The President of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), Morinari Watanabe, officially opened the 39th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in “Arena Armeets” in Sofia.
The ceremony began with a performance of “101 kaba bagidi” and the song “Izlel e Delho haidutin”, sung by folk singer Zlatina Uzunova.
Tokyo 2020 rhythmic gymnastics ensemble Olympic champions Simona Dyankova, Madeleine Radukanova, Erika Zafirova, Stefani Kiryakova and Laura Traats performed a five-hoop-five-ball combination.
Official guests at the ceremony were the Mayor of Sofia Yordanka Fandakova, the Minister of Youth and Sports Vesela Lecheva, the President of FIG Morinari Watanabe, the President of the Artistic Gymnastics Technical Committee at FIG Noha Abu Shabana, the President of the BFHG Iliana Raeva and the Ambassador of the World Championships Nevyana Vladinova . All of them received special plaques from the BFHG on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of sports in our country.
“I am honored that Sofia, the European and world capital of sports, is hosting the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships. I heartily congratulate BFHG and personally Mrs. Raeva for the overall organization. You, with your enthusiasm, make it possible for the best athletes in the world, from over 60 countries, to come to Sofia. I wish success to all the gymnasts. I hope our guests will have the opportunity to enjoy the Bulgarian hospitality. From the bottom of my heart, I wish success to our beloved girls, I cross my fingers for Dober Chas too!”, said Fandakova, who is also the patron of the championship.
“On behalf of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, I want to welcome you and say that Bulgaria is the proud host of the 39th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships. BFHG has its glorious traditions and successes maintained by a number of generations. I can boldly claim that Bulgarian rhythmic gymnastics is building the successes of the world,” said Vesela Lecheva.
FIG president Morinari Watanabe first asked for a minute’s silence in memory of Queen Elizabeth II, who he called a “great world leader.”
“I am very happy to return to Sofia, the city of rhythmic gymnastics. I am genuinely excited that we will be holding the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships together. It is especially important that we are together today after two years filled with difficulties due to the pandemic. After the two years we spent in harsh winter conditions, the flowers of your efforts are blooming here in Sofia. We see the big roses. We see little roses. And we see the flowers that have just budded. Every flower is beautiful. Every flower has value. Dear contestants, please present your routines with confidence. But on the other hand, there is something we must not forget. we must not forget that there are flowers in the world that want to bloom but cannot because of the weight of the snow. It was these flowers that did not take part here in Sofia. I hope that soon the world will be at peace and that all the flowers will be in full bloom. And now begins the show of the rose flower, called “artistic gymnastics”, said Watanabe, after which he took the hands of Iliana Raeva and Nevyana Vladinova and declared the World Championships in Sofia open.
Official oaths were taken by judges, competitors and coaches. World Cup Ambassador Nevyana Vladinova struck the gong with masterful club moves and officially kicked off the Planet Championship.
More than 80 individual gymnasts and 30 ensembles from 62 countries participated in the championship. The competition started today and will continue until September 18 (Sunday).
“101 kaba bagpipes” blew up the hall and immersed the audience in the unique atmosphere of the Rhodopes under the sounds of the most beautiful and soul-shaking musical instrument – the Rhodope kaba bagpipe.
For centuries she has made people smile and cry. Under its sounds, the people of Rhodope played rascals, but they also sang sad songs.
Rhodope songs captivate and enchant hearts and souls and transport the listener to bygone times and outer space.
It is not by chance that Valya Balkanska’s song “Izlel e Delho Haidutin” was chosen to sound in space.
It was not by chance that we stopped at such an emblematic performance for Bulgaria – wonderful Rhodope music, kaba bagpipe, cosmic voice, beautiful embroidery and a lot of warmth and hospitality.
This is Bulgaria, which we want all participants of the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship to feel and remember.
That Bulgaria is a beautiful country, with a unique history, distinctive folklore and wonderful people! Bagpipe band “101 Kaba bagpipes” was founded on November 1, 2004 in the city of Smolyan with leaders Kostadin Ilchev and Nikola Markovski. Kostadin Ilchev is an honorary citizen of the town of Smolyan and is the recipient of a specific award for the country. He is a living human treasure.
Currently, “101 Kaba Gaidi” is the most numerous bagpipe ensemble with over 101 bagpipe players aged from 5 to 74 years.
“101 Kaba Gaidi” also stands out from all the others with its female bagpipe ensemble, which was formed in 2018 from three generations of girls and women participants in the big ensemble.
The “101 kaba bagpipes” bagpipe group is the basis of the Guinness record set in 2012 for the total performance of 333 kaba bagpipes.
The purpose of “101 Kaba Gaidi” is to unite bagpipe players in order to preserve the art of bagpipes and the unique authentic Rhodope folklore.
Today at the official opening of the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship, the song was performed by Zlatina Uzunova.
Zlatina Uzunova is known as the Rhodope nightingale. With his performances, he has repeatedly managed to captivate audiences on three continents.
In 2022, it celebrated its anniversary and 45 years on stage.
Her creative development began in the fifth grade, when she was accepted into the “Children’s Youth Folklore Ensemble” – Orfey, Smolyan, and was a soloist of the ensemble until the eighth grade. He completed his secondary education at the National School of Folk Arts in the village of Shiroka Laka, majoring in folk singing, and then completed his higher education at Plovdiv University “Paisiy Hilendarski”
At the moment, he is a soloist of “101 Kaba Gaidi”, “Ensemble-Rhodopa” in Smolyan and the choir “Great Bulgarian Voices” in Sofia. He directs and is the artistic director of five ensembles for folk singing at the “Hristo Botev -1876” Folk Community Center, Smolyan.
In 2012, she was awarded the title of “Honorary Citizen of the City of Smolyan”, “Golden Lira” from the “Union of Bulgarian Musicians and Dancers” and the Golden Plaque of the Community Center “Hristo Botev -1876” in the city of Smolyan.
In 2022, she was awarded the highest award “Crystal Necklace” from the “Union of Bulgarian Musicians and Dancers”, the second Golden Plaque of the Community Center “Hristo Botev -1876” in Smolyan and the title of honorary member of the Community Center.