Chicago’s Olympic Queen: Special K, an All Star

Pictured left to right: Vahig, Aren, Aleen, Armen, Karine

The introduction of Karine Birazian Shnorhokian as Olympic queen included the proper term “all star” in describing her various achievements.

“Special K” (a term some use in referring to Karine) did it all.

Her athletic career began as a Chicago “Ararat” member and then continued as a New Jersey “Arsen” member.

She currently stands near the top of the women’s leader board with a whopping 122 points by dominating the women’s pentathlon over an 11 year Olympic period. She consecutively won the grueling event seven times after starting her Olympic career medaling in running events.

Karine was also a star outside of the athletic environment; she was a volunteer nurse in Armenia. WHen she moved to New Jersey, she served as the director of the ANCA Eastern Region for three years. That’s where she met her future husband, Vahig.

Karine then brought her passion for Armenian Genocide recognition with educational activities for public schools in New Jersey.

“My favorite AYF memory was Maral Vartanian taking me into an AYF junior meeting and swearing me in. After that, there were so many AYF experiences that helped create the total immersion into AYF and later memories and friendships that lasted a lifetime,” said an appreciative Karine upon accepting her award. “AYF means so much to so many of us.”

Karine has been a nurse for 14 years and currently works as a regional director of case management and clinical integration for a very large skilled nursing facility in New Jersey. She leads national projects on improving patient outcomes and overall care.

She and Vahig have three children: Aren (8), Aleen (5) and Armen (2).

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Harry Derderian

Harry Derderian is a native of Indian Orchard, Mass and resident of Farmington Hills, Mich. He is a member of the Marketing faculty at Eastern Michigan University as well as adjunct professor of marketing at University of Michigan-Dearborn and adjunct Professor of Business at Schoolcraft Community College.
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