STEPANAKERT—The 7th Pan-Armenian Games will take place in Artsakh in 2017, reported Nagorno-Karabakh’s Artsakh Press. The decision was made on June 1 at the Olympic village in Yerevan by the Pan-Armenian Games international committee, after a recommendation by the committee’s president Ishkhan Zakaryan was unanimously adopted.
Zakaryan noted that this is a historic decision, which best reflects the mission of the games—to show unity between Armenia, Artsakh, and the Armenian Diaspora. A decision was also made to hold the Pan-Armenian Games international committee’s 2017 general assembly in Artsakh on September 3, 2017.
In 2015, teams from Diyarbakir and Dersim participated in the Pan-Armenian Games for the first time, joining athletes representing 175 cities from Armenia, Turkey, Russia, Lebanon, Iran, France, the United States, Canada, and elsewhere, competing in 17 sports during the 10-day tournament. The sports included soccer, futsal, basketball, volleyball, tennis, table tennis, swimming, track and field, chess, badminton, cycling, shooting, arm-wrestling, golf, handball, and beach volleyball.
The players from Diyarbakir and Dersim participated in futsal, which is a variant of soccer that is played on a smaller field and considered as a version of five-a-side soccer. Soccer teams from Sasun and Istanbul also participated in 2015 for the second time.
The 6th Pan-Armenian Games officially came to an end with the closing ceremony in Yerevan on August 13, 2015. Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan congratulated the athletes, coaches, organizers, and guests at the ceremony held at Yerevan’s Liberty Square. Abrahamyan said that the most important achievement of the PanArmenian Games is “bringing together the sons and daughters of our nation in our homeland.”