Bulgarian Wrestling Coach Goes on Hunger Strike

In protest of sport being dropped from Olympics

Ryan O'Hanlon

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A Bulgarian man is going on a hunger strike. While you may presume it to be some kind of protest relating to the fact that Bulgaria, at this very moment, does not have a government, you would be wrong to presume that.

The man on the hunger strike is Armen Nazaryan, head coach of Bulgaria’s national wrestling team. The 39-year-old, who is a two-time gold medalist (for Armenia in 1996 and Bulgaria in 2000), will not eat anything until the start of the European Championships on March 22 in protest of wrestling being dropped from the 2020 Olympic program. According to the country’s wrestling federation, Nazaryan “will only take juices.”

Two former Olympic champions have already returned their gold medals to the IOC, and the American and Iranian wrestling federations—as in: the U.S.A. and Iran—have joined forces in protest of the sport being dropped. With 16 gold medals, wrestling is Bulgaria’s most successful Olympic sport.

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