Ivan Abadzhiev

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Ivan Abadzhiev
Personal information
Full nameIvan Nikolov Abadjiev
Born(1932-02-12)12 February 1932
Novi Pazar, Bulgaria
Died24 March 2017(2017-03-24) (aged 85)
Height1.64 m (5 ft 5 in)
Country Bulgaria
SportOlympic weightlifting

Ivan Nikolov Abadjiev (Bulgarian: Иван Николов Абаджиев; 12 February 1932 – 24 March 2017[1]) was a Bulgarian weightlifter and later Bulgarian Olympic Weightlifting coach. As an active competitor, he won Bulgaria's first weightlifting medal in 1957.[2] From 1968 to 1989 and again from 1997 to 2000 he was the head coach of the Bulgarian Weightlifting Federation. He also spent a stint as the head Coach of the Turkish Weightlifting Federation during the late 1990s. During his career, Abadjiev produced 12 Olympic champions, 57 world champions and 64 European champions. He was called "The Pope of Weightlifting" for his great career as a coach of the Bulgarian national weightlifting team.

His unique approach to training was based heavily on the work of Professor Felix Meerson.[3]


  1. ^ Bulgarian News Agency. "Bulgarian Weightlifting Legend Ivan Abadjiev Dies". Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-09-25. Retrieved 2013-08-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ The Preparation of International Class Weightlifters", Proceedings of the IWF Coaching - Medical Seminar, Varna, 1983:57 - 63. http://www.motion-online.dk/fora/index.php?/topic/38117-the-preparation-of-international-class-weightlifters/