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Two-time Olympic BMX champion Strombergs will carry Latvia's flag at Rio Opening Ceremony

21.07.2016.Print version

Two-time Olympic BMX champion Maris Strombergs will carry the Latvian flag at the Rio Olympic Opening Ceremony, the Latvian Olympic Committee announced on Thursday, writes LETA.


The Opening Ceremony of the XXXI Summer Olympics will take place on August 5.


Strombergs won the gold medal in the BMX competition in 2008 in Beijing, when the discipline made its Olympic debut. Four years later in London he won gold again.


Strombergs is also a two-time World Champion in the BMX - winning in 2008 and 2010. He also has a silver medal in the World Championships and its three-time European champion.


The Rio Games will be the third for Strombergs, but will be the first time he will march in the Opening Ceremony.


''I would like to give a big thank to everyone for the opportunity to carry the Latvian flag. This is a huge honor for me and will certainly be an emotional and special moment in my career,'' he said.


The 29-year-old has already stated that this will be his final Olympics, but will certainly compete professionally for another season or two.


Beach volleyball player Martins Plavins carried the Latvian flag at the 2012 London Olympics. Other to carry the Latvian flag at the Opening Ceremony at the Summer Olympics were Raimonds Bergmanis (1992), Einars Tupuritis (1996), Voldemars Lusis (2000), as well as Vadims Vasilevskis (2004 and 2008).


Meanwhile, carrying the Latvian flag at the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics have been Janis Kipurs, Zintis Ekmanis, Sandis Prusis, Harijs Vitolins, Arturs Irbe, Sandis Ozolins and Martins Dukurs.


The Latvian Olympic Committee has approved those 32 athletes who will be representing Latvia at this summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.


Latvia will compete in 12 disciplines.


The Latvian track and field team will be made up of 15 athletes - Gunta Latiseva-Cudare (400 meters), Jelena Prokopcuka, Ilona Marhele, Ariana Hilborn and Valerijs Zolnerovics (marathon), Laura Ikaunice-Admidina (heptathlon), Pauls Pujats and Mareks Arents (pole-vault), Arnis Rumbenieks and Agnese Pastare (distance walking), Rolands Strobinders, Zigismunds Sirmais, Sinta Ozolina, Madara Palameika and Lina Muze (javelin).


Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins will represent Latvia in the beach volleyball tournament. Smedins won bronze at the London Olympic four years ago together with his then partner Martins Plavins.


The Latvian BMX team will be made up of two-time gold medalist Maris Strombergs, as well as Edzus Treimanis.


Toms Skujins and Aleksejs Saramotins will represent Latvia in cycling.


Aleksejs Rumjancevs will represent Latvia in the canoeing competition.


The Latvian judo team will be made up of Jevgenijs Borodavko and Arturs Nikiforenko.


Alona Ostapenko will represent Latvia in the lady tennis tournament.


Arturs Plesnieks and Rebeka Koha will represent Latvia in the weightlifting competition.


European champion and medal hopeful Anastasija Grigorjeva will represent Latvia in the wrestling competition.


Meanwhile, Uvis Kalnins and Alona Ribakova will represent Latvia in the swimming competitions.


Dainis Upelnieks will represent Latvia in the shooting competition.


Latvia's youngest Olympian will be Ketija Birzule, who will represent Latvia in the sailing competition.


Ukrainian athlete Ruslans Nakonecnijs, who has taken Latvian citizenship, will go to the Games representing Latvia as a reserve athlete in the modern pentathlon competition.


This is the smallest delegation of athletes Latvia will be sending to the summer Olympics since the restoration of independence, with the largest delegation ever at the Beijing Games in 2008 - 50.


The 2016 Rio Olympic Games will take place from August 5 to 21.

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