Friday, February 9, 2018

Latvia in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games

The 2018 Winter Olympic Games have begun in PyeongChang, South Korea. There are 34 athletes from Latvia, including the Šics brothers (luge medalists in Sochi) and Mārtiņš Dukurs (skeleton medalist in Sochi and Vancouver). The number is considerably down from the previous Olympics, as the Latvian hockey team failed to qualify. However with 9 sports represented and numerous returning medalists, Latvia has a good chance to reach the podium.

Latvia has won eight winter Olympic medals: Mārtiņš Rubenis (luge bronze in Turin), Andris & Juris Šics (silver in doubles luge Vancouver, bronze in Sochi), Mārtiņš Dukurs (skeleton silver in Vancouver & gold in Sochi), Tomass Dukurs (bronze in skeleton, Sochi), Daumants Dreiškens, Oskars Melbārdis, Jānis Strenga & Arvis Vilkaste (gold in 4-man bobsled in Sochi) and Mārtiņš Rubenis, Elīza Tīruma, Andris Šics & Juris Šics (bronze in team relay luge in Sochi). The Sochi gold and bronze skeleton medals were an upgrade after Olympic champion Alexandr Tretiakov was found guilty of doping at the Sochi games in Russia, was banned for life from the Olympics, and stripped of his medals in the 2014 games. Similarly the Melbārdis four-man luge relay received gold after the Russian athletes were disqualified.

Team Latvia, with President Vējonis (source here)

The Team Latvia Olympic uniforms were unveiled last November, designed and produced by Polish sports clothing company 4F. Traditional Latvian elements such as the skujiņa were incorporated along with the three stars from the Brīvības piemineklis freedom monument and the Olympic rings.

source here

The Latvian Olympic Committee released this schedule of events according to athletes participating, although it is according to the Eastern European Time Zone. Having cross-checked with the CBS Olympics schedule, I’ve identified the key dates/times to watch in hopes of catching the Latvians in action (all listed in EST):

A short video of Latvia's entrance during the Parade of Nations during the PyeongChang Opening Ceremony

Friday, February 9th 8-11pm - Opening Ceremony, NBC

Wednesday, February 14th 9:30-11:30am - Luge (doubles gold medal final), NBCSN
   3-5pm - Luge (doubles gold medal final), NBC A.Šics/J.Šics, P.Kalniņš/O.Gudramovičs
   8-11:30pm - Men's Skeleton (qualifying), NBC (LIVE) M.Dukurs, T.Dukurs

Thursday, February 15th 12:05-1:30am - Men's Skeleton (Run 2 of 4), NBC (LIVE) M.Dukurs, T.Dukurs
    9:30am-12pm - Luge (team relay gold medal final), NBCSN
    8pm-12:30am - Men's Skeleton (Gold medal final runs), NBC (LIVE) M.Dukurs, T.Dukurs

Friday, February 16th 1:05-2am - Luge (team relay gold medal final), NBC

Sunday, February 18th 9:30-10:15am - Two-Man Bobsled, NBCSN O.Melbārdis, O.Ķibermanis

Friday, February 23rd - 8-11pm - Four-Man Bobsled (competition), NBC - O.Melbārdis, O.Ķibermanis

Saturday, February 24th - 8-11pm - Four Man Bobsled (gold medal final Runs), NBC (LIVE)

Sunday, February 25th 8-10:30pm - Closing Ceremony, NBC

Also, keep your eyes peeled during:
   Speed Skating, men’s short track 500m & 1000m - R.Puķītis, R.J.Zvejnieks
   Speed Skating, men's short track 1500m - R. Puķītis
   Speed Skating, men’s 1000m & 5000m – H. Silovs
   Luge, men’s singles - I.Kivlenieks, K.Aparjods, A.Dārznieks
   Luge, women’s singles - E.Cauce, U.Zirne, K.Aparjode
   Biathlon, women's 7.5km sprint, 15km, pursuit & 12.5km mass start - B. Bendika 
   Biathlon, men’s 10km sprint, pursuit, 15km & 20km mass start - A.Rastorgujevs, O.Muižnieks
   Alpine skiing, men’s downhill, combined, slalom, giant slalom & Super G - K.Zvejnieks
   Alpine skiing, women’s giant slalom & slalom - L.Gasūna
   Cross Country Skiing, men’s sprint, 15km freestlye - I.Bikše
   Cross Country Skiing, women’s sprint & 10km freestlye - P.Eiduka, I.Paškovska
   Figure Skating, men’s - D.Vasiļjevs
   Figure Skating, women’s - D.Ņikitina
   Skeleton, women’s - L.Priedulēna

Daumants Dreiskens with the Latvian 4-man bobsled team, source here

Three-time Olympian Daumants Dreiškens will be carrying the Latvian flag in the Opening Ceremony. Dreiškens was part of the gold-medal bobsled team in the Sochi Olympics.

See the above link for the official run times of the Latvian luge team (keep in mind that the first time is PyeongChang time and the one in parenthesis is Eastern European time). Along with skeleton and bobsled, we’ll also be keeping a close eye on women’s slopestyle, where Estonian Kelly Sildaru is considered a medal hopeful.

Two-time Olympics medalist Mārtiņš Dukurs, source here

Let the Games begin!

Important links: Latvian Olympic Committee on Facebook
   PyeongChang official Olympics website
(and if someone can find me an official twitter account, I would be grateful!)   


  1. This is SO incredibly helpful - paldies, Liene! :)

  2. thanks for this info. Would be thrilled to get a closeup of those red/white striped knitted hats---maybe searching in Latvian would bring more success than I can manage. Help!

    1. You can actually purchase them :) Here's the official LV Olympic gear site -

  3. Hi, Since being sick, I have really enjoyed watching the Olympics this year. I've always enjoyed them (for many many years) but this year, I'm REALLY enjoying them. I think of you every time I see a group or individual participating from Latvia.... Just today I saw a couple of their teams on the Bobsled.... That is so special. Hope you are enjoying watching them also!!!



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