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How old were you when you started playing badminton? I began to play at school when I was 11 years old. When I was around 15 or 16, I decided to concentrate on badminton full time and moved to Sofia, away from my parents, to be a professional player.How has your Olympic Solidarity Scholarship helped you? Most of the time I use it to help with my preparations and to compete in tournaments. It is very reassuring to know that I have the support of the Olympic Solidarity Programme; it is a very good idea to help players in this way.What has been your greatest sporting achievement so far? Getting to the quarter-finals of the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004, reaching the 2011 All England semi-finals, and winning the European Championship silver medal in the women's doubles in 2010.What was it like for you to compete in the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004? It was so exciting for me because it was my first Olympic Games and it was a pleasure to be part of the event. I was very motivated to do as well as I possibly could.What are your targets for the London 2012 Olympic Games? I need to be in good shape, play my best game and hope the results will follow. I always try to fight for a medal and hope that one day I will earn one.What are your targets for the future? I hope to continue playing and then later become a coach or continue working within the sport in some other way.What does a typical training week consist of for you? Normally I practise twice a day - two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening. Depending on what stage I am in in my preparations, I also have some physical conditioning sessions. Plus I do fitness work every second day.What do you do in your spare time? Normally I spend my time with my family and my friends.Do you use social networks to keep in touch with people? Like everyone, I use Facebook to keep in touch with people. Sometimes it's not possible to keep in touch without it!Did you have any sporting heroes when you were younger? Mia Audina, Zhang Ning and Taufik Hidayat. When I started my career, these were the three names that I most remember. Both of the girls were playing at a very good level and it was a pleasure to play against them. Taufik, meanwhile, is my favourite male player.PETYA NEDELCHEVAWITH HELP FROM HER OLYMPIC SOLIDARITY SCHOLARSHIP, BULGARIA'S PETYA NEDELCHEVA WILL BE COMPETING IN HER THIRD GAMES IN LONDONINTERVIEWOlympic Solidarity is the body that ensures that talented athletes, regardless of their financial status, have an equal chance of reaching the Olympic Games and succeeding in the Olympic arena. It is responsible for administering and managing the National Olympic Committees' (NOCs') share of the revenue from the sale of broadcasting rights to the Olympic Games. Working in particular with the most disadvantaged NOCs and their Continental Associations, Olympic Solidarity uses this money to develop a range of assistance programmes. Within its total budget, USD 61 million is earmarked to provide support to athletes for the 2009-2012 Olympic Solidarity quadrennial period.OLYMPIC SOLIDARITYOLYMPIC REVIEW 67OLYMPIC SOLIDARITY

How did you get started in gymnastics?The sport had always caught my attention, plus I had a lot of energy when I was little, which helped me a lot in gymnastics.How has the Olympic Solidarity Scholarship helped you?ANA SOFÍA GÓMEZ PORRASAFTER COMPETING IN THE YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES IN SINGAPORE IN 2010, GUATEMALAN GYMNAST ANA SOFÍA GÓMEZ PORRAS IS HOPING HER OLYMPIC SOLIDARITY SCHOLARSHIP WILL HELP HER SHINE IN LONDON IN 2012INTERVIEWFor the moment, the Olympic Solidarity Schlarship is helping me to continue my studies.You competed in the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. What was that like for you?It was one of the best experiences of my life because it was my first international competition and the standard was so high. How much do you think your experiences in Singapore have helped your career?I think it was very important because while I was there I competed against very talented rivals who I will face regularly in the future. It also helped me realise that I have the potential to compete at an international level. What has been your greatest sporting achievement so far?Qualifying for the Olympic Games and winning the silver medal in the all-around event and the gold medal in the balance beam at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara in 2011.What are your targets for the London 2012 Olympic Games?I want to do my best in the competition and hopefully win a medal.What is a typical training week like for you?It is a week that is full of challenges and opportunities!What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?I love watching TV and trying out new gadgets. I also listen to all sorts of music.Do you use social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, to keep in touch with people?Yes, I use these social networks to find out what people are doing and also to see if anyone has been in touch with me.Did you have any sporting heroes when you were younger?I have always admired Rafael Nadal very much. He is a great tennis player.68 OLYMPIC REVIEW OLYMPIC SOLIDARITY