Latvia names flag bearers at Beijing Winter Olympics

RIGA -- Luger Eliza Tiruma and ice hockey player Lauris Darzins will carry the Latvian flag at the opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

President Egils Levits handed over the national flag to the Olympic athletes at Riga Castle on Monday.

Addressing the flag bearers and the whole Latvian Olympic team, the president said: "I know that your thoughts are currently wandering between packing your bags, the last workouts here in Latvia and what awaits you in Beijing. Today, however, I would like to ask you to stop for a moment and feel our confidence in you and good thoughts. Latvia is with you! Our thoughts will be with you throughout the Games."

Levits noted that the sports disciplines of the two flag bearers are the disciplines that represent Latvia best.

"Ice hockey is an extremely popular sport with our people and has deep roots in Latvia. The number of lugers, on the other hand, is not big, but thanks to athletes' great achievements, this sport has become increasingly attractive to spectators in recent years," the president said.

Latvia fields a delegation of 57 athletes, 43 coaches, as well as officials and support personnel to Beijing. At the Olympic Winter Games, Latvian athletes will be competing in the following disciplines: speed skating, biathlon, bobsleigh, skeleton, luge, figure skating, short track speed skating, distance skiing, alpine skiing, nordic combined and ice hockey.

For Tiruma and Darzins, these will be the third Olympic Games in their career.

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