Eduard, originally from Armenia, a former Soviet Republic, is the son of renowned Olympic and World Champion, Albert Azarian. Eduard, who began gymnastics at age two, followed in his legendary father’s footsteps, going on to win top honors in several international competitions, including a Silver Medal at the 1978 World Championships; the 1979 World Çup Championship, and All-Around Champion at the Spartakaide (the curtain-raiser to the Olympic Games). Then, in 1980 Eduard was proud to stand on the Olympic podium and be awarded the Olympic Gold Medal.
Note, in this photo and the next:
The same ring combination — with a time separation of 20 years — as it is done only by the Azarians!
Eduard's Father, Albert Azarian
Eduard had the benefit of learning the sport of gymnastics from his father, Albert. In addition to winning three Olympic Gold Medals in 1956 and 1960, two World Championships and a European Championship, Albert created the extremely difficult still rings move called the “Olympic Cross.” This move is also known as the “Azarian Cross.” Albert was often called the “King of the Rings.” Another still rings element, the “Azarian Roll,” is named after Albert and is officially recognized in the International Gymnastics Federation Code of Points. An enthusiastic press wrote about Albert’s performance: “on that famous day in 1956, the Australian spectators at the Melbourne Olympic Games leapt from their seats with one bound to acclaim a Soviet gymnast of Armenian origin who had just achieved an act of gymnastic prowess never before seen. Suspended from the rings, Albert Azarian, World Champion in that discipline since 1954, rose slowly into the air, separating his powerful arms with ease, a smile on his face, and all of a sudden performed that famous cross with quarter turn, first to the left and then to the right. This cross is called the ‘Olympic Cross.’ His fellow gymnasts said of him that he was the embodiment of beauty of movement and of the physical force of the human being. In no international competition was he ever beaten on the rings. He was the King!”
Gold Medal Winner
A generation later, the press was praising Eduard: “Eduard Azarian is always elegant, slender and courageous during the performance of all his exercises. The brilliant unity of choreography and athletic elements bring forth the privileges that this talented athlete has in regard to this rivals.” Leonid Arkaev, the head coach of the Soviet Union and, later on, the Russian National Team, said about Eduard after the 1980 World Cup Championship in Canada: “As Eduard’s coach, I was with him at all the biggest and reputable competitions. Eduard took part in World Cup Championships three times. I was greatly impressed during the Canadian tournament. It was just after the Olympic Games of 1980. Eduard was preparing (for) that championship with great care. Though he had a serious injury of his forefinger, he won the gold medal on parallel bars and took the second place in All-Around competition.”
Azarian Gymnastics in California
Eduard and his wife Marina immigrated to the United States from the Soviet Union in 1992. Since their arrival in America, Eduard and Marina have put all of their energy and resources into raising their two children and making their mark on the California gymnastic industry. They are now proud U.S. citizens. Since arriving in this country, Eduard has successfully trained 36 State Champions, 26 Regional Champions, two Junior National Champions, and two USA Junior National Team members. Eduard is a member of the USA Gymnastics Federation, Southern California Judges Association, and Southern California Men’s Gymnastics Association. Eduard was named the 2004, 2009 and 2010 Southern California Coach of the Year.
Eduard and Marina’s long-time dream of owning their own gymnastic center has come true. At Azarian Gymnastics Eduard and Marina continue their family tradition of gymnastic excellence at this state-of-the-art facility in Aliso Viejo. In fact, Eduard is the only gymnastic center leader in Southern California who is both a World Champion and Olympic Gold Medal winner.
Watch two generations of Azarian Gymnastics
Watch Eduard Azarian and his father Albert Azarian perform award-winning gymnastics in the heat of competition.