By Bruce Meadows
VANCOUVER, BC (Novato Advance) — Ani Serebrakian, a 20-year-old from Novato, Calif. marched in the Opening Ceremonies Friday night at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC.
But if you tried watching them on ABC, you may have had to look quickly … Serebrakian, an athletic standout at Marin Catholic and now attending the University of San Francisco (USF), is not part of the 216-member US team, but is in the four-person ski team from Armenia.
Serebrakian, who earned a reputation for excellence among the top American juniors, could have tried to make the US team, but opted to ski for Armenia. Her parents, Armen and Anita Serebrakian, are Armenian and were born in neighboring Iran.
“I feel honored to be on the Armenian team,” said Serebrakian, who will compete in the women’s slalom and giant slalom events February 24 and 26. “I’ve been to Armenia and it really hits home to ski for that country.”
Serebrakian, majoring in exercise and sports science at USF, started skiing at age 2, racing when she was 5. Calling herself and her 22-year-old brother, Arman, “weekend skiers,” she spends most winter weekends at Squaw Valley.
She has competed in numerous national and international ski events, including one a few years ago at the Whistler Cup, where Olympic Alpine skiing will be contested. She has been ranked as high as ninth in Junior World Cup.