known
as "Sofia Cup", which has a well-known reputation. Future
celebrities like Katarina Vit, Anet Piotch, Hayko Fisher and many others
participated in this tournament. Its 31st and 32nd editions /1997 and
1998/ now are part of the Junior Figure Skating Grand Prix Series of
the International Skating Union /ISU/
Bulgaria has been a member of the International Skating Union since
At the first World Junior Figure Skating Championships in 1976 in France
our country was presented by Evelina Panova. Gradually we made our first
appearance in the different categories at ISU Seniors Championships
- European Championships, World Championships and Olympic Games, in
order to have Bulgarian figure skaters in the top ten of the European
elite: Ivan Dinev - Men and Albena Denkova /Maxim Staviyski - Ice Dancing
and champion titles and awards for Evgenia Radanova and our lady's relay
in Short Track Speed Skating, which has been developing in Bulgaria
only since 1986.
Trough the most difficult years of political changes and economic crises,
BSF held its international prestige, justifying the high opinion of
ISU, and organizing a succession of important events and activities:
a meeting of ISU Council /for the first time in a former socialist country
- Varna 1989/; European Figure Skating Championships Sofia - 1991; European
Figure Skating Championships Sofia - 1996.
Historical premieres also are the World Short Track Speed Skating Championships
Sofia - 1999 and the World Junior Figure Skating Championships - 2001.