Date of birth: 27.10.1999, Pokr Vedi
Behind the name: Vazgen Tevanyan’s uncle was brother-in-arms with Armenia’s national hero, famed commander and Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsyan. The athlete was named after him.
Sport: Freestyle wrestling (65kg weight category)
Legacy: Vazgen is the grandson of the aunt of Armen Mkrtchyan, silver medalist of the 1996 Olympic Games, European champion, bronze medalist of the World Championship.
Education: Currently enrolled in the Armenian State Institute of Physical Culture
Personal coach: Rafik Guletsyan
Start of career: Vazgen started practicing freestyle wrestling at the age of 9.
Choice of sport: “I was a very active child, constantly running around the house and doing physical exercises. My friends, who were 4-5 years older, suggested to try wrestling with them.
Wrestling requires a lot of willpower: I never train just to train, I have always had goals, and I tried to achieve them from a young age. The coach plays a crucial role - they put you in the right direction, and you focus all your efforts. I have always thought about becoming a champion.”
Debut: “My first international tournament was in 2014 - the Junior European Championship. Of course, I was nervous, but my coaches and friends who had a lot of experience helped me with advice. In the following years, that nervousness gradually diminished and became manageable.”
Favorite wrestler: “I watch a lot of wrestlers because I learn something from everyone. The best one, for me, is still my uncle Armen Mkrtchyan.”
Before the match: “When I go out on the mat, I talk to myself, bring myself into the mood to fight well. In those moments, I actually feel like I’m alone with myself.”
Victory and defeat: “After every win I thank God. Defeat doesn’t upset me, it simply tells me that I need to train better. In both cases, though, I analyze my performance to figure out my shortcomings, and then I start correcting them during training.”
Qualification: “I was optimistic. I had a very good tournament, and I earned a qualification for the Tokyo Games. I was so very happy, but truth be told, the feeling lasted for just an instant, because then I started preparing for the most important event – the Games.”
The Games: “I watched our team in 2016, but I still did not think participating, because I believe we should focus on the task at hand before making plans for the future. Then, I have been improving my skills year by year, and the dream to be in the Olympic Games became a real, serious purpose.”
The goal for Tokyo: “My only goal is to win the gold.”
2021 Olympics: “I love Tokyo. It’s so vibrant, so advanced, and so different.”
Armenia’s Olympic team: “All athletes on our team are strong and they all have a chance to win a medal. We will do our best to perform well.”
The importance of victory: “The victory of any of us will be very important and big for our nation. True, people have always cheered for us, but now there is a greater need for victory.”
Winner of the U23 European Championship of 2019
Winner of 2020World Cup
Photos: Emin Aristakesyan