At the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, Ivan Lebanov became Bulgaria’s first Winter Olympic medallist, winning a bronze medal in the 30 km. This came as a major surprise, having previously achieved only modest international results, with the exception of becoming World Junior Champion in 1977, and World Student Championships in 1978 and 1981. Capturing multiple national titles in all distances, Lebanov was elected Bulgarian winter athlete of the 20th century. After his active career, Lebanov was active as an administrator in both the Bulgarian Olympic Committee and the Bulgarian Skiing Federation. He also became involved in politics, and in 2007 he was elected mayor of Velingrad, the town in which he grew up.