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Armenian Olympic team: Armen Melikyan


Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax


Date of birth: 07.02.1996, Aygeshat village
 
Sport: Greco-Roman style wrestling (60kg weight category)

Nickname: Olympic. “I’ve had this nickname since young age, because I trained really well and everyone believed I would become an Olympic champion.”

Personal coach: Alik Hovhannisyan

Family: Married, with a son

Education: Yerevan State Sports College of Olympic Reserve; currently – 3rd course student of Wrestling Department, Institute of Physical Culture

Photo: Mediamax


Son: “My wife is a gymnast; we are peers, and we met at the Etchmiadzin sports school. We got married in 2018, and now we have a wonderful son, who is 2.5 years old. We talk on the phone every day, and he tells me every day to come home.”

Start of career: “I started wrestling at the age of 11. The main reason I became an athlete is my brother. I love everything about wrestling: the struggle, the victory, the friendships you gain along the way – it is worth everything.”

Debut: “First, I competed in the Armenian Championship and earned qualification for the 2018 European Championship. At that time, I had just returned from Russia where I went as a labor migrant due to financial issues, so I had not trained for around 8 months. After I won the Armenian Championship, I decided to continue my career in sport.”

Photo: Mediamax


The key achievement: “It is my Olympic qualification, for sure, because all athletes dream about competing in the Games.”

Qaulification: “It was my last hope for Olympics, and I competed with the set of mind that I was doing it for my coaches first and myself second. I felt happiness much later after I earned the qualification; at that moment, I could not really comprehend what I had achieved.”

Photo: Mediamax


Becoming confident: “When you earn qualification a few months prior to the start of the Games, it immediately boosts your confidence. At such moments, you realize that nothing can stop you from becoming a champion. It helps you gather all your strength and use it to achieve your goal.”

Who influenced his career the most: “My brothers influenced me the most. It was them who convinced me stay in sport and supported me financially in every way so that I could keep my sport career.”  

Photo: Mediamax


Pre-match rituals: “I always make the sign of the cross, because everything is by the will of God. No one can win a medal without his will.”

The most impressive win: “It was the final of U23 European Championship. I had a broken nose and the match was suspended a few times because I just couldn’t breathe. I won for my family. That match was crucial for me – if I didn’t win a medal, I would have quit sport.”

Photo: Mediamax


The postponed Games: “If the Games had taken place in 2020, I would not have been ready mentally because of the pandemic and the war. I was sick with COVID-19 and the recovery was hard. No need to say how badly the war affected me – I can barely talk about it even now, months later.”

His chances: “I am still researching my competitors, but I am mostly focused on myself. What matters is my training – if I am ready and able to do what I want, it doesn’t matter who my opponent is.”

Photo: Mediamax


Armenia’s Olympic team: “Our team is good. Everyone wants to win the gold. I think it’s important that no one gets injured. Olympic Games are the dream of any athlete, and we ought to show the best we can do.”

U23 European champion.

Hasmik Babayan
Photos: Emin Aristakesyan

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