Modern athletics stadium in Valmiera hosts 'President's Prize' Baltic meet

Latvia's northern city of Valmiera reinforced its claim to be Latvia's sporting capital August 13 with the first major event to be held at a fully renovated athletics stadium named after local athletics legend Jānis Daliņš.

President Egils Levits participated in the opening ceremony, saying: "I think that each of us - not only Valmiera and athletes, but all Latvians, Estonians and Lithuanians - feel joy and pride that we can be in this renovated Jānis Daliņš stadium for the first time."

"Its significance is much broader - it is the Olympic center of the whole of Latvia and the Baltics," said the President, who also noted that it provides facilities for paralympic athletes, too.

Since 1995 each year for two days, the strongest athletes of the Baltic States compete both in individual disciplines and as teams in the 'President's Prize' competition, though Ogre municipality hosted the competition during the reconstruction works in Valmiera.

This year's meet takes place at the new stadium on August 13-14 and if you'd like to watch the opening ceremony you can so so at the Valmiera web portal.

Jānis Daliņš (1904-1978) was a Latvian race walker. Competing in the 50 km event he won a silver medal at the 1932 Olympics, in so doing becoming the first Latvian to win an Olympic medal.

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