Four soldiers to represent Armed Forces at the Winter Olympics in Sochi
On 4 February, the Minister of Defence Raimonds Vējonis and Chief of Defence Lieutenant General Raimonds Graube accompanied Olympians — soldiers of Armed Forces — to the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
At the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Latvia will be represented by 58 athletes, and among them there will be four representatives of Armed Forces: biathletes — private Andrejs Rastorgujevs and private Žanna Juškāne; skiers — captain Inga Dauškane and private Jānis Paipals.
“It is my great pleasure to accompany you today to the Olympic Games”, Minister of Defence Raimonds Vējonis said. “The Olympiad is a major event for athletes and participation in it requires a lot of preparation and hard work. For some people such opportunity — to take part in the Olympic Games — is given once in a lifetime, to others — several times. You are a very good example for our young people who will become soldiers. You with your personal qualities — perseverance, determination and accuracy — have proved that it is possible to achieve a lot not only in professional life and service, but also in sports.”
“You symbolize what should a real soldier should be,” Chief of Defence Lieutenant General Raimonds Graube told by accompanying the Olympians. “A soldier can be well-equipped with the best skis and guns, but he or she must also be professional, determined and skilled. He or she is not going to be a good soldier without these qualities. You, in turn, have proved that you are both good soldiers and athletes — best in your field in Latvia. You already are professional, you have proved it, now you only need luck, and I wish you a soldier’s luck.”
Olympians were given a Latvian flag — just like the soldiers who go to international operations areas.
Privates Rastorgujevs, Paipals and Juškāne also participated in the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games in 2010. However, captain Dauškane will be an Olympic debutant in Sochi.