Armenian Olympic team: Varsenik Manucharyan

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Mediamax Sport starts its Paris-2024 series with swimmer Varsenik Manucharyan. We met her in the Victory Park for the Paris-2024 series of Mediamax Sport. We walked there and visited the Mother Armenia Museum of Military History.

Date of birth: July 11, 2003, Yerevan.
Sport: Swimming (100 m butterfly, best result 1.01.48).

Personal coach:
Karen Barseghyan.

Loves videogames.

Not married.

She is a 3rd year student at Armenian State Institute of Physical Culture.

Peculiarity of swimming:
Swimming has given me a lot, first of all the ability to strive and to be patient, without these qualities it is difficult to pass long distances. Additionally, swimming has taught me resilience and to be unyielding.

Photo: Mediamax

Most impressive career achievement: Participating in my second Olympic Games is very impressive. I also competed in the 2023 World Student Games, where I secured 1st and 3rd places.

The heaviest defeat:
One of my most significant disappointments was not qualifying for the Youth Olympic Games held in Buenos Aires in 2018.

Photo: Mediamax

First Olympic Games: During my first Olympic Games in Tokyo, I was unprepared for the atmosphere and the experience. I had little information about the games and didn’t fully understand what to expect.

The standard bearer:
To be honest, I’m a little upset about the experience. Hovhannes Bachkov and I were supposed to be the flag bearers for Armenia, but he carried the flag alone. When I asked to hold it too, he told me it was too heavy.  I still remember this with sadness. Despite this, I felt pride walking in the opening ceremony with our team.

Photo: Mediamax

Second games: Now I am more self-confident and experienced, I know what will happen in Paris. This time I will perform in my favorite area and swimming style.

Photo: Mediamax

- Varsenik, what are your strengths and weaknesses?

- I don’t give up, even when everything is going badly and I’m feeling broken, I never show it. And my weakness is that I am emotional and get excited quickly, but this also has a positive side: I can draw conclusions.

- What was your greatest joy recently?

- Every morning I wake up motivated. In fact I am always happy, because that is my character. I approach life lightheartedly.

- What is your biggest fear?

- That I won’t be able to achieve my goals.

- What do you value most in people?

- The ability to understand.

Photo: Mediamax

- What is happiness for you?

- I rejoice, and it means I’m always happy.

-What makes you confident?

- I am always confident in my abilities and I know that if I want to do something, I will be able to do it.

- The most favorite and familiar places in our city.

- Our yard, because I spent my childhood there. I often recall how we used to play there with my friends.

- For our Olympic series, we met in the Victory Park, what makes it stand out for you?

- In general, I enjoy being surrounded by people, and Victory Park is always full of people. I love communicating, gaining new emotions from everyone and recharging. I makes me happy when people smile at me, and if someone suddenly recognizes me, it brings me even more joy.

Photo: Mediamax

- How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

- Crazy, happy, funny.

- What is the most important achievement in life?

- Everything is still ahead.

- What are you most grateful for?

- That I have almost everything, no, not almost, I really have everything, I have to do the rest myself.

- Important people in your life.

- My aunts, my grandmother and my beloved.

- The expression that most accurately characterizes you.

- I often use the expression “I am shocked,” even though very little actually shocks me. People usually ask me: “How can you look at life so lightly?”

Photo: Mediamax

- Varsenik, what do you need to go to the Olympic Games?

- Endurance, determination and patience.

- Which Olympic Games were the most unique for you?

- The 2012 London Olympic Games, because it was the first time I watched them on TV. I was already swimming at that moment and it sparked the thought: “Will there come a day when I will participate in the Olympic Games myself?”

- What do Armenians and French have in common?

- I think they don’t have anything in common.

- Three things special to Paris.

- The Eiffel Tower, croissants and maybe cappuccino.

Photo: Mediamax

- Favorite French song.

- “She” by Charles Aznavour.

- Your favorite Olympic medalist or champion Armenian athletes.

- Naturally, it is Artur Aleksanyan, and the medal winner is Simon Martirosyan.

- What about world sports?

- I will not mention Michael Phelps. I will single out Caeleb Dressel, Michael Andrew, Kliment Kolesnikov and Vladimir Morozov.

Photo: Mediamax

- And do you know which time France will host the Olympic Games?

- Third? (Paris hosted Olympic Games in 1900 and 1924, ed.).

-If you had the chance, in which Olympic Games would you participate?

- I would choose ancient games, a time when women were not allowed to compete. I remembered the story of a woman who defied this rule and became the winner. I would like to be one of the participants and see what would happen.

- What does victory consist of?

- Defeats.

- What lessons do defeats teach?

- To see and realize your mistakes.

Photo: Mediamax

- What is our Olympic team like and what can it achieve?

- I hope everyone will perform well and win. Everyone is strong, you just need to be in a positive mindset before the start. I wish everyone medals. In swimming, it will be challenging to take an award place. I strive to reach the semi-finals and secure 16th place. It will be tough, but I have to try.

Hasmik Babayan spoke with Varsenik Manucharyan
Photos by Emin Aristakesyan
Translated by Diana Manukyan


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