Latvia puts best feet forward in Rio

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Latvia's leading athletes joined those from the rest of the world Saturday in parading at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

21 athletes from Latvia marched in the Opening Ceremony of the Rio Olympics on Friday, the LETA newswire reported.

The Latvian Olympic team marched into the Maracana Stadium as the 110th delegation.

A total of 38 persons were a part of Latvia's delegation at the Opening Ceremony, including coaches and officials.

Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis - a former Olympian himself - is also in Rio representing the government. 

Two-time Olympic BMX gold medalist Maris Strombergs carried the Latvian flag at the Opening Ceremony.

Other Latvian athletes participating in the Opening Ceremony included track and field athletes Madara Palameika, Sinta Ozolina, Laura Ikauniece-Admidina, Gunta Latiseva-Cudare, Ilona Marhele, Ariana Kira Hilborna, Zigismunds Sirmais, Rolands Strobinders, Pauls Pujats, Mareks Arents, Arnis Rumbenieks, swimmers Uvis Kalnins and Alona Ribakova, judo athletes Jevgenijs Borodavko and Arturs Nikiforenko, lady tennis player Jelena Ostapenko, Ketija Birzule (sailing), beacy volleyball players Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins, as well as shooter Dainis Upelnieks.

Cyclists Toms Skujins and Aleksejs Saramotins, who begin their events today, as well as weightlifters Rebeka Koha and Arturs Plesnieks did not participate in the Opening Ceremony, as they are preparing for their events.

Other Latvian athletes who are competing later in the Olympics also did not participate, as they have yet to arrive in Rio.

Latvia will be represented by 33 athletes instead of 34 as previously reported, as women's javelin hurler Lina Muze has suffered an injury and will not compete.

Latvia has won at least one medal in each summer Olympics since the restoration of independence, but is hoping for three or four medals at this year's Games.

Inevitably, a lot of fun at the opening ceremony was to be had by comparing the Olympic uniform choices of the competing nations and Latvia's elegant ensemble received a definite sartorial thumbs up on social media.

You can see a gallery of the team parading at the official Latvian Olympic Committee website HERE.


The Rio Olympics will take place until August 21.


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