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Greta Vardanyan. “Nothing is easy for anyone, you have to work, you have to work hard”

It is said that Gyumri resident Greta Vardanyan was the youngest child, who was operated on by doctors after Spitak earthquake in 88. Greta lost her parents at the age of 2.5 and lost her legs as a result.


By 1993 Greta was already a pupil, growing up strong, with a strong will. Life and nature did their job, and Greta was fit for age. But to say that everything was smooth at school would be wrong.


When I went to the first grade, it was very unusual for me to communicate with children without disabilities. True, I was a kid, but I realized everything. There were some very difficult moments, though I couldn’t run or play like them during class. But over the years, I slowly found strength, realizing that this disaster was not limited to me … True, I had a disability due to the earthquake, but it was not a verdict, but a fate, “Greta recalls in her conversation.


That is how Greta moved forward every day. Confident and broad with steps Greta moved forward.


“The truth is, when I was admitted to school in 1993, there was no inclusive understanding in those years, people didn’t even understand what that meant, but I didn’t ask for help. We just went to school, presented the papers to the principal, and attended with everyone on normal terms. My physical disability was the problem. Total: It had nothing to do with learning. Later everything became ordinary, full time, school, higher education, work. Then I got my master’s degree, I graduated from the faculty of pre-school psychology and pedagogy, recently completed my master’s degree in military psychology in two years. ”


“I have been in the Pyunik Union of the Disabled since 1993. With them, we went to Sevan in summer, camped in Sevan, and winter in Tsakhkadzor. That’s where I started skiing, wheelchair riding. The first competitions that took place in the US in 2002, I ran a marathon, rode a 42km, finished the finals, and then we came to the weightlifting. For me, life starts with sports, ends with sports.”


“Gyumri is a city of weightlifting, and I think every Gyumri resident  will definitely succeed if he/she tries. You have to go through a lot of things to understand what yours is, to be able to continue. And I put all the sports aside, I only did weightlifting, ”says Greta, who is also called Lala.


The victories did not wait long. For the first time Greta represented Armenia at the 2007 European Open in Greece. The first participation and the silver medal won were crucial. China, UAE, London, Hungary, Rio, Mexico, Kazakhstan. Coming soon also to Tokyo 2020. In February, Greta will travel to England, where she will win a Tokyo participation ticket. Otherwise, she says, she will leave with a white card.


Since 2016 Greta has also been a coach of  Powerlifting (weightlifting, pushing from a lying position). She has 7-8 trainees. She says there are successful children, it is good to have substitutes.


Greta’s days ahead of the Tokyo Championships have become overwhelming. She trains, prepares lessons with her daughter, then goes to work. Spends a whole day at the Emergency Situations Rescue Center SRC. Responds to calls received from the Crisis Management Center, recording and transmitting them to relevant authorities.


Providing accessible spaces for people with mobility problems is also high on the list of people with disabilities. Greta says problem-solving steps have been taken during street construction, ramps have been installed on the sidewalks, but to say that it is fully resolved will be wrong.


Common efforts, however, are not needed in Grete’s personal life. As a person who has achieved everything by herself, is bringing up her daughter in the same way. Strong, strong-willed, self-motivated and purposeful.

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