This year marked the 50th anniversary of IBC Varna. Though the competition has grown steadily more sophisticated and intense over time, no competitors were awarded gold medals this year. Two silver medals were awarded to the senior women: Hannah O'Neill of the Paris Opera Ballet, and Ye Lim Choi of Korea. Two bronze medals were awarded to the senior women, as well: Sara Renda of Italy and Hee Sun Kim of Korea. Senior men fared the same—the highest award was silver.
For many dancers, the International Ballet Competition in Varna is the ultimate test of technique and artistry. In ballet, a gold from Varna is just as prestigious as all those medals Michael Phelps has hanging around his neck.