Most improved in our hearts

NY “Hyortiks” starting softball team lineup

The AYF-YOARF New York “Hyortik” Chapter had an incredible time at the 89th AYF Senior Olympics in Washington, D.C. this past Labor Day weekend. Our chapter had an amazing alumni, senior and junior member turnout. We are so proud of all the chapter’s athletes and want to highlight the success of three members who received gold medals! For three consecutive years, Alex Kassabian has placed first in men’s golf. On the track, Lilit Kevorkian won gold in the women’s 800 meter and 1600 meter runs, and Avo Sarkissian secured first place in the men’s 100 meter, 200 meter and 400 meter dashes.

Early Friday morning, two Hyortik members started the weekend off strong on the golf course. “It was great to participate in different sporting events with Armenians near and far. Always a new opportunity to meet other AYFers and develop long-lasting friendships. I cannot be more proud of my brother for retaining his golf title for a third year in a row!” said Armen Kassabian. Our reigning golf champion Alex Kassabian shared, “It is a pleasure to compete and have fun with other Armenians at the AYF Olympics. Always nice to create new friendships and rekindle old ones at an incredible event.” Our Friday victory boosted our chapter’s morale for the weekend going forward.

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On Saturday, the NY Hyortiks played a challenging softball game against the west coast. This year, we strengthened efforts to host more softball practices and scrimmages when possible. “It was great to see so many athletes and friends over the weekend,” shared softball coach James Zobian. “Overall, the Hyortiks improved immensely at hitting in softball and will continue to get better.” The chapter currently has several 16-year-old members who will soon become Senior AYF members. Our younger athletes and junior members were extremely excited to participate in softball and cheer on their Senior members. “My first year playing at Senior Olympics was so much fun. I was so excited to finally participate and be an athlete, which I’ve always wanted to do ever since I joined AYF. I’m so excited to soon become a member of the Senior chapter and keep participating at Olympics,” said Junior Chapter chair Sareen Bedrossian. 

Throughout the weekend, our chapter was unified and showed up to each other’s events to support one another. After the opening ceremonies on Sunday, our athletes took on the track finals to give them everything they had. “I had an amazing time competing at my first AYF Olympics as an athlete. It was great to see the support I received from my chapter, being a new member, and I really enjoyed watching and cheering for my teammates,” said Avo Sarkissian. Kevorkian, who has been an active AYF member for years, was pumped to compete. She faced challenging competition in all her runs but raced smart until the end. “I’m so lucky that I got the opportunity to come to Senior Olympics this year. Not only was I happy to see everyone but also brought home two gold medals for the AYF NY Hyortik Chapter. My summer training has been really consistent, and I knew I was confident coming into Sunday for the track events. Breaking six minutes in the mile wasn’t something that I thought would even happen due to the heat, but I was able to stay strong in my race and win,” Kevorkian said.

The Olympics gave the NY Hyortiks the chance to celebrate a successful year, in which they developed a close-knit circle of supportive ungers by hosting multiple monthly events, a regional event and local Hai Tahd efforts. Chapter chair Isabel Hagobian said, “As an AYF Junior, I never experienced the feeling of seeing the NY Hyortiks on the Olympics scoreboard strong. I am thrilled to finally see my chapter on the way up and excited to have our Junior members look up to our senior athletes, so that in the future they too proudly represent our recently revived chapter.”

The NY Hyortiks placed sixth for the weekend and had the highest increase in points and participation in years. Thank you to the AYF Washington D.C. “Ani” Chapter for hosting, and we cannot wait to compete in Detroit next year!

NY Hyortik members cheering on other athletes

Note: The AYF Special issue, postponed due to the Artsakh crisis, is en route to our print subscribers this week and will be available online for all next week.

AYF New York "Hyortik" Chapter

AYF New York "Hyortik" Chapter

The AYF-YOARF New York “Hyortik” Chapter existed even before the AYF was founded in 1933 and works to unite Armenian youth and organize activities in Queens and Long Island. The chapter has a Senior and Junior chapter. The New York “Hyortik” Chapter sets out to achieve its goals and objectives throughout the year with events such as commemorating the Armenian Genocide every April 24th in NYC; fundraising for our homeland; hosting a fall festival and Christmas dinner with juniors; annual Super Bowl parties; and ski trips. The AYF-YOARF’s five pillars (athletic, cultural, educational, political, social) guide this chapter and help to keep its membership active and at the forefront of the Armenian cause at all times.
AYF New York "Hyortik" Chapter

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