In One Shot: 4 Olympic champions at Matenadaran

Photo: Herbert Baghdasaryan

If you haven’t had a chance to see 4 Olympic champions in one shot, this picture is for you.

This edition of Mediamax Sport’s In One Shot is dedicated to one of the most popular photos of the best athletes from gymnastics, boxing and pentathlon, taken by Herbert Baghdasaryan at Matenadaran.

Three out of 4 athletes have, unfortunately, passed away: Hrant Shahinyan, Igor Novikov and Vladimir Yengibaryan. Albert Azaryan will soon celebrate his 90th birthday.

Hrant Shahinyan is the first Armenian Olympic champion. In 1952 he simply shined on the rings and won gold at Helsinki Olympic Games with 9.9 points.

However, he did not limit himself to only one medal. The Armenian athlete became a silver medalist in pommel horse and all-around. Shahinyan performed a trick in pommel horse, which was later named after him. At Helsinki Olympic Games Shahinyan won another gold medal as well – this time in the team competition.

Heroes from the Past: Hrant Shahinyan

Albert Azaryan is the only Armenian, who has become Olympic champion for three times. In 1956 he won gold on the rings and in the team competition of Melbourne Olympics. Azaryan repeated his success on the rings later in Rome Olympics. 

“I wasn’t quite satisfied after the victories in World, European and Soviet Union championships. The Olympics was different, though. When I became a champion in Melbourne, I thought there was nothing left to achieve in the world,” Azaryan remembers.

Vladimir Yengibaryan achieved his most significant success in 1956. He was supposed to depart for Helsinki 4 years earlier, but some specialists and experts believed that he couldn’t compete in international tournaments, so they hindered his participation. That is why he was excluded from the Olympic team.

Nevertheless, the athlete was invincible in Melbourne. He became the 2nd Soviet boxer, who took gold medal in the Olympic Games.

Igor Novikov became a champion during the same Olympic Games in 1956. He won gold in team competition of pentathlon and was the 4th in individual competition.

Novikov participated in 4 Olympic Games and took 3 medals. He was the 2nd in 1960 Rome Olympics, and he won gold and silver medals in team and individual competitions of 1964 Tokyo Olympics.


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