USF sophomore Ani
Serebrakian competes in the women’s giant slalom (Feb. 24) and the
(Feb. 26) at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
When the University of San Francisco community tunes into
the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics in less than a week, you can bet it’ll be in
support of one of their own – women’s alpine skier and USF sophomore Ani
An exercise and sport science major, Serebrakian – who began
skiing when she was 2 years old and competing when she was 5 – turns 21 during
the Olympics, a competition for which she has been training her entire life. Skiing
for the Armenian women’s Olympic team, she’ll take on some of the world’s top
alpine skiers in the technical women’s giant slalom (Feb. 24) and the women’s slalom
Gifted women’s slalom skiers have been known to reach speeds
of almost 45 miles per hour, as they race downhill through 40-60 pairs of
flags, or gates.
“Growing up in America, I never fully understood my Armenian
heritage,” said Serebrakian, whose parents emigrated from the country that now
claims among its most famous artistic ambassadors the Los Angeles-based hard
rock band System of the Down. “But, after traveling to Armenia, I came to
understand how truly blessed I was to be part of such a culture and history.”
Serebrakian, who speaks fluent Armenian, called being named
to the Armenia team “humbling” and a “great honor.”
She had been training hard at Squaw Valley USA since the ski
season opened, in hopes of earning a place on the four-person Armenia squad.
Perhaps working to her advantage at the Olympics will be the fact that she’ll
compete at one of her favorite resorts in Whistler Blackcomb.
"Participation in the Olympics is a once-in-a-lifetime experience," Serebrakian said. "I wish to perform to the best of my abilities, whereever that may place me!"