Giulia Steingruber competes on floor at the 2016 Olympics. Photograph: Silvia Vatteroni

Behind a great athlete there is always a great coach. Behind Olympic medallist Giulia Steingruber, the best ever Swiss gymnast, there is her coach Zoltan Jordanov.

This year, Jordanov coached Steingruber to two European gold medals, on vault and floor, and to an Olympic bronze medal on vault.

As head coach of the Swiss team, remarkable was also the fourth place he achieved with the latter at the 2016 European Championships in Berne last June. The team was formed on Steingruber, Ilaria Kaeslin (who also finished fourth on beam), Caterina Barloggio, Thea Brogli and Stefanie Siegenthaler.

Because of his achievements, on 18 December Zoltan Jordanov was awarded the 2016 Credit Suisse Sports Award for Best Coach.

Jordanov is originally from Hungary and has worked with the Swiss women’s gymnastics team since 2007. In these nine years the Swiss team has grown immensely and has produced two world-class athletes: Ariella Kaeslin and Giulia Steingruber.

Ariella Kaeslin, now retired, won a silver medal on vault at the 2009 World Championships in London, and three European medals: gold on vault and bronze in the all around in 2009 and bronze on vault in 2011. She was also fifth on vault at the 2008 Olympic Games.

Giulia Steingruber won bronze on vault at the 2016 Olympic Games and nine European medals, of which five gold: in the all around (2015), on vault (2013, 2014, 2016) and on floor exercise (2016).

The Credit Suisse Sports Award for Best Male Athlete went to Olympic champion cyclist Fabian Cancellara and the one for Best Female Athlete to World Cup ski champion Lara Gut.

By Talitha Ilacqua



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