Maria Oryashkova left the “Games of the Will” Arena forever, probably to the surprise of many, but what she admitted shortly afterwards surprised everyone even more.

“I turned the sport into my mother,” said the world sambo champion, who became an orphan at the age of 18, to Nova TV. However, she proved that she is a true woman-warrior and pride for the whole of Bulgaria. After decades of a successful career in which she won gold medals for our country, Maria Oryashkova decided to end her sports career. She did it after her exit from the show, but she didn’t mean it that way.

The ten-time European champion and six-time world champion Maria Oryashkova admitted that she decided to end her career after another operation that she had to undergo.

“I didn’t plan to announce it on Games of Will. Again I listened to my heart and the moment I fall, I decided to share my decision. I didn’t have a plan or a strategy, I just did what I felt. I do the same in my life. Probably it’s shocking because absolutely no one knew. It would have been harder for me to announce it on the mat.”

Maria Oryashkova also admits that she felt the “Games of the Will” Arena almost as close as the sambo mat. And he reveals that the reasons why he is giving up his career are not only health reasons.

“You have to know when to stop. You shouldn’t get carried away and drive to the end. I want to go to another stage of my life. And I know that when it is accompanied with professional sports, that other stage cannot happen. I dream to open my own gym and start my own family. Those things tipped the scales.”

Oryashkova is adamant that sport gives a lot, but also takes a lot. “Sports gets you busy and puts you on a merry-go-round where you live from race to race, from practice to practice. But when you have a break and you come home and you’re alone, you ask yourself, ‘What am I doing?’. Yes, you have friends , but there is no one to go home to or live for. I never look for anything, but I believe it will happen to me. To that end, however, I had to close this chapter of the book.”

“Going into Games of the Will, my biggest fear was to see what kind of person I really am. I think every participant feels the same way.

We live in such times that we do not know how it will affect us not to eat for three weeks, to be in complete isolation, to sleep in conditions that cannot happen to you in normal life.

Outside you have all the comforts, but who are you when they are gone? Are you a good person or a bad person? I personally saw that I will not regret the kind of person I am. The battle with yourself is the worst. To endure mentally.

In Games of the Will, I learned to be more humble and patient, even when I’m very hungry. I also learned to fall. When I left the Arena and heard the applause, I felt the love and support and I cried. I told myself that I did not walk this way in vain.”