Albert Azaryan

Albert Azaryan

Outstanding gymnast, multiple champion of the USSR, world, Europe and Olympic Games
Date of Birth: 12.02.1929
Country: Armenia

Content:
  1. Albert Azaryan: A Legendary Gymnast
  2. A Legend in the Making
  3. A Show of Excellence
  4. A King of the Rings

Albert Azaryan: A Legendary Gymnast

Albert Azaryan was an outstanding gymnast, a multiple champion of the USSR, world, European, and Olympic Games. He was not only an athlete, but also a person and an eternal legend. According to the International Gymnastics Federation, one of its greatest legends, his gymnast friends said that he was the embodiment of beauty, movement, and the physical strength of a person. Azaryan was also known for his friendliness and exemplary fair play. He was never defeated in any international competition. He truly was a king.

Albert Azaryan

A Legend in the Making

There are numerous legends about Albert Azaryan, perhaps as many as championship titles, and his global triumph is engraved in golden letters in the history of sports. In every championship, new stars were born, but every time experts looked at them with a sigh, saying, "No, Azaryan was different, a new Azaryan is unlikely to appear." And this is not a legend, it is the truth.

In 1960, in Rome, at the Olympic Games, Azaryan walked the streets a day before his performance, reminiscing about the past. The international competition in 1955 in London was a kind of practice for Soviet champions before the European Championship in Frankfurt. Albert Azaryan was there too. Right before his performance, his coach took him aside and said, "Congratulations. Our consul decided to send you to Frankfurt. So just try to entertain the audience and yourself. Nothing more." Albert smiled. He did not know that there was no consul-coach, and that only those who took the first and second places would go to Frankfurt. But the coach's trick really helped him. The competition ceased to be a competition and turned into a show. He took second place, which allowed him to go to Frankfurt. Albert walked the streets of Rome, reminiscing about Frankfurt. A day before the end of the championship, Azaryan was in 10th position, and the organizers of the championship confidently wrote the names of the first two athletes on the gold and silver medals, who were leading with a significant advantage. But they were wrong. On the last day, Azaryan surprised himself and moved from 10th to first place. But let's go back to Rome.

A Show of Excellence

Finally, the day of Azaryan's performance arrived. The spectators became anxious when they saw him. They remembered the famous "Azaryan Cross," which the press wrote about as "almost like a fantasy." Hanging on the rings, the world champion in this discipline since 1954 slowly rose in the air, effortlessly extended his strong arms, and suddenly, with a smile on his face, made this famous cross, first to the left and then to the right. The ease with which he performed it was breathtaking. Six years ago, also here in Rome, the audience protested against the judges' scores, even though it was impossible to give more than 10 points. "This is not enough," the crowd shouted. Six years ago, after the same competition, an Italian approached him and said, "1896 years ago, here in Rome, Emperor Nero proclaimed Tiridates I the first king of Armenia. It is well known that Tiridates received his crown not through prayers, but through his own hands. Today, I am sincerely glad that you were proclaimed the world champion in the same Rome. The times of kings have passed. Now you are their descendant, and I believe in you. I am familiar with Armenian history and respect this hardworking nation." A month before this victory, an interesting incident occurred in Sukhumi, where the Soviet team was training. In the qualifying competition, Azaryan received 0 points and stopped training. After that, his coaches decided not to send him to Rome. "You have no place in our team," they told Azaryan. "If you give up your positions here in the qualifying competition, what will you do there in Rome?" "Tomorrow I will score 57.5 points and regain what I lost," Azaryan replied. And when his scores were counted the next day, it turned out that he had 57.5 points. The trip to Rome and his participation in the competition were guaranteed. The Soviet team needed people who could defend their positions if necessary.

A King of the Rings

And now, six years later, Azaryan once again distinguished himself in Rome. He was called the "King of Rings," performing excellently and leading his team to victory, winning two gold medals as an Olympic champion. What can be added to this? Nothing, except for a simple statement. Throughout his sports career, Azaryan received 45 medals, 42 silver and 10 bronze medals from Soviet, European, and world championships. He was not only an athlete, but also a person and an eternal legend. According to the International Gymnastics Federation, one of its greatest legends, his gymnast friends said that he was the embodiment of beauty, movement, and the physical strength of a person. Azaryan was also known for his friendliness and exemplary fair play. He was never defeated in any international competition. He truly was a king.

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