National Arthritis Awareness Program

From the Olympics to the ARThritis Soirée

Hristo demonstrating fencing with his studentWhat does one do after the Olympics? That is the question of the day for the Arthritis Olympic Village. For Bulgarian fencer Hristo Etropolski, it’s about establishing your own fencing club and participating in meaningful fundraiser galas such as the ARThritis Soirée.

The ARThritis Soirée is an annual fundraising gala to attract Vancouver’s most prominent business and community leaders, philanthropists, doctors, scientists, healthcare professionals, and donors through an appreciation of art and a desire to support arthritis research.

Research has shown art adds to one’s well-being and therefore is a great element in managing chronic diseases on a holistic level. Moreover, art adds an extra factor of excitement and depth to the Soirée each year with the introduction of a different art form. This year’s chosen art form, the Art of Fencing, delighted guests as Olympic and World champions showcased their art with amazing skill and precision.

A picture of Hristo and Naz Panahi of Arthritis Research Canada“The Soirée raised $285,000 for arthritis research and we are glad to contribute to such a worthy cause,” said Hristo Etropolski (pictured on the right with Naz Panahi of Arthritis Research Canada).

Etropolski made his first fencing steps at age 13. He started his adventure in Bulgarian club ‘Slavia’ under the instruction of Nikola Svechnikov.

He was a member of the Bulgarian National Team, competed twice in the Olympic Games and won many medals at World Cups and other international tournaments. His career highlights include participating in two Olympic games, four world championships, five World Cup competitions, a third place finish in the Masters in Monaco, and a five-time winner of the Bulgarian National Cup.

Etropolski has been coaching since 1992, first in Europe, then in U.S. and now in Canada. In 2013 he was honored by the FIE (International Fencing Federation) and included in the international fencing Hall of Fame.

Many of Etropolski’s high school students received scholarships for their fencing achievements to prestigious Ivy League universities such as Princeton, Northwestern, University of Pennsylvania, Duke University and Ohio State University.

Etropolski is fluent in English, Bulgarian and Russian and has basic understanding of Polish and French.