Laval’s 18-year-old Tina Garabedian, who has been with the Laval Figure Skating Club since she was four, along with her partner Simon Proulx-Senecal walked away with a bronze medal in Croatia last month at The Golden Spin of Zagreb tournament, according to The Suburban.
“It was an amazing thing to see the Armenian flag raised,” Garabedian’s father John Garabedian said. “With tears in my eyes, I witnessed something I had not seen before. My mother nation’s flag slowly being raised alongside the Italian (first place) and the US flag (second place).”
Garabedian and Proulx-Senecal will be competing on Jan. 23 in the European Championships in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. The duo hopes to be wearing the colours of Armenia in the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Garabedian holds dual citizenship granted to her when the Armenian skating federation enthusiastically accepted that she represent the country at the international level.
“As a proud Armenian, she jumped at the opportunity to represent Armenia when her coach, Shawn Winters, suggested the idea. Tina is very proud of her heritage. She went to Armenian school up to the Grade 7 at École Armenienne Sourp Hagop,” the proud father boasted.
The duo has begun a fundraising campaign to raise money for their competitions.
“Each international competition costs between $6,000-10,000. With no support from Armenia we need to be self-financing,” John explained. “There are Armenians all over the world. We are trying to encourage them to support the team so they can make sure the Armenian flag stands out on the world stage. They did it in Zagreb and I am certain they can do it again.”
According to John, the website donation page has already collected over $5,000 from Los Angeles, Lebanon, Toronto, Yerevan and London.
Learn more about the team or donate to their Olympic dream on their Facebook page @Ice Dance Armenia or see their donation page at IceDanceArmenia.com/donation