Born in Sofia, Bulgaria, Marinov started his canoe career in the 1980s. He won two Olympic bronze medals for his native country at the Seoul 1988 and Barcelona 1992 Games, along with five world championship medals between 1987 and 1997. After migrating to Australia in the late 1990s, he went on to represent Australia at the 2004 Athens Games where he placed 10th in the C1 500m event.
He was the head coach of the Australian flatwater team for the 2008 Beijing Games. Of the 11 qualified athletes, three medals were won including one gold (Ken Wallace). Following Beijing he was appointed the AIS Canoe/Kayak National Head Coach and was the Head Coach at the 2012 London Games with more gold success with the men’s K4.
After only deciding to attempt to qualify a few months before trials for the Rio Games, he upstaged his younger competitors and won the C1 and C2 spot – his fifth Olympic Games as an athlete. Marinov was knocked out of the medal contention in both events, finishing second in the B-final in the C2 1000m with teammate Ferenc Szekszardi and seventh in the C1 1000m B-final.