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Armenian Medalists at the 2012 London Olympic Games

By Grant Pakhtigian
FLArmenians Sports Contributor

August 10, 2012

As we are tuned into the Summer Games for this Fortnight in London 2012, our hopes for Armenia’s medalists run deep and wide. We are as wide as the Diaspora and deep as Armenia’s locals, it’s towns, villages and fertile soil in sporting history.

With our hopes for a showing like never before, twenty-five Armenian Olympians, with a slight caveat of not getting to be seen on TV at this year’s Opening Ceremonies, take their place and put their best foot forward every four years in this hallmark 30th Olympiad.

With the character and principals of fairness and truth, the games hold a distinct character led by International Olympic committee chief Jacques Rogge. On this 15th day of competition, we have some blips on the radar of medals from this little independent state.

Female Olympian Hripsime Khurshudyan was the first Armenian medalist in these games, and the first female athlete from Armenia to ever medal in any sport. In Weightlifting’s +75kg (super-heavy weight), she struck Bronze for her efforts.

She was soon followed by Arsen Julfalakyan in Greco-Roman Wrestling. He took the Silver medal by facing his last opponent Roman Vlasov of Russia in the +74 kg category. Meanwhile in the wrestling circle Arthur Aleksanyan took Bronze in the +96kg Greco-Roman category.

Mikayel Koloyan, who competed in the pool for the 100-meter freestyle, took away a mark of 53.82 and finished with a ranking of 8. Along with fellow swimmers, 18-year-old Anahit Barseghyan finished just out of the medal race, landing in 4th in the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 1:08:19.

The U.S. won Gold in Water Polo under Armenian-American Team USA Head Coach Adam Krikorian, with his fearless assistants not far behind. The final jump in the pool for all those on deck after victory were awash in their congratulatory baptismal dip in the pool. Adam Krikorian is the Women’s Water Polo Head Coach at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

While another Armenian-American, Arthur Akopyan, personal coach for U.S. gymnast McKayla Maroney, watched his pupil win Silver in the individual Vault competition.

Several Armenian athletes have yet to finish their events. They include 26-year-old Arman Yeremyan in Tae Kwon Do, and 27-year-old Mihran Jaburyan in +55kg Freestyle Wrestling. Armenia has garnered a total of three medals thus far.

The medal count represents two Bronze, one for Weightlifting, one for Wrestling, and one Silver for free style Wrestling.

Armen Nazaryan who competes in Judo scored a win moving through the draw but was stopped by fellow challenger Pawel Zagrodnik of Poland.

Kristine Harutyunyan, 21, competes in the Javelin throw. Her first mark was 47.65 feet, and she is from Gyumri. Olympian Tigran Martirosyan, also from Gyumri is 24 years old and competes in the +77 kg Weightlifting discipline.

Andranik Hagopian of Etchmiadzin competes as a middleweight boxer and won his round of 32 versus Terrell Gausha of the United States. Vardan Pahlevanyan won his qualifying event in men’s long jump.

For 2012, most Armenian competitors are just becoming young adults and we look forward in the coming years to more brilliant performances based from talented, supported, creative and youthful hopefuls.

Grant Pakhtigian is a sports writer for print and online sports publications. He received his Bachelors of Business Administration in Accounting from St. Thomas University in Miami and resides in West Palm Beach, Florida. 


Fifth Clergy Conference Held at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin

On June 6th, at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the Brotherhood held its Fifth Clergy Conference attended by 81 celibate priests from Armenia and the Diaspora, as well as representatives from the Great House of Cilicia and the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople.  Following the opening prayer, the organizing committee chairman, Very Reverend Fr. Nareg Berberian of St. David Armenian Church in Boca Raton, Florida, began the conference emphasizing the value of having the clergy assemble every other year to benefit all the clergy who are serving in the different Dioceses around the world.  Fr. Nareg Berberian stressed the importance of remaining faithful to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and to His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians, as well as working in unity and sharing our brotherly love toward each other.   On behalf of the Brotherhood, Fr. Nareg Berberian expressed his gratitude to His Holiness for his fraternal care.

Fr. Aren Jebejian, Fr. Nareg Berberian, Fr. Mamigon Kiledjian, His Holiness Karekin II, Fr. Oshagan Gulgulian, Fr. Simeon Odabashian, and Fr. Taniel Findilian

Then His Holiness delivered his message and gave his blessing in appreciation of their ministry of service.  His Holiness stressed the presence of all the clergy here strengthens and optimistically inspires the church for future generations.  His Holiness reminded them that they not only stay connected with their fellow brothers, but also, as brothers in Christ to focus and reflect on their ministry and its role in the life of the church.  His Holiness advised them to continue zealously to build up the glory of the Armenian Church with the Christ and our fathers as their spiritual leaders.   At the end of his message, His Holiness wished they would stay firm in their vocation and accomplish more in keeping the faith of our people strong as they serve in the vineyard of our Lord. 

The subject matter of the conference was how the clergy can spread the teachings of the church through social media.  The speaker of this theme was Artur Petrossyan, Director of Communication of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church.  Following the PowerPoint presentation, the clergy were divided into four groups to discuss how they can enhance communication between the community and the pastor through the use of the internet, as well as how they can offer spiritual messages to their flock through the same media.

There was one day set aside for missionary outreach in the region of Armavir.  More than 120 clergy were dispersed into the different towns and villages to visit families, bless their homes, and visit schools, hospitals and youth centers.  On Saturday evening, around midnight, in the Mother See Cathedral, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated and members of the Brotherhood renewed their vocation to serve our Lord and returned back to their parishes with renewed inspiration.