Armenians have excelled in wrestling and weightlifting. Lightweight weightlifter Israyel MILITOSYAN won gold on the same day as Greco-Roman wrestler Mnatsakan ISKANDARIAN while competing for the Unified team at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games.
Shooter Hyrachya PETIKYAN won the men’s small bore rifle three position event in Barcelona.
Greco-Roman wrestler Armen NAZARIAN was flyweight gold medallist at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, the first Summer Olympics at which his nation competed as Armenia.
NAZARIAN subsequently wrestled for Bulgaria and won a further gold medal at Sydney 2000 and a bronze at Athens 2004.
In Beijing, Armenia’s medal success came in three sports. Roman AMOYAN took bronze in featherweight Greco-Roman and Yuri PATRIKEYEV collected bronze in Greco-Roman super heavyweight.
There were also men’s weightlifting bronze medals for Tigran G MARTIROSYAN in lightweight, Tigran V MARTIROSYAN in light heavyweight and Gevorg DAVTYAN in middleweight. Lightweight boxer Hrachik JAVAKHYAN also collected a bronze.
In the Soviet era, gymnast Hrant SHAHINYAN was the first Armenian to become an Olympic champion. He won gold on the rings and in the men’s team event at the Helsinki 1952 Olympic Games.
Albert AZARYAN was a member of the Soviet team who were champions in 1956 and also won gold on the rings in 1956 and 1960.
He also carried the Armenian flag at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, 44 years after his last Olympic appearance. His son was a member of the Soviet gold medal-winning men’s gymnastics team at the Moscow 1980 Olympic Games.
Discus thrower Faina MELNIK won gold at the Munich 1972 Olympic Games and remains Armenia’s only Olympic champion to date.