Armenian Champions Returning from Rio Greeted by Throngs of Fans


ArmenianOlympiansReturnToYerevanYEREVAN (Armenpress) — The Armenian Olympic delegation participating in the 31st Summer Olympic Games returned to Armenia on Saturday, August 27.

Hundreds had gathered at the airport past midnight, waiting for the arrival of the team, especially medalists Artur Aleksanyan, Mihran Harutyunyan, Simon Martirosyan, Gor Minasyan. People were chanting “Artur, Mihran, Simon, Gor champion” from all sides. Hundreds of fans from different provinces of Armenia had come to welcome back the forerunners of Armenian sport.

Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan and members of the government also came to welcome the Olympic delegation. The prime minister was the first to congratulate the sportsmen.

Later that night, crowds in Gumri greeted Aleksanyan and silver medalist, weightlifter Gor Minasyan with joy and Olympic mood.

Despite late hour, Gumri residents gathered in Vardanants Square to celebrate the return of the sportsmen. The photos of the two were posted on the façade sectors of the buildings and the clothing of several people.

“I am powerful with you, my city and country. This victory does not belong to me only; this is everybody’s victory and we won together,” Aleksanyan said when addressing the crowd.

“We are thankful that you are not asleep at this late hour and came here to meet us. We are really strong with you, and without you we would never archive any success,” Minasyan said.

Public dancing and fireworks were the peak of the festive mood.

On August 29, Harutyunyan and weightlifter Simon Martirosyan were received at the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin by Bishop Arshak Khachatryan. They were accompanied by Samvel Gevorgyan, Vice President of the Wrestling Federation of Armenia; and Armen Badalyan, Deputy Chairman of the National Wrestling Federation.

Khachatryan conveyed to the athletes the congratulations and blessings of Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, for their achievements and successful performance at the Olympic games. Reflecting on the results of the Olympic Games, he expressed confidence that with their triumphant spirit, the medal winners would serve as an example to the younger generations. He also noted that the success of the athletes brings great benefit to the nation, by drawing the attention of the international sports world.

The silver medalists expressed their deep gratitude for the reception and noted in particular the attention and support shown by the Mother See to the athletes. They stated that the blessings of the Mother See, would give them more strength to successfully compete in international sports competitions and achieve new victories in the future.