Olympic triple jump champion Teresa Marinova was born on September 5, 1977 in Pleven. At the age of 18, she became the European champion for girls, and at the age of 19 she was already the world champion and record holder. Her major women's successes are a world indoor title and outdoor bronze medal in 2001, a European indoor title (2002) and outdoor bronze (1998). The highlight of her career was the title at the Olympic Games in Sydney' 2000. Theresa stopped competing in 2008 due to an Achilles injury. Now he has his own children's athletics school, and at the same time he is a teacher at the National Sports Academy. In February 2017, she defended her dissertation on the topic "Management and realization of sports form in the triple jump for women". The great champion also gave birth to two children - Darina (6 years) and Kalin (4). On the eve of the flu season, Teresa Marinova became the face of the "Open for Vaccines" educational campaign. Here is what she shared on this occasion for "Doctor" magazine
Theresa, what motivated you to become an ambassador for the Open About Vaccines campaign?
- It's very easy to become an ambassador for a campaign you strongly believe in. I am convinced that through vaccines we prevent diseases and the consequences they would have on our body. I am convinced that vaccines save lives.
My children have been given absolutely all vaccines, including those that are not mandatory. I hope most mothers take care of their children like me.
Teresa receives a Doctor of Science diploma from the rector of the National Academy of Sciences Prof. Pencho Geshev
Who opened your eyes to the benefits of vaccines - the GP or someone else?
- Unfortunately, it was not the GP who won me over to the vaccines, but the demands of my sports career. As a professional athlete, I had to take a lot of care of my he alth. For years, I had to protect myself in the winter in order to train fully and not get the flu. During the winter season, we athletes have one important competition - a European or world championship, which we must not miss or not be in good condition for the championship.
Contrary to people's ideas about professional athletes, that we do not get sick because we constantly take care of ourselves, eat right, follow a regime of exercise and rest, train our bodies daily, it is not so. In fact, when we are in top sports form, we most easily get sick. That's exactly why I decided to get a flu shot. The result was wonderful - my vaccine worked and I really didn't get sick this winter. After that, there wasn't a year where I didn't get a flu shot. In addition to this one, I have many other vaccines.
As a mother of two children, how do you take care of their he alth?
- My children also have these vaccines which are not mandatory but only recommended. One of them is the rotavirus vaccine, which is given in the initial period of children's growth, and they really did not get rotavirus infections.
For the he alth of my children, I follow the recommendations of our pediatrician. I do not experiment with them in any way. I am open to vaccines because I see the benefit of them.
Many people forget that thanks to vaccines, most of the serious infectious diseases have almost disappeared. In Bulgaria, poliomyelitis is not found, and this is thanks to a vaccine. Ultimately, vaccination is a matter of personal choice. I get vaccinated because I want to be he althy and because I want to protect my children. I work in an environment where I meet a lot of people, and the risk of getting infected, for example with a flu virus, is very high. Then I can pass the disease on to my children. Therefore, I believe that vaccination is the choice of reasonable people.
What medicines do you give to children and do you do it to yourself?
- No. He alth is no joke. I never give them medicine on my head. I don't even allow myself to self-medicate because it can be dangerous. Improper treatment leads to complications and the healing process will then be much slower. So I advise all people when they are unwell to contact competent persons.
Do you give vitamins to children?
- Yes. Sometimes we also do immunostimulation, but everything is coordinated with my children's pediatrician.
Teresa, how did you manage to be in this great shape after two births?
- Because my life is very dynamic. I am constantly "on the pedals". I also train children, I am constantly with them at the stadium. I am in constant motion past them. I show them all kinds of exercises, sometimes I train with them, sometimes I compete with them. In the meantime, I defended my doctorate at the National Sports Academy. Teaching is the new path I have chosen.
Teresa with the Olympic gold medal from Sydney
What do you do daily for your he alth to be in good condition?
- First, I am meticulous about prevention. I try to react immediately to every signal of my body. And as an athlete who knows his body very well, I know how to stop any illness.
Are you taking medicine for something?
- I hardly ever take medicine. Once or twice a year I have to take the most common headache pills. While I was competing, I took a lot of vitamins and nutritional supplements. But then my body needed them. I hardly ever take supplements now.
Does sport help he alth?
- Movement is very useful. Good motor activity saves me from tension and stress, which are the basis of most diseases of our time.
Are the injuries left over from your sports career calling?
- I have a lot of injuries from the triple jump. Happily, none call now, even when I'm training relatively hard for someone who doesn't compete anymore. I recently participated in a relay marathon where I ran five kilometers and gave a pretty good time. Even after this adventure I had no complaints from old traumas. Taking care of your he alth takes very little time, but then you save yourself a lot of trouble and a lot of missed good times. Instead of lying in bed sick, you can be somewhere with the children and enjoy them. That's why I can boldly say: "Get vaccinated, follow some form of prevention, that's how you really take care of your he alth, and this care will reward you".
I had five surgeries
During my career as an athlete, I had five surgeries and all of them were performed in Finland by Prof. Yuki Tolikura. I've had surgery on my lateral tendon, ankle ligaments, one bone in my foot, and my achilles. I gave up sports after the second achilles operation. This tendon really turned out to be my "Achilles heel". Both times I had a partial Achilles tear. They say the better option is to have a full tear so it can heal faster. But that's how it was written to me. The triple jump, especially for women, is quite a tough discipline and there is almost no athlete who has not been injured. Professional sports are not for he alth. But they gave me good treatment and now I have no problem. The surgeon told me: "When you stop playing sports, you won't have any pain." I didn't believe it, but it really did