Coach Edmond Tarverdyan who runs Glendale Fighting Club (GFC) and his team visited Armenia in April to pay tribute to the innocent victims of the Armenian Genocide. Winner of a silver medal in the World Championship and a bronze medal in Beijing Olympics, UFC World Champion Ronda Rousey also joined the team for her first visit to our country.
In an interview with Edmond Tarverdyan, Mediamax Sport found out the details of their visit, learned about the interest Rousey’s autobiography had spurred and discovered the key to success in sports.
-Edmond, how did you manage to find time and arrive in Armenia along with world known Ronda Rousey, despite your quite busy schedule?
-I told Ronda about Armenia much, and it’s been long since I wanted to show her our country. And it happened so that we decided to be in Armenia on April 24 and attend Armenian Genocide Centennial events. Ronda was happy to join us.
-You spent only a few days in Armenia. What did you manage to see and do during that time?
-It was a short visit but the program was quite full. We first had an open workout at “Dinamo” – Armenian boxers were also present. We also visited Tsitsernakaberd and paid tribute to the innocent victims of the Armenian Genocide. Besides, we enjoyed the concert of System of a Down (SOAD) – they are friends of mine. Unfortunately, we could not stay longer in Armenia as Ronda was to hold the presentation of her autobiography. My next visit to my motherland will definitely be longer.
-What interest did the book spur in the U.S.?
-“My Fight/Your Fight” is one of bestsellers in the U.S., and people around the world are looking forward to it. Many expressed a wish to translate the book into various languages. I hope the book will be available for Armenian readers as well.
-You have been living and working in the U.S. for many years and trained many famous athletes over this time. Your club is very popular. Can you tell us a bit about it?
- Many famous athletes train at Glendale Fighting Club. Whenever Vic Darchinyan is to have a fight in the U.S., he trains at our club. We have many prospective athletes. I got to know Ronda through the club. Thanks to her persistence, she managed to convince me to work with her.
-At the open workout you also had a chance to watch Armenian boxers. What do you think of them?
-Armenian boxers are talented and they have great potential but they must be mentally well prepared. Boxing is a sport of adjustment and mind – if you don’t set your mind on it, you won’t win or attain results. Athletes should by all means set goals – aspiration is highly important in sport. Money does not open all doors – you yourself can create prospects for you.
Photo: from personal archive
-People around the world love and watch Ronda. She has managed to become a real athletic authority. Which is her key to success?
- Ronda is a winner of bronze medal in the Olympic Games, and she received just a USD 10 thousand money award for that. But it did not break her, she worked four jobs at a time, she even worked as a waitress, and trained at our club. But today Ronda earns fantastic sums and no female athlete has as much income as she. She is very assiduous and she cannot “rest on her laurels” and neither can difficulties disappoint her.
-Do you manage to keep up with the matches of Armenian athletes?
-We are friends with Yura Movsisyan. Whenever he comes to the U.S., he always visits our club and watches the trainings. I always watch the matches of Yura Movsisyan, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and our national team. I also do my best to be informed about the results our boxers and kickboxers attain.
Hasmik Babayan talked to Edmond Tarverdyan