Disabled Armenian Athlete Completes LA Marathon

GLENDALE–Pyunic athlete Greta Khandzrtyan–an above the knee double amputee from Armenia–completed the 26-mile wheelchair division of the Los Angeles Marathon on Sunday–March 6–in 3 hours and 19 minutes.

"I am thrilled to have finished my second Los Angeles Marathon and proud to be able to show that a person can accomplish any goal regardless of their physical disabilities," said Khandzrtyan–18.

Khandzrtyan’s determination was put to the test after passing the 5-mile marker. She fell out of her racing wheelchair when her waist strap came apart. After recovering from the fall–she was assisted back into her wheelchair by spectators. However–Khandzrtyan was not able to race at full speed as part of her chair’s wheel frame had bent.

At the 22nd mile mark–Lorig Sivazlian–a Pyunic-LA member–briefly joined the race. Seeing Khandzrtyan approach–Sivazlian moved from the sidewalk and ran alongside the racer shouting words of encouragement. "I received an extra burst of energy by seeing Lorig and the three other Pyunic supporters," added Khandzrtyan.

Founded in 1989 to help the disabled children of the 1988 earthquake in Armenia–Pyunic is the leading non-governmental organization shaping public awareness for the disabled. Pyunic provides humanitarian aid–social services–career training and summer/winter teaching camps. Pyunic athletes have competed in numerous worldwide athletic competitions–including the Los Angeles Marathon and both summer and winter Paralympics since 1994.

For more information about Pyunic–please contact Sarkis Ghazarian at (818) 785-3468 or visit www.pyunic.com.

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