As the only athlete representing Armenia, 29 year old Alex Azizian will face 75 fencers representing over 20 nations at the Golden Foil in Zagreb, Croatia on October 19.

“I want to inspire others and be an example, especially as a Diaspora Armenian,” said Azizian. “Even though [as Diasporans] we grew up in other nations, we can still represent our true homeland. I will fence for Armenia and express humility and strength throughout competitions,” he added.

Azizian has been fencing for nine years and has had victories in Armenia, Georgia and the U.S. The grant provided by Birthright Armenia, the organization which Azizian volunteered for when he first moved to Armenia in 2012, is sponsoring the U.S. born athlete originally from Los Angeles.

“Thanks to Birthright Armenia, I was able to visit Armenia, volunteer for an organization, learn the Armenian language and live with a host family. Now I want to give back to my country and represent Armenia on the world stage of fencing. I can confidently say I am an ambassador to the program and the Armenian people,” Azizian added.

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