Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   16 July

Yuri Vardanyan lies in repose in Yerevan

YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 13, ARMENPRESS. The body of legendary retired weightlifter, retired political Yuri Vardanyan lies in repose at the Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concert Complex in Yerevan as the country bids its final farewell to one of its finest.

Photos by Eduard Sepetchyan

Hundreds of sports fans, government officials and many others came to the venue to pay respects.

Caretaker Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan also paid his respects, and the wake ceremony was served by Catholicos Garegin II.

Vardanyan will be buried in the Komitas pantheon.

Yuri Vardanyan died from cancer at the age of 62 on November 2.

As a weightlifter, Vardanyan reached numerous heights by winning World and European championships throughout late 1970s through the 1980s. He won gold at the 1980 summer Olympics He earned the title Honored Master of Sports of the USSR in 1977 and was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1985. In 1994 he was elected member of the International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame.

He became the world's first weightlifter to achieve a 400 kilogram total in the 82.5 kg weight category.

In 1985 alone, he set 43 world records.

Years later after retiring from sports, he began a career in politics.

In 2009, President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan appointed Yuri Vardanyan as his advisor. After four years in office, he was appointed minister of sports and youth affairs, a position he held only for a year. He was later appointed Ambassador of Armenia to Georgia in 2014 and served until 2017.

Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan

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