In his address from Pyeongchang, the 18-year old athlete tried to comfort his frustrated fans as follows: “I’m not upset, I will always ski and will always win.”
Alpine skier Ashot Karapetyan, 18, one of the three Armenian athletes who traveled to Pyeongchang in South Korea in order to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics almost had to drop out of the competition after he broke his only pair of old skis on the very first day of the training run. The skier didn’t have a spare pair of skis to continue the training run.
Karapetyan’s first run was scheduled for 18 February. However, he couldn’t attend the training session due to the lack of ski equipment. The athlete worried as he didn’t know the terrain well and needed time to explore the mountains and get used to new skis to perform well.
Karapetyan himself shared the details of the story: he came to the Olympic city with skis that were in a deplorable condition. The officials from the Armenian Olympic Federation assured him that he would get new skis once there and that he would be able to undergo training before the competition. However, for some reason he wasn’t provided with new skis.
“Why shouldn’t I have a pair of new skis? In addition, when I came here I found out that there wasn’t even a uniform with ‘Armenia’ on it. They said my name was submitted at the very last moment, so they didn’t have time to order a uniform of my size. But I have a uniform, I brought it along with me. Once already I gained scores at the Olympics with broken skis. I won the Armenian championship, so I’m not upset. I will always ski and will always win,” he said.
Gagik Sargsyan, Secretary General of the Armenian Ski Federation, explained the situation: a pair of skis was ordered but the Austrian company responsible for delivering the skis refused to do so to South Korea at the very last moment. New skis were found and ordered in Russia.
However, the equipment problem has finally been solved. A new pair of skis was delivered to Pyeongchang.
According to reports from Armenian media, Karapetyan’s key rival in Armenia was Harutyun Harutyunyan, the son of Seyran Harutyunyan who is the chief coach of the Armenian national team, and the nephew of the President of the Ski Federation, Arthur Harutyunyan. Those two athletes contended for the participation in the Olympics.
The President of the Ski Federation Arthur Harutyunyan claimed his nephew had shown higher performance than Ashot Karapetyan, thus hinting that it was his relative who should have participated in the Olympics.