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January 20, 2013
Frozen Issue of Figure Skating: To Be or Not Be in Winter Olympic Games 2014 in Sochi
By Gayane Simonyan
JNews intern
Courtesy Photo
Slavik Hayrapetyan, hope of Armenian figure skating

Figure Skating fails to develop in Armenia. The only figure skating school in Shengavit district in Yerevan is in awful condition- no ice rink, only a few halls for gymnastics. The children studying there have to train in the open air skating rink of Karapi Lich (Swan lake) near the Opera House and sometimes in sport and concert complex after Karen Demirchyan.

The skating rink of Karapi Lich is open from 14 December to 28 February. If you come with your own skates you have to pay 500 drams per hour but if you rent skates it costs 1000 drams an hour. "The children studying at figure skating school in Shengavit district train here for free. There are specific hours for them to come to train with their coaches: from 9am to 11am and from 4pm to 5 pm," said Sargis Bejanyan, the head of service of skating rink of Karapi Lich."

Sargis told that the skating rink belongs to City Hall of Yerevan that cares for the comfort and safety of figure skaters. They have technical break every day from 5 to 6pm during which they restore the ice with special machines and make it ready for the skaters. They also have first-aid posts near the rink in case there are some injuries, breaks or fractures.

''There are more than 180 pupils aged between 6-15 years at our school. As the school is in bad condition now – it doesn't have an ice rink, the pupils practice elsewhere. However, as a reply to our letters the City Hall of Yerevan promised to rebuild an ice rink at the school or open another figure skating arena that will contain all the necessary goods and area for developing this difficult and beautiful sport in Armenia and for being able to achieve high places in this field as well," said Meline Avagyan, the headmaster of Figure Skating school.

Melanya Stepanyan who presented herself as current president of the Figure Skating Federation of Armenia (the ex-president of the Figure Skating Federation of Armenia was Samvel Khachatryan, who passed away on 19 August 2012) said that there are numerous fans of figure skating in Armenia and the number is growing day by day.

"For having professional figure skaters we need to have special area or school provided with all the necessary conditions and goods and also permanent large skating rinks for professional skaters not to train in other countries but in their homeland," Melanya said.

153 She also told that pupils of figure skating school train on the ice mainly in winter from December to February in the skating rink of Karapi Lich and wait until the sport and concert complex after Karen Demirchyan is open for skating. The rest of time they spend by doing some physical exercises, gymnastics for getting their bodies ready, for being flexible for special tricks on ice. But this is not enough for a sportsman.

Melanya stated that because of these reasons the sportsmen do not achieve high places and because of these reasons Armenia might not have a participant in 2013 World Figure Skating Championships in March.

"I cannot say for sure but we plan to have a participant Slavik Hayrapetyan in Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in figure skating," Melanya summed up.

The Chief trainer of Armenian Figure Skating team Samvel Hayrapetyan who also introduced himself as president of the Figure Skating Federation of Armenia told that at the moment there are three professional members in Armenian Figure Skating team: Slavik Hayrapetyan, Sargis Hayrapetyan and Anjela Mkrtchyan.

"Sargis and Anjela took part in European Figure Skating Championships 2012 and Slavik Hayrapetyan participated in 2012 World Figure Skating Championships by outpacing 20 countries. He also took part in several international competitions in one of which he got the fifth place," Samvel said.

He told that only 15-16 countries can take part in upcoming 2013 World Figure Skating Championships and it's a big question Armenia is within the list or not (in official website of Championship it mentioned that the best 200 figure skaters from over 50 different countries will compete at the event from March 11-17, 2013 at the Budweiser Gardens in London).

154 ԸՕ հոդված 65 կետ 7

"The participation fails for several reasons. First of all Figure Skating Federation does not have an officially elected president. During the last meeting at Sports commetee it was announced for the federation to have co-presidents inside and outside. Thus, I am the one ''outside'' and Melanya Stepanyan is the one inside,'' said Samvel Hayrapetyan and added, "Another reason is the lack of skating-rinks. We have 3 skating rinks two of them being open air and working only in winter and the other one is both for concerts and training".

Samvel told that these skating rinks in Armenia do not fit for training professional sportsmen and as the problem remains unsolved the trainings are mostly held outside the country which is another problem.

"If we want to take part in a competition we have to start the preparations 3 or 4 months ago. We need to get the documentations ready, inform relevant bodies, and care for the invitations, hotels, costs, payments and some other things connected with one another as a chain," said Samvel. He added, "If we take part in Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in figure skating we need to start trainings today and see which of the three mentioned will get the highest scores and take part in it."

Samvel Hayrapetyan consents that though it is not that easy to solve all the problems by investing such a great sum to keep several permanent skating rinks, to pay for them and for participation in competitions, winter sports as compared with summer sports are paid less attention from the government. That's why this sport fails to develop in Armenia.

Slavik Hayrapetyan, 16, the hope of Armenian figure skating, started training seriously at the age of 10 but before that he used to play on ice when he was about 4.

"We used to train in Moscow and Riga but not in Armenia as skating-rinks are not so good and big and comfortable his. It's already a month we are in Armenia and trained just 4 or 5 times because of the conditions. I'm not in a good form right now and I need another month and a half to come to the form I was in a month ago," Slavik said.

He told that he took part in numerous competitions thanks to trainings outside and thanks to his dad-coach, and reached the final, so the ex-president of Figure Skating Federation of Armenia Samvel Khachatryan rewarded him with the medal of master of sports of International Class. He is sure that by training on the ground and only 3 months on ice this sport will never develop. 

 

Gayane Simonyan studies for master degree at the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Managment of Georgian Institute of Public Affairs

Source: JNews.am

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