Nikola Stanchev

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameNikola Nikolov•Stanchev
Used nameNikola•Stanchev
Original nameНикола Николов•Станчев
Born11 September 1930 in Tvarditsa, Burgas (BUL)
Died13 July 2009 in Burgas, Burgas (BUL)
AffiliationsDCO Uroshai Burgas
NOC Bulgaria
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1


At the Melbourne Olympics, Nikola Stanchev became Bulgaria’s first Olympic champion, for which he was later called the “Yuri Gagarin of Bulgarian sports”. Stanchev hailed from the isolated village of Tvarditsa, and he was said to be the first villager to leave for the capital Sofia. Apart from his Olympic title, his international results were modest. In 1959, he won gold at the Balkan Games, and he placed 4th at the 1957 World Championships. He was also an 11-time Bulgarian champion, eight times in freestyle, and three in Greco-Roman. Ending his career before the Rome Olympics, he became assistant-coach for the Bulgarian national wrestling team for a few years.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1956 Summer Olympics Wrestling BUL Nikola Stanchev
Middleweight, Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold