News2015.09.08 13:45

Lithuanian PM leaves for Sochi to attend 2014 Winter Olympics

BNS  Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius and Latvian President Andris Berzins saw off Lithuanian and Latvian sport delegations to the Sochi Winter Olympics in Riga on Thursday.

BNS 

Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius and Latvian President Andris Berzins saw off Lithuanian and Latvian sport delegations to the Sochi Winter Olympics in Riga on Thursday.

“First of all, I am delighted with the fact that we are going together to the key event of the Olympic movement. I wish you, my dear athletes, to demonstrate your skill and determination and give all Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian sports fans the best emotions. An honourable fight until the final siren, the last second is already a victory. I wish you great success and good fortune,” the Lithuanian Prime Minister told athletes.

According to Butkevičius, the fact that Lithuanian athletes have Latvian and Estonian coaches is an example of close relations and successful cooperation among the three Baltic States. Latvian Ilmars Bricis is a coach of Lithuania’s Olympic biathlon team and Estonian Meelis Aasmae will also assist the team in Sochi, according to a statement of the Government of Lithuania.

Some of Lithuanian athletes are already in Sochi. The Olympic opening ceremony will take place on Friday.

During his visit to Sochi on 6-10 February 2014, Butkevičius will observe the opening ceremony and visit Lithuanian athletes in the Olympic village. The Prime Minister is also scheduled to observe the performance of Lithuanian cross-country skier Ingrida Ardisauskaitė and biathlonist Tomas Kaukenas.

Nine athletes are representing Lithuania at the Sochi Olympics, including biathlonists Diana Rasimovičiute and Kaukėnas, short track speed skater Agnė Sereikaitė, alpine skiers Ieva Januškevičiūtė and Rokas Zaveckas, ice dancers Isabella Tobias and Deividas Stagniūnas as well as skiers Vytautas Strolia and Ardišauskaite.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė has decided not to go to Sochi due to human rights violations in Russia and Moscow’s pressure on its neighbours.

Butkevičius says he decided to go to the Olympics to honour Lithuanian athletes. The Prime Minister is scheduled to return to Vilnius on Monday.

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