OLYMPICS BOUND: Wrestling assistant coach Georgi Ivanov, (2nd from left), qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

Ivanov Earns Spot as 2016 Olympic Wrestler

Saints Assistant Wrestling Coach to Compete for Bulgarian National Team

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Georgi Ivanov, assistant wrestling coach for Maryville University, won his semifinal match in the World Olympic Qualifier in Mongolia this month, and is now qualified to compete as a member of the Bulgarian national wrestling team during 2016 Olympics to be held in Brazil this August.

“The whole experience was amazing. It’s a dream come true for me,” said Ivanov. “I haven’t set my schedule for where I will be competing before the Olympics, but it would all be for preparation for the Olympics.”

Born and raised in Bulgaria, Ivanov moved to the U.S. nine years ago. He wrestled at the University of Nebraska-Omaha for Coach Mike Denney, who has just completed his fifth season coaching the Maryville Saints NCAA Division II wrestling team. After finishing his education at Boise State University two years ago, Ivanov moved to St. Louis to assist his former coach.

“I recruited George out of Lewis Central High School in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He was an outstanding wrestler and student for us. He helped lead our team to three national championships,” said Coach Denney. “He has continued to compete internationally for the Bulgarian national team and is ranked at the World Level in his weight class. Our wrestlers are so fortunate to have a World and Olympic team member to practice with every day.”

To keep up with Ivanov’s Olympic journey, follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @BUL_Nightmare.