A Series of Interviews by Karoon Krikorian
Chicago “Ararat” Junior Chapter
What is your favorite memory of Junior Olympics?
“My favorite memory is running the torch in the ceremony.” (Nadya Mahdasian, Racine)
“My favorite memory from Junior Olympics is definitely when I got my first medal last year in Detroit. I got second place for baseball throw.” (Alek Banklian, Chicago)
“My favorite memory of Junior Olympics was 1987 when Chicago won for the first time that I can remember in Detroit.” (U. Hagop Soulakian, Chicago)
What does this weekend mean to you?
“This weekend was an opportunity to reconnect with multiple people in different areas, and it gave me the opportunity to show my more athletic side to the Armenian community.” (Taleen Tchobanian-Boman, Detroit)
“This event means a great gathering of other chapters coming together, having fun, running track and making friends.” (Alek Banklian, Chicago)
“This weekend means a lot of things because it just shows that there’s a lot of good Armenian communities all around who help create a family outside of our hometown.” (Shant Demirjian, Chicago)
“It’s seeing old friends, meeting new friends, and passing on what our parents gave us, to our kids. It’s fantastic!” (Hagop Soulakian, Chicago)
“To me it means it brings together our youth and communities, builds comradery and friendships for many years…keeps the culture alive along with a lot of fun.” (Coach Hagop Ohanian, Chicago)
What is your favorite part of the Olympics and why?
“I loved seeing different people getting covered in money while trying to dance.” (Taleen Tchobanian-Boman, Detroit)
“My favorite part of Olympics is definitely just getting to see everybody and running track because I never really get to run track outside of this, so it’s fun especially since we do it with other chapters.” (Alek Banklian, Chicago)
“It’s about preserving your Armenian identity and community and being able to talk with friends that you’ve known five, six years plus.” (Shant Demirjian, Chicago)
“I love the competition. That’s what I loved when I competed, and that’s what I love now. But, the whole weekend is fun, after the competition everybody goes and gets with their friends and goes to the pool, so I love it all!” (Hagop Soulakian, Chicago)
“Being there for our brothers and sisters.” (Coach Hagop Ohanian, Chicago)
What’s your favorite part of the Olympics so far?
“The comradery of all the people getting together and making new friends from other chapters.” (Hovig Vartanian, Chicago)
|1st place||Chicago (2020 host chapter), 144.5 points|
|2nd place||Detroit (2018 host chapter & winner), 107 points|
|3rd place||Racine (2019 host chapter), 90.5 points|
|4th place||Granite City, 31 points|