Stefka Kostadinova is still the reigning world record holder in the women's high jump with 2.09 m which she jumped at the 1987 World Championships in Athletics in Rome. More than 20 years old, this record is one of the oldest records in athletics. Stefka Kostadinova has set 7 world records throughout her career: three outdoor records, and four indoor records. She has jumped over the psychological line of 2.00 m 197 times in her career, which is the best female achievement of all time.
She was born on March 25, 1965 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. On November 11, 2005, Stefka Kostadinova became the president of the Bulgarian Olympic Committee succeeding Ivan Slavkov. Stefka Kostadinova's most valuable gold medal is the one from the Olympic Games in Atlanta 1996. Despite her total dominance in high jump, the Olympic gold medal has managed to slip away from her on two Olympic Games before she got it. Firstly, she was not allowed to compete in the 1984 Olympics because of the eastern block boycott. On the next two Olympic Games she performed below her level and finished second and forth in 1988 and 1992, respectively
Stefka Kostadinova's other most important medals except for the gold and the silver in the Olympic Games are 2 gold medals in World Championships, Rome 1987 and Gothenburg 1995. (The last one she won only a couple of months after she gave birth to her son). Stefka is also European gold medalist from Stuttgart 1986. In 1997, Stefka Kostadinova won the indoor world championship in Paris, her fifth title from IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics, which made her the only athlete in the world, male or female, with five golden medals from world indoor championships (Paris 1985, Indianapolis 1987, Budapest 1989, Toronto 1993 and Paris 1997). Stefka Kostadinova is also 4 times European indoor champion. She has been awarded Bulgarian sportsman of the year four times, 1985, 1987, 1995 and 1996; and is included in the top ten Twentieth Century Female Athletes. In 1997 she got injured, which lead to her retirement 2 years later.
Stefka Kostadinova is still in sports now as the President of the Bulgarian Olympic Committee.