Ivanov to Wrestle at World Championships
George Ivanov is just the second Bronco to wrestle at the World Championships.
Sept. 11, 2015

BOISE, Idaho – Former Boise State wrestler George Ivanov will wrestle in the World Championships, a United World Wrestling event, Saturday (Sept. 12) at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

Ivanov will be competing for Bulgaria, his home country, and is just the second former Bronco to wrestle in the World Championships. Charles Burton wrestled for the United States at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, the first former Boise State student-athlete to make an Olympic Team.

The 2015 edition of the World Championships will be streamed live HERE , and is scheduled to begin Saturday at 11 a.m. MT.

Ivanov recently made the move from 70 kilograms to 74kg (Freestyle), and answered some questions for BroncoSports.com from Las Vegas, the site of the tournament. His responses can be found below.

Obviously, you’re representing Bulgaria at the World Championships, but you’re only the second former Bronco wrestler to compete in the tournament – and the first for another country. Do you feel even a little bit like you’re wrestling for Boise State as well?
Of course I feel like I am wrestling for Boise State. I am a Boise State alum and I feel like I am representing the Broncos out here in Las Vegas at the World Championships.

How has what you picked up from your time at Boise State prepared you for your professional career?
I've learned a lot at Boise State. It was very helpful for me to have the Suples wrestling gym in Boise where Ivan Ivanov and my father, Ivan Delchev, helped me a lot to get to where I am at today.

You recently made the move from 70kg to 74 kg, hoping to improve your chances at making the Olympic Team. How has that transition worked out for you thus far?
Yes, I did. I knew that the sooner I moved up a weight class, the more time I would have to adjust to it and get bigger and stronger. So far it looks like it has worked really well for me and I feel very comfortable at that weight class. I am very excited for the opportunity I have to wrestle in Brazil next year and hopefully bring back the gold medal.

You’ve been working with the Maryville wrestling program as you’ve trained for this opportunity. What virtues did you take from the Broncos’ program that you have been able to apply as you help train other wrestlers?
Yes, I work and train at Maryville University out in St. Louis, Mo. Maryville University has been amazing to me with all of the support they have given me. Thanks to how flexible they have been with me I am able to train and wrestle at the World Championships this weekend. I've learned from the Boise State wrestling program that nothing comes easy and you have to fight for everything if you want to be successful.

You married a former Boise State cheerleader and an Idaho native. How long before you guys move back to Boise?
Yes, I married my beautiful wife Whitney Ivanova. I want to especially thank her for all of the support and sacrifices she has made in order for me to travel and compete at such a high level. We can't say how long it would be before we move back to Boise. As of right now we have found a home in St. Louis and everyone at Maryville University makes us feel very welcome.

Competing for Bulgaria, how much of your time is actually spent in your home country?
Yes, I do compete for Bulgaria, however, I do live and train here in America. I've spent around two months this year in Bulgaria where I had to go back for camp and tournaments. I had to go back and win the Bulgarian National tournament in order for me to win the World-team spot at 74kg and be able to represent Bulgaria at the World Championships this week.

For those who don’t know much about your life before you joined the Broncos, how did it come about that you ended up in Boise?
It's been a long journey for me. I came to America when I was 16 years old. Thanks to Trevor Carritt and Carol Wright, I was able to obtain a student visa and continue my education. I was recruited to wrestle at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where coach Denney was the head wrestling coach. After we won three team national titles there, the school dropped the wrestling program and we all had to find new homes. Coach Denney and some of my teammates moved down to St. Louis and started a new wrestling program at Maryville University. I was fortunate enough to get a full scholarship offered from Coach Chris Owens to join Boise State and complete my education and collegiate wrestling career as a Bronco. That is how I ended up at Boise State. As soon as I graduated, I received a call from coach Denney and Maryville University and they offered me a job I was happy to take.

What was your favorite memory from your time at Boise State?
My favorite memory at Boise State was when I won a Pac-12 title and won the outstanding wrestler award at the conference tournament. Another great memory I will always remember was me graduating from Boise State and getting my diploma.

From all of Bronco Nation, good luck, George!

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