ARMNOC celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The whole sport world is waiting impatiently for that important event.
Ahead of this event, Mediamax Sport prepared a series of articles on the foundation and history of Armenia’s most important sport institution’s foundation and development.
The 2nd part of our series is devoted to ARMNOC’s building, presidents, symbols and about IOC’s president’s first visit to Armenia.
25 years and 359 square meter territory
Since its formation 25 years ago, National Olympic Committee building has been located at 9 Abovyan Street. For many years, National Olympic Committee occupied as many rooms in the Sports Committee building as the managers provided.
In order to create Olympic Museum and ensure the Olympic Committee’s work , it was decided to provide the basement of the State Committee for Physical Training and Sports to ARMNOC free of charge in 2004. The National Olympic Committee staff is carrying out their activities in that 359 sq. meters since then.
Several symbols and the final option
Since the foundation of ARMNOC, having a symbol has been one of the primary goals; to this end, a republican contest was announced in November 1990. The committee unanimously decided not to award the first prize to anyone. But having a symbol was mandatory, and it was decided to temporarily use the 2nd place winner’s work in the competition.
Photo: from “ARMNOC. Foundation, Development and Establishment” book
In 1993, the American-Armenian Sedrak Agonyan sent several computerized options, one of which was approved by the Executive Committee.
However, it was troublesome to create the symbol on a souvenir or a badge, and it became necessary to come up with a new one.
It was presented to the public in 1998, and the author of it was Hrachya Aslanyan-a member of the Artist’s Union and the International Association of designers.
IOC President’s first visit to Armenia and the signed check
When the Olympic movement was persistently developing and the Olympic Committee was taking its steady steps, the IOC delegation headed by President Juan Antonio Samaranch visited our country for the first time.
Samaranch met with the President of Armenia at that time- Levon Ter-Petrosyan.
The IOC delegation visited Tsakhkadzor as well, and saw the main Olympic sports center in Armenia. Samaranch signed and handed over a check for 7,500 Swiss francs for renovation of the Sports Center. The delegation also visited Sport Complex and Hrazdan stadium.
Awards granted for sport achievements
Since 1996 people who had progress on the field of physical culture and sports have been granted Khorenatsi Medal. It was decided to create a special award by the National Olympic Committee that year, which was approved a year later.
The General Assembly established ARMNOC’s Badge of Honor Award "For Development of the Olympic Movement". In 2002, the award was renamed the "National Olympic Medal". Hrant Shahinian’s medal has also been given since 2002.
National Olympic Committee has been headed by 6 Presidents. The first of them, who had that position at the most difficult and crucial period, was Ruben Hakobyan.
Rafael Toroyan was elected the second president of the National Olympic Committee, who had been the president of Sports and Youth Affairs Department in the Government at that time. He was replaced by Aleksan Avetisyan, ARMNOC became a full member of IOC during his period and Armenian participants did well in the 1996 Atlanta and the 1998 Nagano Olympics.
The World Champion Benoit Pashayan was the next President of ARMNOC. A year later, Pashayan resigned, and the institution was headed by Ishkhan Zakaryan. In the meantime, many schools were built and renovated, the athletes were given various awards and titles.
In 2004, Gagik Tsarukyan was elected ARMNOC’s president, who is leading the institution for the past 11 years. Over these years Armenian sport has significantly developed and many positive achievements were recorded.
The excerpts have been quoted from Harutyun Yavryan’s “ARMNOC. Foundation, Development and Establishment” book.
Hasmik Babayan, Gohar Nalbandyan