Vancouver Start: Four skiers represent Armenia at Winter Olympics

The XXI Winter Olympics are opening in Vancouver, Canada, February 12, and will last until March 1.

Armenia, participating in its fifth Winter Olympics since independence, has a modest representation at the Games at which more than 5,000 athletes and officials from 85 countries have converged to compete in 15 sports for a total of 86 sets of medals.

All of four Armenians participating in the Games are skiers – two cross-country skiers and two Alpine skiers. See their profiles here

The first competition day for Armenia is February 15, featuring skier Sergey Mikaelyan in a 15-kilometer cross-country race. Then Kristine Khachatryan will compete in ladies’ cross-country skiing. Armenia’s alpine skiers Arsen Nersisyan and Ani-Matilda Serebrakian will participate in, respectively, men’s and ladies’ slalom and giant slalom events between February 21 and 27.

Neither Armenian sport officials, nor fans expect any Armenia medals in Vancouver. Finishing within the top 20 could already be regarded as a success for any of the Armenia participant. Should anyone win gold, silver or bronze, however, checks for $30,000, $20,000 and $10,000 from the National Olympic Committee will be awaiting them at home.