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Estonian and Latvian presidents to go to Olympics in Vancouver

BC, Tallinn, 02.02.2010.Print version

While Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves and culture minister Laine Jänes will go cheer Estonian athletes at the Olympic Games in Vancouver, prime minister Andrus Ansip, who is known for his love of sports won’t, Õhtuleht/LETA writes. Lartvia’s President Valdis Zatlers and First Lady Lilita Zatlere will be among the many dignitaries at the opening ceremonies for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, too.


Has Ansip lost his faith in Estonian athletes, asks Õhtuleht. “No-no, there is plenty of faith,” says Ansip.


He said that he with the state visit to Japan on February 15 and the anniversary of the republic celebrated 9 days later there just isn’t enough time to make such a long and expensive trip. However, a day before meeting the Japanese prime minister, Ansip will participate at a 50 km skiing marathon in Sapporo.


Although Ansp has faith in the chances of Estonian top skiers, his expectation are not excessively high. “If we bring one medal from Canada, then it is a miracle,” he said. “The success that we had in Torino where we earned three golds is something to wait for a half a century! And it might not come even then. Based purely on the population figures of states and statistics, we can say that we got from there everything possible.”


Latvian president intends to actively support the participating Latvian athletes during his visit, which will last from February 12 to February 17.


He will visit with the athletes at the various tracks and arenas, where they will be competing, as Ilze Rassa, Zatlers' press secretary, informed.


Rassa added that the president would be traveling with the "smallest possible delegation" – a protocol expert and bodyguards.


Zatlers also plans to meet with ethnic Latvians, who live in the Vancouver area.

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