January 26, 1960 |
Sandrovo, Ruse Municipality, Bulgaria
He was born in the Bulgarian village of Sandrovo in the Ruse Municipality. He began wrestling at the age of ten, and was coached by Georgi Achev from 1970 to 1978. He did his military service at the sports school of the CSKA Sofia sports club from 1978 to 1980, where he worked with Yancho Patrikov. He won his first European championship in 1980 in Bursa, Turkey, and his first world championship in 1983 in Kiev, Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union). He continued to work at the CSKA sports club until 1990. He was one of two people to be named the Bulgarian Sportsperson of the Year in 1989.
In 1990 he emigrated to the United States, but he also continued wrestling for Bulgaria until 1996. He won a bronze medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics in the Freestyle Flyweight 52 kg event and a gold medal in the same event at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He is a seven-time world champion, seven-time European champion, and the only wrestler to hold 10 medals (7 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze) from World Championships.
He retired from wrestling after the 1996 Olympics. In 1997 he became a member of the Athletes' commission of FILA, and was the President of the Bulgarian Wrestling Federation from 1998 to 2007. He has been a member of the Bureau of the Bulgarian Olympic Committee since 2000. He is married and has two children.
The will of American multi-millionaire John Eleuthère du Pont bequeathed 80% of his estate to Yordanov and his relatives. In June 2011, Beverly A. du Pont Gauggel and William H. du Pont, relatives of John duPont, filed a petition in Media, Pennsylvania to challenge the will, asserting that duPont was not "of sound mind" when he made his will. The petition claims that during that period, duPont asserted alternately that he was Jesus Christ, the Dalai Lama and a Russian Czar.
- "Biography". Valentin Yordanov's Official Web Page. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
- "Valentin Jordanov". Catalog for Bulgarian sport. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
- "Valentin Jordanov". databaseOlympics. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
- "Du Pont Relatives Contest Validity of Late Killer's Will", Delaware County Daily Times, June 15, 2011. Retrieved on February 24, 2012.
- Chase, Chris. "Bulgarian wrestler gives up gold in protest of Olympic decision". USA Today. Retrieved February 28, 2013.