Nikola Dinev, a heavyweight Greco-Roman wrestler from Bulgaria who won two world and five European titles for a dozen years beginning in the mid-1970s, died Saturday, June 1, according to the Bulgarian Wrestling Federation. He was 65.
Born in Nova Zagora, Bulgaria in October 1953, Nikola Dinev Nikolov was an imposing figure, standing 6 feet tall and tipping the scales at 130 kilograms (287 pounds).
Dinev's on-the-mat accomplishments were no less impressive. He won two gold medals and three silver medals at the World Championships from 1975-1986. In addition, Dinev was a six-time European Championships medalist, winning five gold and one silver.
Dinev also represented Bulgaria in Greco-Roman at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, where he placed fifth in super-heavyweight competition.
In its announcement, the Bulgarian Wrestling Federation said the location and date of services had yet to be determined.