Record Number of Armenian Athletes to Compete at Rio Olympics

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (A.W.)—A record number 33 athletes will be competing for Team Armenia in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; it’s the most since 32 athletes participated in the 1996 games in Atlanta, Ga.—Armenia’s first post-independence Olympic Games.

Most recently, Armenian swimmers Vahan Mkhitaryan and Monika Vasilyan qualified and joined the 31 Armenian athletes who had already earned their spots in the tournament.

Armenian-American gymnast Houry Gebeshian, 26, will be the first female gymnast to represent Armenia at the Summer Olympics. Gebeshian placed 21st out of 36 competitors at the Pre-Olympic Test Event in Rio de Janeiro on April 17.

Houry Gebeshian (Photo:
Houry Gebeshian (Photo:

“I can’t train as much as, say, a 16-year-old can. I have been doing this sport for about 20 years, so my body is a little more broken down. But I actually feel the best I’ve ever felt; I’m doing the best gymnastics I’ve ever done. That comes with adjusting my schedule and training to accommodate to being a competing 26-year-old,” Gebeshian told the Armenian Weekly in March.

Gymnastics has a long history in Armenia. Soviet-Armenian gymnast Albert Azaryan is considered the most decorated Armenian Olympian, winning three gold and one silver for the Soviet gymnastics team. Since Armenia’s independence in 1991, however, no athlete representing Armenia has won an Olympic medal in the sport. Gebeshian now has the chance to make history by competing as the first Armenian female gymnast in the Olympic Games.

Recently, USRowing—a non-profit membership organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the national governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States—reported that Armenian American Nareg Guregian, along with his teammate Anders Weiss, will compete in his first Olympic Games in pair’s rowing after qualifying at rowing’s U.S. Olympic Trials II on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J. Guregian, an alumnus of the AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School in Canoga Park, Calif., will be competing for Team USA.

Nareg Guregian (L) will compete for Team USA with teammate Anders Weiss
Nareg Guregian (L) will compete for Team USA with teammate Anders Weiss

The Olympic Games are due to take place in Rio de Janeiro, from Aug. 5 to 21.

Below is the full list of the athletes representing Armenia at the 2016 Rio Olympics.


Gor Nerkararyan

Gayane Chiloyan

Lilit Harutyunyan

Levon Aghasyan

Diana Khubeseryan

Amaliya Sharoyan


Narek Abgaryan

Aram Avagyan

Vladimir Margaryan

Artur Hovhannisyan

Freestyle Wrestling

Levan Berianidze

Georgy Ketoyev

Davit Safaryan

Garnik Mnatcakanyan

Greco-Roman Wrestling

Artur Aleksanyan

Maxim Manukyan

Arsen Julfalakyan

Mihran Harutyunyan


Vahan Mkhitaryan

Monica Vasilyan


Andranik Karapetyan

Arakel Mirzoyan

Simon Martirosyan

Ruben Aleksanyan

Gor Minasyan

Substitute – Vanik Avetisyan

Nazik Avdalyan

Sona Poghosyan


Hrach Babayan


Hovhannes Davtyan


Houry Gebeshyan

Harutyun Medinyan

Artur Davtyan



  1. Let’s not forget Armenians in the Winter Olympics in 2018. Tina Garabedian is training feverishly with her partner to qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeonchang, South Korea.

  2. Wishing team Armenia the best of the best. Forget about what could have been but instead concentrate and do your best even if you have just adopted Armenia as your country of representation. Bravo go team Armenia.

  3. USA Rower Nareg Guregian might very well be THE FIRST Armenian-American in history, who speaks fluent Western Armenian, to walk around the track at an Summer Olympic Opening Ceremony…at a member to TEAM USA.

  4. Germany sent six boxers, three of which are Armenian:
    Artem Harutyunyan competes at Light Welterweight -64kg
    Arajik Marutjan competes at Welterweight -69kg
    David Graf (real name: Vahagn Sahakjan, born in Yerevan) competes at Heavyweight -91kg

    I am also curious to see a list of all Armenians competing under a different flag at the 2016 Olympics.

  5. In addition to the athletes mentioned above:

    Mikhail Aloyan (of Yazidi descent but born in Armenia) competes at Flyweight -52kg for Russia in boxing.

    Sargis Martirosjan competes in the -105kg division as a weightlifter for Austria.

  6. Pablo Aprahamian is a Judoka in the -100kg division competing for Uruguay

    Martin Melconian is swimmer participating in the men’s 100 metre breaststroke event for Uruguay

    Adam Krikorian is the head coach of the United States national water polo team

  7. Armenians competing for Russia (source: Russian Natl Olympic Committee English-language website):

    Mikhail Aloyan – boxing
    Stepan Maranian – Greco-Roman wrestling
    Olga Akopian – handball
    Seda Toutkhalian – gymnastics
    Kiril Grigorian – rifle shooting
    Yana Yegorian – fencing

  8. List of Armenians under different flags (total of 16):

    Sargis Martirosjan – weightlifter – Austria
    Eduard Soghomonyan – wrestler – Brazil
    Arajik Marutjan – boxer – Germany
    Artem Harutyunyan – boxer – Germany
    David Graf (Vahagn Sahakjan) – boxer – Germany
    Marianna Sahakian – table tennis player – Lebanon
    Richard Merjan – canoeist – Lebanon
    Kirill Grigoryan – shooter – Russia
    Mikhail Aloyan (Yazidi ethnicity, but born in Armenia) – boxer – Russia
    Olga Akopyan (not completely sure, she could be Russian, but just married to Armenian) – handbal player – Russia
    Seda Tutkhalyan – gymnast – Russia
    Stepan Maryanyan – wrestler – Russia
    Yana Egorian – sabre fencer – Russia
    Martin Melconian – swimmer – Uruguay
    Pablo Aprahamian – judoka – Uruguay
    Nareg Guregian – rower – USA

  9. wishing team Armenia the very best. It’s not about winning gold, it’s about competing and doing your best for yourself and for your country. Bravo.

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