Not Last!: Armenian athletes survive skiing races at Vancouver Winter Olympics

Armenia’s Kristine Khachatryan started last but finished third from bottom in a 10-kilometer cross-country race in the Winter Olympics Monday in Canada.

The race at Whistler Olympic Park in Vancouver was the first of these Olympics featuring an Armenian. Khachatryan finished 76th time (34:17.5) among 78 participants. In the race won by Nordic favorites (best time 24:58.4, showed by a Swede) the 20-year-old from Gyumri managed to beat athletes from Macedonia and Serbia, whose results stood at 34:45.8 and 35:47.4, respectively.

Full standings of the ladies’ race featuring the Armenian skier are available here.

Meanwhile, Sergey Mikaelyan did better in a 15-kilometer cross country race among men staged the same day. The 17-year-old from Armenia’s coldest region Ashotsk finished 70th among 95 participants showing the result of 37:58.9 – 4:22.6 outside winner Dario Cologna from Switzerland.

All results from the men’s race are available here.

The results shown by the Armenian cross-country skiers in Vancouver favorably compare to those shown by two Armenian skiers in Turin, Italy, four years ago (even though the distances attempted by the sportsmen were different).

Participating then in cross-country individual sprint qualifications (1300 meters) skiers Edmond Khachatryan and Hovhannes Sargsyan crossed the finish line in the 79th (Sargsyan, 2:47.68) and 80th (Khachatryan, 2:49.98) places among 80 participants -- 34.15 and 36.45 seconds respectively behind the top finisher and 27.23 and 29.53 seconds out of the qualification zone.

Meanwhile, Armenia’s next participant in the current Games will be flag-bearer Arsen Nersisyan. The 22-year-old Alpine skier from Tsakhkadzor will first participate in men’s giant slalom (February 21, 10:00 AM PST) and then take part in men’s slalom (February 27, 10:00 AM PST). Armenia’s US-born Alpine skier Ani-Matilda Serebrakian, a 21-year-old sophomore at the University of San Francisco, will compete in giant slalom and slalom on February 24 and 26, respectively (both events starting at 10:00 AM PST).

(Vancouver is 9 hours behind GMT, and 13 hours behind Yerevan.)