Vladimir Velichkov

Vladimir Velichkov (Bulgarian: Владимир Величков; born 24 May 1959) is a Bulgarian former biathlete. He was among the best biathletes during the 1980s and he is generally recognised as the greatest male Bulgarian biathlete of all time.[2][3]

Vladimir Velichkov
Personal information
Full nameVladimir Velichkov
Born (1959-05-24) 24 May 1959 (age 63)
Stambolovo, Ihtiman, Sofia Province, Bulgaria
Height1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)[1]
Professional information
ClubAC Septemvriisko Zname[1]
Olympic Games
Teams3 (1980, 1984, 1988)
World Championships
Teams7 (1982, 1983, 1985,
1986, 1987, 1989, 1990)
World Cup
Seasons11 (1979/80–1989/90)
Individual victories0
All victories0
Individual podiums2
All podiums2

Life and careerEdit

Born in the village of Stambolovo in the southwestern part of Bulgaria, Velichkov started his active sports career in sixth grade, when he joined the local cross-country skiing club.[2] He later switched to biathlon. Velichkov participated in his first Olympics in 1980 and he debuted at the World Championship-level at the World Championships in Minsk in 1982.[2] He also participated in the Olympics in 1984 and 1988 and the World Championships in 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989 and 1990 for Bulgaria. His best individual finish at the Olympics came in the 20 km individual in 1984, he finished 13th. His best, and only, relay finish came in 1988, an 8th place. His best individual finish at the World Championships came in 1982 in Minsk where Velichkov finished 5th,[4] a feat he copied three years later in Ruhpolding,[5] both in the sprint. His best relay finish at the World Championships was a 10th which came in 1989 in Feistritz, where his best, and only, team event finish also came, a 12th place.[6][7]

In the World Cup, Velichkov debuted in the first round of the 1979–80 World Cup in Ruhpolding in West Germany.[2] Over his career he finished twice on the podium. Both came in Murmansk in the last round of his debut season, a second place in the 20 km individual and a third in the 10 km sprint.[2] These podium finishes were the first for a Bulgarian biathlete, and, as of the end of the 2014–15 season, the last by a male Bulgarian biathlete.[2][3] He also finished in the top ten in multiple other races. These finishes were not matched by any other male Bulgarian biathlete but his contemporary Spas Slatev until the 2014–15 season, where Krasimir Anev finished 4th in a mass start race in Oberhof, and Vladimir Iliev finished 6th twice during the 2015 World Championships in Kontiolahti.[2] Velichkov was a part of the relay team that finished 6th in the World Cup race in Ruhpolding in 1988, which is still the best relay finish by a male Bulgarian relay team.[3] Velichkov's best overall finish came in the 1981–82 World Cup where he finished 9th, the best overall finish by any male Bulgarian biathlete.

Velichkov retired as an athlete after the 1989–90 season. After his retirement from professional sports, Velichkov opened his own carpentry workshop. In 2014, he entered the Board of Directors of the Bulgarian Biathlon Federation.[2]

Biathlon resultsEdit

All results are sourced from the International Biathlon Union.[8]

Olympic GamesEdit

Event Individual Sprint Relay
  1980 Lake Placid 43rd 34th
  1984 Sarajevo 13th 14th
  1988 Calgary 21st 38th 8th

World ChampionshipsEdit

Event Individual Sprint Team Relay
  1982 Minsk 18th 5th
  1983 Antholz-Anterselva 15th 12th
  1985 Ruhpolding 33rd 5th
  1986 Oslo Holmenkollen 26th 19th 11th
  1987 Lake Placid 33rd 7th
  1989 Feistritz 45th 35th 12th 10th
  1990 Minsk 55th
*During Olympic seasons competitions are only held for those events not included in the Olympic program.
**Team was added as an event in 1989.


  1. ^ a b Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Vladimir Velichkov". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Ivanova, Miglena (18 February 2015). "Vladimir Velichkov - unsurpassed in Bulgarian male biathlon". Radio Bulgaria. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "Не Анев, а Владимир Величков държи рекордa в българския мъжки биатлон" [Not Anev, but Vladimir Velichkov has the record in Bulgarian biathlon]. Dnevnik (in Bulgarian). Sofia, Bulgaria: Economedia. 14 January 2015. Retrieved 5 April 2015. (in Bulgarian) (registration required)
  4. ^ "World Championship Biathlon 1982 - Minsk-Raubichi/Minsk-Raubichi (BLR) – Men 10 km Sprint". IBU Datacenter. International Biathlon Union. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  5. ^ "World Championship - Ruhpolding/Ruhpolding (GER) – Men 10 km Sprint". IBU Datacenter. International Biathlon Union. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  6. ^ "Sport i navn og tall – Skiskyting" [Sport in name and numbers – Biathlon]. Aftenposten (in Norwegian). 13 February 1989. Retrieved 5 April 2015. (in Norwegian) (subscription required)
  7. ^ "World Championship - Feistritz (AUT) – Men 20 km Team". IBU Datacenter. International Biathlon Union. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  8. ^ "Search results". IBU Datacenter. International Biathlon Union. Archived from the original on 27 June 2015. Retrieved 5 April 2015.

External linksEdit