Thursday, February 6, 2014

Olympic Update

The Sochi Olympics begin tomorrow!

Edgars Orlovskis, on his blog, (in Latvian) predicts that Latvia will bring home three medals. I do hope that's the case. He also put together a great document available via Google Docs (available to anyone) that shows game/race times for all Latvian athletes in the games. It's available here.

On her blog, Liene writes about rooting for several different teams. I can relate - I root for both American and Latvian athletes, as well as the Estonian and Lithuanian teams.

The Latvian Olympic Committee's website has lots of great information about the team. Yesterday most of the Latvian delegation, along with much of the Lithuanian Olympic delegation, headed to Sochi together on a special AirBaltic flight. Meanwhile, in Sochi, the Latvian flag was officially raised in the Olympic Village. I couldn't help but snicker at this image of Russian soldiers raising the flag of an independent Latvia.

(Photo: I. Znotins, via
Also, for the first time in the history of Latvia's Olympic participation, there will be a "Latvia House" in the host city. Many other countries have had such hospitality houses in the past - a place where fans, athletes, journalists, and other guests can mix and mingle. At times they'll be entertained by some of Latvia's favorite musicians such as Linda Leen, Marija Naumova, and the group "Instrumenti."

Four years ago, at the Vancouver Olympics, Latvian fans had no central location at which to get together. That's why there is a Youtube video featuring a good friend of mine (he's the guy with the accordion) leading a group of Latvians in the national anthem - at a bar. Naturally, just because there will be a Latvian hospitality house doesn't mean that Latvians will stop congregating in pubs, but - hey - we can hope, right?

Here in the States, all we can hope for tomorrow evening is that NBC will actually show all of the teams entering the stadium for the Opening Ceremonies. That has been an issue in the past when some delegations, particularly from smaller countries such as Latvia, have not been shown on the U.S. broadcast. Let us hope that the campaign waged by Latvian-American prior to the 2012 Summer Olympics on this issue means that it has been resolved once and for all.


  1. I heard Prāta Vētra has also been invited - I wonder if that is also at the Latvian House, or a bigger venue? Great round up!

    1. Had to look it up, but Prata Vetra = bigger venue, especially given their popularity in Russia. They are expected to perform on the main stage of the Olympic Village on the 13th according to info I found. Very cool!

  2. Thank you for sharing Latvian athletes start/race times, which I made :)

    1. Paldies Tev, ka tādu sarakstu uzrakstīji! Izdrukāju un to izmantošu.

    2. Super! Tādēļ arī veidoju, lai citiem būtu noderīgs šis saraksts :)


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