From AYF Olympics 2012 Special Issue
BOSTON, Mass.—You won’t find his name among the record-holders or prodigious scorers in AYL Olympic history…
But Melkon Megerdichian performed an act of glory that’s worthy of applause: He ran the alumni mile in memory of his grandfather Mal Varadian.
The only inspiration he really needed to finish the distance was his grandfather’s gold medal in his pocket, the one he received upon being named an Olympic King in 1958.
Varadian passed on this summer after working a picnic at Camp Haiastan. His memory at these Olympic Games will long be enshrined.
Members of the Providence AYF dedicated their performance to this perennial torchbearer and eked out a grueling championship. No doubt, Mal played a big influence with the athletes.
“My grandfather gave me this gold medal as a gift and I shall cherish it forever,” said the grandson. “Running the mile was a small token of gesture in his memory. I recited his name along the track.”
Melkon wore the medal around his neck while marching with the “Varantians.” Throughout his AYF days, he never won a gold but did earn a silver and four bronze medals.
“My grandfather gave me the gold to inspire me to do my very best in anything I do,” he added. “I display it in my room. It gives me all the motivation I need in life to succeed. It reminds me that his spirit is inside me always.”