I Believe Nothing Is Impossible

By Vladimir Gyurov · Bulgaria

Photo of Vladimir Gyurov and team
Nothing is impossible with a strong team

I have a very sporty background from a young age. I had been through 80 percent of the sports and then found my sport, cycling. All this helped to shape me as an active person and as a fighter.

In 2000, I was out on a training session with my road bike a few kilometers out of Sofia (the capital of Bulgaria) when I came across a bus on the highway, and within seconds, everything turned upside down.

I woke up in the hospital with my spine broken at its strongest possible part–at the chest level. I spent a month and a half in the hospital and “walked out” from there on four wheels. I was paralyzed from my chest down and had to change “walking” with “wheeling around” in wheelchair.

Four years ago, very close to my thirtieth birthday, a complication came up with my spine. If it wasn’t taken care of, it would have resulted in losing the use of my hands and the ability to breathe on my own.

My manager, his manager, the manager of his manager... everybody was extremely supportive. Hundreds if not thousands of people were donating money to help me.

After everything was done, I reached out to everyone to personally thank them and express my gratitude. I feel immense gratitude for what everyone at Cisco did for me. This is something never to be forgotten!

Photo of Vladimir Gyurov and team durting the ascent
The ascent

Before my accident, my family and I spent a lot of time hiking. Two years ago, I saw a picture that a close friend of mine took of the sunset from the peak Musala of the Rila Mountain (2925 meters—the highest peak on the Balkans). And while we were having our friendly chat about the beauty from the top, the idea came to get me to the top once again.

I’m the kind of person who never misses opportunities. Whenever something interesting is offered to me, I don’t hesitate.

It took a lot of planning. We had to change our planned date many times due to severe winds and snowing. Most of the team were mountain rescuers, some of them were from the Red Cross, along with people with medical expertise. I was wrapped in a few layers of sleeping bags and tied securely to a manual sledge (used to rescue people who suffer an accident in the mountains).

It took those brave 28 people three hours to drag me to the top. We had the weather on our side, luckily, it was a clear, calm, and sunny winter day with temperatures slightly below zero.

The whole atmosphere was indescribable. Imagine the strong, almost inhuman will of the team fighting our way up the extremely steep summit. Yet everyone was smiling all the way despite all the challenges that crossed our way.

Once we reached the peak, we had a very short 20-minute window for a break, pictures, celebration and to enjoy the moment. The bad weather was coming towards us very fast. So we had to quickly prepare for the descent.

The whole project was a huge success and a perfect example of the fact that a strong team is unstoppable and that nothing is impossible. You can see the whole movie of the climb on YouTube in the links below. And you can see pictures on our event page in Facebook.

I am now impatient for my next big thing. I am going to the Handifly Eurochallenge, a parachute skydiving competition in France in September. I’ll have the opportunity to make a number of skydiving jumps. The target is to perform some routine movements in the air, which after being caught on camera will be judged by a team of judges on the ground.

Many of these things I do are usually covered by the media and newspapers. I do these first for myself, because I want to feel alive, but also to use the media attention to raise awareness for other physically challenged people, and to make society accept us in a different way–as equals.

It took those brave 28 people three hours to drag me to the top.
Sunrise at the Musala peak of the Rila Mountain
Playing tennis

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