10 April 2012
Over 300 Armenians gathered together on Easter in Sofia, Bulgaria for the 10th European Armenian Games.
The start of the European Armenian Games was in Switzerland, by the especially created organizing committee, continuing this great tradition for more than 9 years.
The games are open to every Armenian and for all the Armenian organization without exception.This year AGBU – Sofia Chapter had the honor to be host of the 10th European Armenian Games – to celebrate the sportsmanship, friendship and partnership of the competition for the best skills and abilities in football, volleyball, table tennis, badminton, chess and backgammon.
This big sports event was under the patronage of the Sofia Municipality and honorary patron of the games was the Mayor of Sofia, Mrs. Yordanka Fandakova. The European Armenian Games were held at the National Sports Academy “Vasil Levski”.
More than 300 Armenians from different countries – France, Italy, Austria, Greece, Armenia, Bulgaria, England, Switzerland, Romania, Germany, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, responded to the invitation and showed sportsmanship, team spirit and desire to get acquainted with their compatriots, to communicate in their mother language, to be together on during the Easter Holidays.
The official opening of the games on April 7, 2012 brought many guests from home and abroad at the National Sports Academy “Vasil Levski”. The Holy Reverend Father Abgar Ovakimyan, Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Bulgaria, blessed the participants and wished success to the athletes and stressed that “the conduct of sports games on days when the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church celebrates Easter, makes the presence of the participants and guests even more significant”
The chairlady of AGBU-Sofia, Mrs. Sonia Avakian – Bedrosian, in her speech welcomed and wished good luck to all participants stressing out that “all of them are wonderful ambassadors of the ancient, modern, and future spiritual leader who will resurrect the talented spirit of the Arims, Hayassas and Armens”.On behalf of the Sofia Municipality – the deputy Mayor of the Culture, Mr. Todor Chobanov with a short and meaningful speech welcomed the participants.
Children from a Bulgarian community center dressed in beautiful Bulgarian folklore costumes, gave roses to each one of the official guests. The program of the official opening started with the wonderful dancers band “Emil Genov” that performed a superb bulgarian folklore dance, welcoming the guests. A beautiful armenian dance interpreted by “Nairi” dance group of Homentmen Sofia was followed by a traditional dance performed by AGBU – Sofia dance group “NUR”. The charming Annie and Sergey Vartevaryan performed the song «It’s my life” by Bon Jovi, and then together with the young dancers group presented the “Triller”, a composition dance of late Michael Jackson.
Following the official opening of the European Armenian Games all official guests from home and abroad were invited to a cocktail with a glass of wine, having the opportunity to explore and exchange ideas. Since the official opening was at noon, the games were already in full swing, the euphoria was indescribable, and the enthusiasm of the players was inspiring. Some have had their victories, others have suffered loss, but everyone was expecting the next meeting on the sports fields.
Seven different sports games were successfully organised by the Armenian organizing committee. The jury which is the relevant professional association was successfully ensured, so that everything is at a very high professional level. Each member of the committee gave the best of itself to be able to organize this wonderful event on a high level for all competitors.
And the evenings ….
Evenings were filled with more humor, music and dance, because it is good for the youth – fatigue is irrelevant when there is joy and celebration. The organizers made sure guests feel wonderful, making different kind of evenings.
Dedicated to the 10th European Armenian Games, prior the dinner and the discotheque on Saturday evening, the 7th of April, at the National Music Academy was held the second of the spring season concert of the AGBU Sofia Chamber orchestra. Our special soprano soloist guest, Aude Demirdjibachian from Marseille/France performed brilliantly airs of Gounod, Mozart and Bellini.
The wonderful concert was followed by a dinner at a nice Bulgarian restaurant where everyone had the opportunity to dine and then dance until dawn.
On Sunday, Easter Gala Dinner was held at the Sheraton Hotel, which was dotted with stylish and varied program. The official closing took place there, where medals were presented to the winners. The evening was filled with a variety of performances – a tap dance as a salute, the AGBU Sofia dance group «NUR» surprised the audience, performing a beautiful and original Armenian dance, the famous magician Antranik Arabadjian – Astor presented some of his favorite magic tricks.
The evening continued with performances of famous musician and singer Arthur Nadosyan, together with his violinist and Gipsy dancers. All the guests were holding hands dancing and singing Armenian dances together. The emotion and excitement was indescribable.
Many guests expressed their wish to publicly thank the organizers for this wonderful event, as Mr. Sebouh Bahdoyan from Vienna, as well as participants from Homenetmen – France, who offered a plaque to Mrs. Sonia Avakian – Bedrosian as the chairlady of AGBU – Sofia and thanked her and the organizing committee, for hosting perfectly the 2012 European Armenian Games.