Sport 09:22 03/06/2013

Arman Serebrakian aims to bring Armenia skiing medal in World Olympics

The road to Sochi may be high and mighty but Arman Serebrakian is prepared to take his leaps and bounds. His passion is skiing. His intent? To bring Armenia a skiing medal in the 2014 World Olympic Games in Russia—or at the very least, some credibility in the sport, says an article published in The Armenian Weekly. 

One might think it’s been all downhill for the 26-year-old aspirant. When you haven’t competed for two years because of injuries, people get skeptical. But Serebrakian has the talent and the resume to fill the role.

Over the past seven years, he’s been the top-ranked Armenian alpine ski racer in the world, even during his lapse. As of April, he was listed at the summit. He’s had 4 Top 10 NCAA finishes while competing for the University of Colorado, where he made the All-Academic Ski Team, served twice as captain, and one year as an assistant coach.

A dual citizen, Serebrakian is currently a medical student at Temple University School of Medicine, having just completed his second year and waiting to go into surgery medicine.

When his father took him down his first slope at the age of two, Serebrakian immediately fell in love with the sport. Growing up, his Armenian parents continuously took him and his sister Ani (2010 Vancouver Olympian) to the mountains in Lake Tahoe, Calif., every weekend in high school.

Arman decided to graduate early to focus solely on skiing with the goal of pursuing his lifelong dreams—making it into the World Cup circuit and eventually the Olympics.

“My father was the biggest influence of my life,” he says. “He’s skied his entire life. My grandfather was one of the first to ever ski in Iran. Many role models inspired me along the way, including Italy’s Alberto Tomba. My sister and I were always on the same club teams. Even though we’d never admit it, there was always an unspoken sibling rivalry there. We traveled together, stayed together, skied together.”

Ani did her collegiate skiing at the University of San Francisco and was one of four athletes to represent Armenia in Washington in 2010, along with Sergei Mikaelian, Kristine Khachatryan, and Arsen Nersisyan. Don’t be surprised to see her in Sochi.

“Realistically, there’s a very good chance,” says Arman. “I need to be ranked among the top 500 in the world, which is where I was at the end of my collegiate career by Jan. 24. Many people have asked me why I’m doing this. I still have my deep passion for the sport and I’ve continued to train. I grew up as one of the top-ranked junior skiers in America and want to give it my best shot.”

He spends five to six days in the gym, while balancing a heavy academic curriculum to become a surgeon. Starting in mid-July, je needs to do a month-and-a-half in New Zealand where the best summer conditions are. Then comes the international race circuit with trips to Europe and North America in pursuit of a higher world rank.

“I’ve been doing this my whole life,” he says. “I’m so proud of my Armenian heritage and I cannot think of a better way to express myself than to go out there and compete at the highest level on the world’s biggest stages. It’s my dream and that of the Armenian Ski Federation to increase the popularity of winter sports in Armenia. They have incredible mountains there and a great resort in Tzaghkadzor. What’s left is to build upon the culture and get athletes started at a young age. My goal is to put Armenian skiing on the map.”

If anyone can swing the pendulum Armenia’s way, maybe he can. Serebrakian helped design the Armenia ski team uniforms a couple years ago. Through his connections and performances on the slope, he’s made a noticeable mark.

A great achievement was being awarded the Dr. Prentice Gautt Postgraduate Scholarship from the Big XII Conference, which is awarded to a student-athlete matriculating into graduate school at the end of their eligibility.

Those younger moments carry their sentiments.

“My mom would pack us gourmet Armenian-Persian lunches in Tupperware to eat while we were taking a break in the mountains skiing,” Serebrakian recalled. “The other kids were all left to eat cold bologna sandwiches and boxed juices. It has not been difficult for me to keep my identity intact because I wholeheartedly embrace both worlds and believe I can learn from each of them, which makes me somewhat unique.”

Ask him who his Armenian role models are and he’ll quickly tell you Joe Almasian and Kenny Topalian, who competed for Armenia in the bobsled during the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer. Another happens to be tennis stalwart Andre Agassi, who’s devoted much of his time these days to charity.

The burning question is why anyone with aspirations of becoming a surgeon and who is dependent on his hands would risk everything to ski. It’s never crossed his mind.

“I’m a big proponent of living in the here and now,” he admits. “If the doctor feels so passionately about stepping into a ring with a professional boxer, then I’m sure he has good reason and his patients will surely understand. I’m very lucky to have the family around me that I do.”

While at Colorado, Serebrakian made the decision to pursue his other quest in becoming a physician. He graduated with a master’s degree in integrative physiology and was accepted to Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, where he took out loans and began his studies in 2011.

Even with demanding academic aspirations, he never relieved himself of his passion for skiing and physical activity, spending hours in the gym after classes, as well as biking and running in his new city.

As his second year of medical school comes to an end, the intensity of his training program increases even more. He’s committed to taking the year off from college and postponing his graduation to pursue this goal.

Although the Armenia Ski Federation has guaranteed full support for Serebrakian, they are unable to financially assist him. With the high cost of ski racing and the increased demand for world class equipment, training, and coaching, he’s seeking outside help.

The fact his sister made the 2010 Olympic Team and he took a pass didn’t set too well. In some ways, he’s out to make amends. “Getting that call to say I wasn’t going to Vancouver was one of the worst moments of my life,” Serebrakian recalled. “I’ve learned from that. I’m trying everything in my power to avoid a situation like that again.”

Share |
Տեքստում սխալ կամ վրիպակ նկատելու դեպքում, ուղարկեք խմբագրին հաղորդագրություն` նշելով տվյալ սխալը, այնուհետև սեղմելով Ctrl-Enter:


14-year-old Eva Gevorgyan wins another international award
14-year-old Armenian pianist Eva Gevorgyan is among the winners at Classical Music Awards. (ICMA). As the international competition official...
PM Pashinyan keeps receiving congratulatory messages
Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel has sent a congratulatory message to Nikol Pashinyan on his election as Prime Minister of Armenia....
Lars road closed
Stepantsminda-Lars highway is shut down for all types of vehicles as of 15:30 Thursday, the Roads Department of Georgia’s Ministry of...
US Pentagon urges missile defence sensors in space
The US must research new technologies, such as a layer of sensors in space, to find and destroy incoming missiles, a Pentagon report is expected...
Arman Pashikyan continues to lead at national chess championship
Round 5 of the Armenian Men’s Chess Championship took place on Wednesday. The leader of the competition Arman Pashikyan played a draw with...
Armenian PM offers condolences to Georgian counterpart on deadly apartment blast
Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan sent a condolence message to Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze over the deadly apartment...
Former chief of parliament staff urges reporters to refrain from spreading fake news
Former Chef of Staff-Secretary General of the Armenian National Assembly Ara Saghatelyan calls on journalists to refrain from abusing the trust...
Iran calls for release of its journalist arrested in U.S.
Iran on Wednesday called for the immediate release of an American-born journalist arrested in the United States while working for Iran’s...
Armenian government frees imports of electric cars from VAT
The government approved a legislative initiative to exempt the imports of electric vehicles from VAT (value added tax) at a meeting on Thursday....
PM: One thing is clear – the number of ministries will be cut down
According to the Armenian law, the government is considered formed when the two-thirds of its members are appointed, Armenia’s Prime...
No Armenians among apartment blast victims in Georgia – embassy
There are no ethnic Armenians or Armenian citizens among the casualties of the deadly gas explosion that rocked an apartment building in Georgia...
17 January declared day of mourning in Georgia after deadly apartment blast
Flags on all government buildings across Georgia and diplomatic missions abroad are flying at half-staff today as 17 January has been declared a...
Armenia’s customs officers thwart drug smuggling attempt by Iranian citizens
Armenia’s State Revenue Committee (CEC) has foiled an attempt to smuggle drugs into Canada by Iranian citizens. Customs officers of...
UK's May says MPs must 'work together' to deliver Brexit
Theresa May has called on MPs to "put self-interest aside" and "work constructively together" to find a way forward for...
Lars road closed for traffic
Stepantsminda-Lars highway is shut down for all types of vehicles as of 10am Thursday, the Roads Department of Georgia’s Ministry of...
CoE chief congratulates Pashinyan on re-appointment
Council of Europe (CoE) Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland has sent a congratulatory message to Nikol Pashinyan on his re-reappointment...
Possible summit of Armenian, Azerbaijani leaders would boost Karabakh talks: statement
A possible summit between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan would give a strong impulse to the dynamic of negotiations on Nagorno-Karabakh...
Thursday morning update on road conditions
Some highways are closed or difficult to pass in the territory of Armenia as of 9am Thursday, the Ministry of Emergency Situations said....
Armenian Church commemorates St. Anton the Hermit
The Armenian Apostolic Church honors today the memory of Saint Anton the Hermit. Some time after the spread of Christianity the...
Armenian, Azerbaijani FMs agree to continue the consistent and targeted work in the Karabakh peace process
Acting Foreign Minister of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov held a meeting on Wednesday in...
Civilian wounded in mine explosion at Armenian-Azerbaijani border area
A resident of Barekamavan community Arman Mikayelyan was injured on Wednesday in a mine exposition near the area of the Armenian-Azerbaijani...
FM Mnatsakanyan reiterates Armenia’s principled position on Karabakh conflict settlement
Armenian acting FM Zohrab Mnatsakanyan held meeting on Wednesday with the co-chairs Igor Popov, Stephane Visconti, and Andrew Schofer of the...
We are entering the period of quantum behavior of politics – President Sarkissian
President Armen Sarkissian, who is in the United Arab Emirates on official visit, participated at the reception offered for the heads of...
Two deputy prime ministers reappointed to theirs posts
President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian signed today decree, appointing Tigran Avinyan, member of My Step bloc as deputy prime minister, press...
Expert says inadmissible to make ‘inconsiderate statements’ regarding Iran
Expert in Iran Vardan Voskanyan says any inconsiderate statement about Iran is inadmissible as they may hurt the Iranian-Armenian relations. To...
Court to rule on ex-president case on January 18
The Yerevan Court of General Jurisdiction is set to rule on the case of Armenia’s ex-president Robert Kocharyan on January 18 at 17:30,...
The new mayor of Jerusalem will meet with the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem
The new elected mayor of Jerusalem Moshe Leon visited the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem and met with His Beatitude Arch. Nourhan Manougian,...
U.S. detains journalist working for Iran's Press TV
U.S. authorities have detained a journalist and television presenter working for Iran's English-language Press TV on unspecified charges,...
14 Armenian newborns given PM's name in April-December last year
14 newborns were named Nikol in April-December 2018 after Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, the Justice Ministry told PanARMENIAN.Net in...
Meeting of Armenian, Azerbaijani FMs kicks off in Paris
The meeting of Armenia’s Acting Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov has started in...

Follow us and get updates!

Most popular articles

{"core.blocks.header.spell_message1":"Selected mistake: ","core.blocks.header.spell_message2":"Send a message about the mistake?"}