Valentin Yordanov
Valentin Yordanov in 2018.jpg
Yordanov in 2018
Personal information
Born (1960-01-26) January 26, 1960 (age 62)
Sandrovo, Ruse Municipality, Bulgaria
Height156 cm (5 ft 1 in)
Country Bulgaria
SportFreestyle Wrestling
Weight class52 kg
Medal record
Men's Freestyle Wrestling
Representing  Bulgaria
Olympic rings.svg
Event 1st 2nd 3rd
Olympic Games 1 - 1
World Championships 7 2 1
European Championships 7 1 1
Total 15 3 3
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1996 Atlanta 52 kg
Bronze medal – third place 1992 Barcelona 52 kg
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1983 Kiev 52 kg
Gold medal – first place 1985 Budapest 52 kg
Gold medal – first place 1987 Clermont-Ferrand 52 kg
Gold medal – first place 1989 Martigny 52 kg
Gold medal – first place 1993 Toronto 52 kg
Gold medal – first place 1994 Istanbul 52 kg
Gold medal – first place 1995 Atlanta 52 kg
Silver medal – second place 1990 Tokyo 52 kg
Silver medal – second place 1991 Varna 52 kg
Bronze medal – third place 1986 Budapest 52 kg
European Championships
Gold medal – first place 1989 Ankara 52 kg
Gold medal – first place 1988 Manchester 52 kg
Gold medal – first place 1987 Veliko Tyrnowo 52 kg
Gold medal – first place 1986 Piraeus 52 kg
Gold medal – first place 1985 Leipzig 52 kg
Gold medal – first place 1983 Budapest 52 kg
Gold medal – first place 1982 Varna 52 kg
Silver medal – second place 1984 Joenkoeping 52 kg
Bronze medal – third place 1981 Lodz 52 kg

Valentin Dimitrov Yordanov (Bulgarian: Валентин Димитров Йорданов; born January 26, 1960), also transliterated Jordanov, is a retired Bulgarian freestyle wrestler who competed in the up to 52 kg weight class. He is an Olympic gold medalist, seven-time world champion, seven-time European champion, and the only wrestler to hold 10 medals (seven gold, two silver and one bronze) from world championships.[1]

Early life

He was born in the Bulgarian village of Sandrovo in the Ruse Municipality. He began wrestling at the age of 10, 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.[2] He won his first European championship in 1980 in Bursa, Turkey, and his first world championship in 1983 in Kiev.[1] He continued to work at the CSKA sports club until 1990.[2] He was one of two people to be named the Bulgarian Sportsperson of the Year in 1989.

Team Foxcatcher

In 1990, Yordanov immigrated to the United States, training and living at multi-millionaire John Eleuthère du Pont's Foxcatcher Farm in Pennsylvania while continuing to wrestle for Bulgaria.[2][3] 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.[4]


He retired from wrestling after the 1996 Olympics. In 1997 he became a member of the Athletes' Commission of FILA, and has been the President of the Bulgarian Wrestling Federation since 1998.[5] He has been a member of the board of the Bulgarian Olympic Committee since 2000. He is married and has two children.[2]

In 2010, multimillionaire John du Pont died in prison serving his sentence for murder; du Pont's most recent will had bequeathed 80 percent of his estate to Yordanov, his wife, Zdravka Moneta Atanosova Dimitrov, and their relatives.[6] Du Pont had been a Forbes 400 member worth an estimated US$200 million in 1986, about $490 million in current dollars.[7] The Superior Court of Pennsylvania upheld a Delaware County Orphans Court order dismissing a challenge to the will from du Pont's family.[8]

In 2013, Yordanov returned his 1996 Olympic gold medal in protest of the International Olympic Committee's decision to eliminate wrestling from the Olympics.[9]


  1. ^ a b "Valentin Jordanov". Catalog for Bulgarian sport. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d "Biography". Valentin Yordanov's Official Web Page. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  3. ^ Знаменити борци, възпитаници на НСА [Famous Wrestlers from the National Sports Academy] (in Bulgarian). National Sports Academy "Vasil Levski". Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  4. ^ "Valentin Jordanov". databaseOlympics. Archived from the original on September 28, 2011. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  5. ^ "Jordan reelected". Kanal 3 BG. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
  6. ^ "Du Pont Relatives Contest Validity of Late Killer's Will", Alex Rose, Delaware County Daily Times, June 15, 2011. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ "Death In Prison For Ex-Forbes 400 Member". Forbes. December 10, 2010. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  8. ^ "Superior Court: Du Pont relatives have no standing to contest will". Main Line Media News. December 6, 2012.
  9. ^ Chase, Chris (February 20, 2013). "Bulgarian wrestler gives up gold in protest of Olympic decision". USA Today. Retrieved February 28, 2013.