Why did it have to be ugly?

Alexander Vezenkov was elected "Sportsman of the Year" for the second year in a row. 107 Bulgarian journalists took part in the vote. They choose. Those are the rules.

But many on social media are not happy. Some of those who got into the Top 10 or stayed out of it are also not satisfied. One will say that in 2023 we have not stopped listening to the national anthem and winning world titles. Yes but no!

The beginning for Vezenkov in the NBA is difficult. Not playing, no environment, still working. Time will tell if it succeeds. But the very fact that a Bulgarian national basketball team member wears a jersey of an NBA team is worthy not just of #1 Sportsman in our country, but of national pride. Let's not forget the fact that he left for the strongest championship in the world after being crowned #1 in Europe last year.

What can we say about the second - Grigor Dimitrov. Every week, the 32-year-old from Haskovo goes to tournaments with the world's tennis elite, wins millions, and BULGARIA is written after his name.

Petar Mitsin took third place in the 2023 Sportsman of the year in Bulgaria classification. World record holder and European swimming champion, albeit for juniors. Along with athletics and gymnastics, the third most watched sport at the Olympic Games. In addition, Mitsin is the only Bulgarian world record holder in swimming. And as for the charge that the achievement is bogus, I'd just say that this isn't the Samara Flag tournament of yesteryear, where time started running when the chick at the start turned on the stopwatch. The other thing Anthony Ivanov alludes to should be left without comment, because he, not Mitsin, has public problems of a similar nature.

Cheers to everyone in the top ten. But why did it have to get ugly? Since when do the great champions take offense and speak against their own? Since when do moms think it's okay to comment on someone else's work? Since when we, the journalists to blame for the state of Bulgarian sports?

I wish everyone "affected" an even more successful 2024. Reach the heights, embrace the gold, be proud, be human.

And at the end of 2024, you can sort out the top ten yourself. Will you be objective then? /BGNES


Kostadin Djordjev, editor in the "Sports" department of BGNES