Petia Yanchulova (Bulgarian: Петя Янчулова; born July 3, 1978 in Sofia) is a Bulgarian beach volleyball player.[1] She represented her nation Bulgaria in two editions of the Olympic Games (2000 and 2004), along with her partner and elder sister Tzvetelina. Despite being born in Bulgaria, Yanchulova trained most of her sporting career in San Diego, California, United States, playing for the University of San Diego's volleyball team.[2]

Petia Yanchulova
Personal information
Nationality Bulgaria
Born (1978-07-03) July 3, 1978 (age 41)
Sofia, Bulgaria
HometownSan Diego, California,
United States
Height1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight65 kg (143 lb)
Beach volleyball information
Years Teammate
Tzvetelina Yanchulova
Evelina Tcholakova

Yanchulova began her sporting career at the University of San Diego in San Diego, California, where she competed for the San Diego Toreros volleyball team. While playing for the Toreros, she led her team to two impressive victories at the West Coast Conference Championships, and was also named the Defender of the Year in 1999 because of her tremendous impact to the university's volleyball program. Petia was named to the First Team All-American team (together with Misty May and Kerri Walsh) for two years in a row in 1998 and 1999. Petia was also honored in the San Diego Hall of Champions and was induced in the West Coast Conference Hall of Fame for her outstanding accomplishments at the University of San Diego.[3]

Since 1998, Yanchulova competed professionally at the FIVB World Tour along with her sister Tzvetelina.[4][2] The Bulgarian tandem also made their official debut at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, where they both placed seventeenth in the women's beach volleyball, defeating European bronze medalists Deborah and Rebekka Kadijk along the way.[5] Four years later, at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, the Yanchulova sisters qualified for their second Olympics in the same tournament by obtaining their berth from the FIVB Grand Slam Series in Klagenfurt, Austria.[6] This time, defeating the reigning European Champions of Germany in pool play, the sisters advanced to the Round of 16, eventually losing in a dramatic battle against eventual Olympic silver medalists of Brazil, Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede and placing 9th overall.[7] When her elder sister retired from the sport in 2007, Yanchulova went on to play indoor volleyball professionally in Europe from 2008–2009.[3]


  1. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Petia Yanchulova". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  2. ^ a b Vargas, Nicole (4 May 2005). "Yanchulova's place of work is on beach". U-T San Diego. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Petia Yanchulova to be Inducted Into WCC Hall of Honor Class". San Diego Toreros. 12 February 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  4. ^ "Petia Yanchulova Season Summaries". Beach Volleyball Database. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  5. ^ "Sydney 2000: Beach Volleyball – Women's Elimination Round (CUB vs. BUL)" (PDF). Sydney 2000. LA84 Foundation. p. 116. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  6. ^ "Former San Diego Women's Volleyball Standout Petia Yanchulova Heading To Athens". West Coast Conference. 23 July 2004. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  7. ^ "Beach Volleyball: Women's Tournament". Athens 2004. BBC Sport. 15 August 2004. Retrieved 30 September 2013.

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