The Rio Olympics ended with a spectacular carnival-inspired closing ceremony, and the official handover to 2020 hosts Tokyo, BBC Sport reports.
The colorful ceremony, lasting almost three hours, celebrated Brazil's arts and was held in a wet Maracana.
Among the highlights were Tokyo's impressive showcase and a vibrant carnival parade.
"These were a marvelous Olympics, in a marvelous city," said International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach.
"Over the last 16 days a united Brazil inspired the world, in difficult times for all of us, with its irresistible joy for life."
Bach officially closed the Games of the 31st Olympiad after 16 days of competition, featuring 11,303 athletes from 206 nations and a refugee team.
One of the biggest cheers of the night came when Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appeared dressed as computer game character Super Mario, rising out of a huge green pipe in the stadium.
The ceremony, watched by billions around the world, featured the parade of athletes and a dramatic extinguishing of the Olympic flame.
Women's hockey captain Kate Richardson-Walsh carried the flag for Great Britain, who finished the Games with 67 medals - their highest tally at an overseas Olympics.Super-heavyweight boxer Joe Joyce had earlier won Britain's final medal of Rio 2016 - a silver - as they finished second in the medal table to the United States, ahead of China.
Armenia competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 5 to 21 August 2016. This was the nation's sixth consecutive appearance at the Summer Olympics in the post-Soviet era.
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (A.W.)—Armenia’s Olympic team won a total of four medals—one gold and three silver—at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which came to an end on Aug. 21
A record number 33 athletes represented Team Armenia at the games—the most since 32 athletes participated in the 1996 games in Atlanta, Ga.
Armenian-American gymnast Houry Gebeshian made history on Aug. 7, by becoming the first female gymnast to represent the Republic of Armenia in Olympic competition. Gebeshian competed at the 2016 Olympic Games on the bars, beam, floor, and vault, wearing her all-white leotard featuring a sequin Mount Ararat.
Simon Martirosyan (b. 1997) became Armenia’s first medal winner at the Olympics after winning a silver in men’s 105 kg weightlifting on Aug. 15. Martirosyan lifted a total of 417 kg, and placed second only to Ruslan Nurudinov of Uzbekistan, who set an Olympic record with a total weight of 431 kg. Martirosyan has previously won a gold medal at the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics and a bronze medal in the 2016 European Weightlifting Championships.
Armenia’s Migran Arutyunyan (b. 1989) won Armenia’s second silver medal in the Greco-Roman Wrestling 66 kg final on Aug. 16, after judges took the biased decision to grant victory to Davor Štefanek of Serbia.Arutyunyan defeated the reigning 71 kg world champion, Azerbaijan’s Rasul Chunayev, 4-1 in the semifinal match to move onto the final.“The international community and prominent media outlets, as well as Armenia’s National Olympic Committee and its president consider Migran an Olympic Champion,” Iveta Tonoyan a spokeswoman for Armenia’s National Olympic Committee president Gagik Tsarukyan said.
Later in the same day, Artur Aleksanyan—the flag bearer at the closing ceremony, which was held on Aug. 21—won Armenia’s first gold medal at the games, after defeating Yasmany Daniel Lugo Cabrera of Cuba in the Greco-Roman Wrestling 98 kg final. Aleksanyan, the two-time reigning world champion, won back-to-back matches by technical fall in the quarterfinals and semifinals. He beat Turkey’s Cenk İldem in the semifinals.
During his medal ceremony, Aleksanyan wore a shirt with an image of Robert Abajyan—a junior sergeant killed in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh/NKR) in early April. Abajyan was posthumously awarded with the “Hero of Artsakh” award, which is NKR’s highest honorary title. Abajyan, who was 19 years old when he was killed, is the youngest person to be awarded the title.
Gor Minasyan also won Armenia’s third silver medal at the 2016 Olympics in Weightlifting
(+105 kg) on Aug. 16. Georgia’s Lasha Talakhadze and Irakli Turmanidze won gold and bronze respectively. Minasyan had previously won a silver medal at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics.
There are demonstration in different parts of Yerevan since July 17th. Thousands of people marched in Yerevan late on Monday, 25th of July, in support of opposition gunmen that have occupied an Armenia police station for more than a week to demand the release of their jailed leader and President Serzh Sarkisian’s resignation.
It was the biggest crowd attracted by the Founding Parliament radical opposition movement since its 30 or so armed members seized the police station in Yerevan’s southern Erebuni district on July 17.
The protesters marched from a street section in Erebuni to the city center and then walked back to that location, chanting “Serzhik, go away!” and “Sasna Tsrer!” -- the name of the armed group linked with Founding Parliament.
The march was organized by Founding Parliament and several other small opposition groups in protest against the Armenian authorities’ alleged refusal to provide more food to the gunmen holed up in the seized police compound.
Alek Yenigomshian, a Founding Parliament leader not involved in the armed attack, said the authorities stopped food supplies, cut off electricity to the compound and blocked mobile phone communication with them on Saturday after the gunmen released their four remaining hostages. He gave the authorities until Tuesday morning to allow opposition activists to deliver food to the armed oppositionists.
It was not clear what the protest leaders will do if their demand is rejected. Yenigomshian said only that they will again rally supporters on Tuesday evening.
“We are already winning,” Yenigomshian told the crowd visibly numbering between 2,000 and 3,000.
“Fifty-thousand people must stand here tomorrow,” he said after the march ended at around midnight. The police said, meanwhile, that the gunmen burned down on Monday evening three more police vehicles that were parked in the compound. They released a photograph of one of the vehicles set on fire.
The protest leaders did not deny the information, saying that their armed comrades may thus be protesting against the blockade imposed by the authorities.
Earlier on Monday, the authorities again urged the attackers to surrender to security forces surrounding them. The National Security Service indicated that they may well avoid imprisonment if they lay down their arms.(azatutyun.am)
Manchester United on Wednesday, July 6 announced that Henrikh Mkhitaryan has completed his transfer from Borussia Dortmund, the club's website said.
Henrikh joins on a four-year contract with the option to extend for a further year, Manchester said.
Mkhitaryan, 27, made 140 appearances and scored 41 goals for Borussia Dortmund after joining them in 2013. Last season he scored 23 goals and registered an impressive 32 assists across all competitions. Henrikh was voted Bundesliga Player of the Season for 2015/16 in a poll of his fellow professionals, and he was named in the Team of the Season following votes by the players’ union in Germany, VDV.
“I am very proud to join Manchester United, this move is a dream come true for me,» Mkhitaryan said.
“I am excited to play for a club with such an illustrious history and hope to be part of it for a long time. I thank the trust the club and [chief coach] Jose Mourinho have put in me. Finally, I believe playing for such a great club honors my father’s memory, and the inspiration and drive he gave to me when I was young.”
"Henrikh is a very talented footballer who has been in such prolific form for both his club and his country,” Mourinho said, in turn.
“He is a real team player with great skill, vision and also has a good eye for goal. I am delighted he has chosen to sign for United. I believe he will make an impact on the team very quickly as his style of play is suited to the Premier League. We are all looking forward to working with him.”
The midfielder is Armenia’s all-time top scorer, with 19 goals in 59 appearances since his international debut in January 2007. Henrikh captains his national team and has received the Armenian Footballer of the Year award on five occasions.
The French, Russian and U.S. mediators hope to organize a meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents soon in a bid to prevent another escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, a French diplomat reportedly said on Tuesday.
“We have met with the presidents of the two countries and are now trying to organize a meeting of the presidents,” the RIA Novosti news agency quoted Pierre Andrieu, the French co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, as saying in Baku.
Andrieu accompanied France’s State Secretary for European Affairs Harlem Desir on a visit to Yerevan and Baku aimed at defusing tensions after the April 2-5 heavy fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces around Karabakh.
Desir voiced strong support for the confidence-building measures after his talks in Yerevan. The French official said the OSCE should deploy observers and gunfire-locator systems on the Karabakh “line of contact” that “would allow us to verify compliance with the ceasefire regime.” (azatutyun.am)
However, overnight on April 27-28 23 ceasefire violations were registered on the northeastern section of Armenia-Azerbaijan border .
The Azerbaijani side, in particular, used various caliber firearms and sniper rifles to open random bursts of fire towards Armenian positions.
Showing restraint, the Armenian Armed Forces' frontline units retaliated only in case of extreme necessity to continue controlling the situation on the border.
18 ceasefire violations were registered on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border on the night of April 26-27.
The Azerbaijani troops, in particular, opened random bursts of fire, using various caliber firearms and sniper rifles.(panarmenian.net)
President Serzh Sargsyan and First Lady Rita Sargsyan on Sunday, April 24 visited Tsitsernakaberd the Armenian Genocide memorial to pay tribute to the victims of the Genocide.
Sargsyan was accompanied by the Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Karekin II, world-famous singer Charles Aznavour, actor George Clooney, Aurora Prize nominees. They laid flowers at the memorial, with the Catholicos praying for the innocent victims of the Genocide.
Later on April 24 the Aurora Prize awarded in Yerevan, Armenia.
Marguerite Barankitse from Burundi won the inaugural Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity on Sunday, April 24 evening.
Barankitse, from Maison Shalom and REMA Hospital in Burundi, saved thousands of lives and took care of orphans and refugees during the years of civil war in Burundi.
When war broke out, Barankitse, a Tutsi, tried to hide 72 of her closest Hutu neighbors to keep them safe from persecution.
They were discovered and executed, whilst Barankitse was forced to watch. Following this gruesome incident, she started her work, saving and caring for children and refugees. She has saved roughly 30,000 children and in 2008, she opened a hospital which has treated more than 80,000 patients to date.
World-famous actor, producer and director George Clooney had earlier arrived in Armenia to participate in the ceremony. He presented the award to Barankitse.
As she accepted the award, Barankitse said: “Our values are human values. When you have compassion, dignity and love then nothing can scare you, nothing can stop you – no one can stop love. Not armies, not hate, not persecution, not famine, nothing.”
On behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors, the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity will be granted annually to an individual whose actions have had an exceptional impact on preserving human life and advancing humanitarian causes.
The Aurora Prize Laureate will be honored with a $100,000 grant. In addition, that individual will have the unique opportunity to continue the cycle of giving by nominating organizations to receive a $1,000,000 award.
Barankitse plans to donate the award to three organizations in order to provide aid and rehabilitation to child refugees and orphans, and fight against child poverty. The organizations are: the Fondation du Grand-Duc et de La Grande-Duchesse du Luxembourg, Fondation Jean-François Peterbroeck (JFP Foundation), and the Fondation Bridderlech Deelen Luxembourg.
Armenian soprano Hasmik Papian and The Washington Post colomnist David Ignatius are hosting the ongoing awards ceremony.
100 LIVES is a new global initiative rooted in the events of the Armenian Genocide, during which 1.5 million Armenians perished. The fortunate few were saved by the courageous and heroic acts of individuals and institutions. A century later, 100 LIVES seeks to express gratitude, to share remarkable stories of survivors and their saviors, and to celebrate the strength of the human spirit.
100 LIVES is an initiative of the IDeA Foundation (Initiatives for Development of Armenia), a charitable foundation committed to promoting socioeconomic development in Armenia through investments in long-term, non-profit projects.
On behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors, an Aurora Prize Laureate will be honored each year with a US$ 100,000 grant as well as the unique opportunity to continue the cycle of giving by nominating organizations that inspired their work for a US$ 1,000,000 award. Recipients will be recognized for the exceptional impact their actions have made on preserving human life and advancing humanitarian causes.
The Aurora Prize is the philanthropic vision of Vartan Gregorian, Noubar Afeyan and Ruben Vardanyan, the co-founders of 100 LIVES. Together they seek to build a humanitarian movement by drawing attention to the issues faced by the world's most vulnerable and rewarding individuals and organizations that work to address those issues in a substantial manner.
The Aurora Prize Selection Committee includes Nobel Laureates Elie Wiesel, Oscar Arias, Shirin Ebadi and Leymah Gbowee; former President of Ireland Mary Robinson; human rights activist Hina Jilani; former Australian Foreign Minister and President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group Gareth Evans; President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York Vartan Gregorian; and Academy Award-winning actor and humanitarian George Clooney.
Prominent musician and political activist, Serj Tankian has composed a special track called "Aurora’s Dream”.
The composition will be the theme music for the upcoming inaugural Aurora Prize ceremony to be held in Yerevan, Armenia on April 24, 2016.
Commenting on the release of the new song, Serj Tankian said, “Of all the tracks I’ve composed and produced over the last few years, ‘Aurora’s Dream’ is my favorite. I’m glad it was for the Aurora Prize and 100 LIVES initiative - an organization doing wonderful things by bringing attention to devastating tragedies and the real heroes that rise to the occasion.”
The premiere of "Armenia, My Love," a movie about the Genocide, was on April 14 at the Laemmle Playhouse 7 in Pasadena, the Los Angeles Times reports.
It includes a question-and-answer session with the film's writer and director, Diana Angelson, as well as the cast and crew.
For Shake Tukhmanyan, an actress since age 17, starring in "Armenia, My Love" was an especially emotional experience.
The Glendale resident, who plays a grandmother in the film, was traveling through the desert, filming a sequence that depicts the deadly travails many Armenians were subject to in 1915, when the Ottoman Empire began systematically killing more than 1.5 million of them in an effort to force them out of their historic homeland.
Tukhmanyan's character, Anoush, was struggling to push on with her family in what ultimately became a deadly march.
Like so many others, her character's family had lost their home and an otherwise happy, peaceful existence LA Times says.
"While "Armenia, My Love" does expose the harsh realities faced by the entire Armenian people who were violently ripped from their homeland, it is "Armenia, My Love's" strong messages of hope, love, faith, perseverance and strength that I wanted to prevail," Angelson said in a statement.
The film's release coincides, nearly to the day, with the 101-year anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on April 24.
Armenian weightlifters have returned to Yerevan.The Armenian athletes won the most medals in European Weightlifting Championships 2016.
Armenian athlete Nazik Avdalyan won the 2016 European Weightlifting Championships in the women's 69 kg weight class.
Following her triumph, Avdalyan declared that her victory is dedicated to the Nagorno Karabakh Defense Army.
Earlier, Andranik Karapetyan from the Armenian national team won gold at the European Championships, while Tigran Martirosyan gained a silver medal.
Armenia's Kristine Petrosyan took the 5th spot in women’s 63 kg weight class, lifting 207 kg above her head.
Peace talks between Armenia, Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan have been facilated by Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe since March 1992 within the frameworks of Minsk Group, co-Chaired by Russia, United States and France since mid-1990s.
Ceasefire agreement between Armenia, Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan, facilitated by Russia's representative to the CSCE/OSCE Minsk Group Vladimir Kazimirov, was signed on May 5,1994, which had been maintained with only sporadic Violations along Line of Contact and international border till the latest Azerbaijani large scale offensive in the night of April 2,2016. (armenpress.am)
On the night of April 1-2, Azerbaijani armed forces initiated overt offensive operations in the southern, southeastern and northeastern directions of the line of contact with Nagorno Karabakh condemning the use of force. They use military forces even against civilian population.
Continuing the escalations around Nagorno-Karabakh on the night of April 5, Azerbaijan’s armed forces used for the first time, since the signing of the 1994 ceasefire, a BM-30 Smerch rocket launcher in the southern direction of the frontline. (tert.am)
As many as 20 Karabakh servicemen were killed and 70 were wounded in the course of military operations. In addition, 4 civilians, one of them 12-year-old Vaghinak Grigoryan and 7 volunteers have been killed. Three elderly Armenians were brutally killed in Talish.
26 Karabakh soldiers have gone missing so far.
Thanks to the Artsakh Republic Defense Army’s timely and professional actions, the situation is under control on the Nagorno Karabakh contact line, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said Monday, April 4.
Colonel Aroustamyan put the number of Azerbaijani military personnel killed at more than 300.
As of 10:00 a.m., April 5, the Azerbaijani side has lost 29 tanks and over 5 armored vehicles, including an IFV, as well as 1 TOS-1A Solntsepyok multiple rocket launcher, 1 BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launcher, 2 military helicopters and 7 unmanned aerial vehicles.
Seven Karabakh tanks have been neutralized so far.(PanARMENIAN.Net)
His Holiness Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia Aram I held a second phone conversation with President of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic Bako Sahakyan and stated: "The entire Diaspora is recruited at Karabakh's side, and withunited spirit, will and faith is ready to assist Karabakh, in every sense."
As "Armenpress was informed by the Press Service of the Great House of Cilicia, during the conversation, President Bako Sahakyan gave broad information about the recent military operations and achievements. He greatly appreciated the Armenian Diaspora's strong support shown towards Karabakh.
His Holiness Aram I praised the courage and combat efficiency of our brave soldiers in Karabakh. (armenpress.am)