Lithuania at the Olympics

Lithuania first competed as an independent nation at the Olympic Games in 1924 (they had declared independence from the Russian Empire in 1918). They also sent a team to the 1928 Olympics. After the second world war, Lithuania became part of the Soviet Union, and participated in the Olympic Games as part of the Soviet Union team from 1952 to 1988. They did not participate as an independent nation again until the 1992 Olympic Games.

From 1932 all the way to 1948, Lithuania were not seen in the Summer Games because of various political issues like in 1932 where they opted out of the Summer Olympics which was being held in Los Angeles because of their association with Russia. In 1936, they were not even invited by the host country, Germany, because of the controversy surrounding the region of Memelland / KlaipÄ—da. In 1940, they went under the control of the USSR and in the period of 1952 all the way to 1988, 86 Lithuanian athletes competed in the Olympics under the USSR banner. In that same period, these athletes won a total of 60 Olympic medals.

However, in 1992, they made an appearance in Barcelona, Spain after winning back their independence two years before it. At this point, it became apparent that Lithuanian athletes have benefited from years of training provided when they were with the USSR because they won their first ever official Olympic gold medal when Romas Ubartas took the top spot in Men's Discus Throw. The men's national basketball team also won the bronze that year.

From that point on, Lithuania have been snatching medals in the Summer Games left and right. The story is almost the same in the Winter Games except they haven't won any medals.

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