As US citizens we are proud supporters of Team USA, but after our time in France we also have a soft spot for some of the French athletes. However, it is the Latvian team that will have us on our feet cheering. This will be the third winter Games in a row that Latvia will send exactly 58 athletes who will be competing in nine events – a relatively high number when compared with the 230 athletes representing the US – but Latvia has only won three medals in the winter Olympics. Mārtiņš Rubenis won a bronze in Turin’s luge men's singles in 2006 (this will be his 5th Olympics), Andris Šics & Juris Šics placed second in luge doubles in Vancouver 2010, and Mārtiņš Dukurs earned a silver in those same Olympics in men’s skeleton.
All four will be competing in Sochi next week, along with some other familiar faces; you NHL fans might recognize the names of Kaspars Daugaviņš, Zemgus Girgensons, and Sandis Ozoliņš, who will carry the flag in the opening ceremony. Ozoliņš (or Ozolinsh as it has been spelled) was a seven-time NHL All-Star, Stanley Cup champion and Norris Trophy finalist during his career in North America. He played for the San Jose Sharks, the Colorado Avalanche, the Carolina Hurricanes, the Florida Panthers, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and the New York Rangers, and currently is on the Dinamo Riga team of the Kontinental Hockey League. Kaspars Daugaviņš was drafted in 2006 by the Ottawa Senators, and later played for the Boston Bruins. He’s currently with the Genève-Servette HC of the National League A. Zemgus Girgensons, the highest drafted Latvian in NHL history has played with the Buffalo Sabres since 2012. Other former NHL players include Oskars Bartulis and Mārtiņš Karsums. The Latvian hockey team has been placed in bracket C, along with the Czech Republic, Sweden and Switzerland. Their first game is on Wednesday with the Swiss, and on Friday they play the Czech Republic before facing off against Sweden on Saturday.
|Team Latvia (skeleton) source here|
The Latvian Olympic team's official page can be found here.
For a detailed roster, you can find an article on the Latvian participants on diena.lv in the article here (in Latvian).
The Sochi website also has the roster, although it appears not to be complete (but is available in English).
I'm not the biggest fan of Wikipedia, but the "Latvia at Sochi" entry has a ton of info condensed and well-organized (in English).
This google document has a breakdown of days and times the Latvian athletes will be competing (in Latvian, according to their time zone).
A quick recap of Latvia's medals in the London summer Olympics here.