Albert Azaryan is a former Soviet Armenian artistic gymnast who is known to be the first gymnast to become an Olympic Champion in Rings twice. As one of the most respected athletes throughout Armenia, he won gold medals in rings in the 1956 and 1960 Olympics, as a member of the USSR team.
Born in 1929 in Gandzak in what is today part of Azerbaijan, Albert lost his father early in his teenage years. This forced him to ultimately find work early as a blacksmith, which is where he developed his incredible strength. It was later after becoming exposed to Armenian gymnasts and trying some of the routines himself that he was invited to Yerevan to train and consequently start his career.
Throughout his career, Albert Azaryan won four Olympic medals and five World Championship medals. After retiring, he became head of the Yerevan School of Gymnastics and in 2013 he was honored by the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame. From all of his achievements, Albert will forever be remembered for his trademark Azaryan Cross.