Mihail G Kouzev
Athletics Director, Dubai International Academy
Where did you go to school?
I attended the Sports School in Bulgaria.
What is your favourite subject?
As a sports school the entire programme was centered on sport. My favourite was (and still is!) the modern pentathlon which involves fencing, horse riding, pistol shooting, swimming and running.
What was your least favourite?
Definitely chemistry. At the time I could not understand the reactions that took place between the chemicals. The formulas were straightforward, and I was good at them, but I never could relate to the different products and materials reacting with each other the way they did.
Do you have a favourite teacher?
Mathematics was a subject I was always eager to be good at, and during these classes, the teacher understood my desire, and was always very attentive to my concerns. The amount of support I received from my mathematics teacher played a tremendous role in the principles I apply today in my everyday life.
Were you good or naughty?
Hopefully I was a good boy! One thing I am sure of, my parents are proud of me.
What was your naughtiest thing you did at school?
Tired after training sessions, I sometimes fell asleep in my maths classes. One day my teacher was so upset she called my parents to school to discuss the matter. She also mentioned this in the front of everyone during the parent-teacher conference. However, my father recalls that she added at the end: ‘I am very upset that he sleeps in my class but I can’t help but wonder how he can still answer all my questions correctly when I interrupt his day dreaming?’
What’s your happiest memory from your school days?
My school years were happy times on the whole, but the memory that stands out most was when I won the Bulgarian Modern Pentathlon National Championship the first time. That moment was the culmination of a lot of hard work and practice, made possible by the support of many people from my school and family. It was the moment where I achieved one of the most challenging goals I had ever set for myself, a triumph that made my school proud of me, and me proud to be a member of such a supportive environment.
What about the worst one?
Sometimes I skipped some classes to go for sports practice.
How is school different these days to when you were a kid?
When I went to school, the curriculum was a little more focused on academic subjects, with little support for extracurricular activities, which were almost unheard of.