Latvia at the Olympics

Latvia first competed at the Olympic Games in 1924. In 1940 the nation was occupied by the Soviet Union. Latvian athletes competed for the Soviet Union at the Olympics between 1952 and 1988. Latvia again gained independence in 1991 with the break up of the Soviet Union and competed at the 1992 Games as Latvia again and has for every Olympic Games since.

Their first ever official Olympic medal was in the 1932 Summer Games in Los Angeles, California, USA when Jānis Daliņš took the bronze for the men's 50km walk. That acted as a catalyst of a whole slew of Olympic medalists.

In 1948, Latvia opted to not participate in the London Games and they came back to the Olympics in 1952 but under the Soviet Union banner which they will do so until 1988.

In 1992, Latvia came back to the Summer Games as an independent country and continued their winning streak with both Ivans Klementjevs (Canoeing, Men's C1) and shooter Afanasijs Kuzmins (Men's Rapid-Fire Pistol) each getting the silver in their respective events and cyclist Dainis Ozols taking the bronze for the men's individual road race. From this point on, Latvia has been fairly consistent in every Summer Games that they attend.

As for the Winter Games, they made their debut in the first Winter Games which was held in Chamonix, France (1924). They will miss the 1932 and 1948 Winter Olympics and between 1952 and 1988, compete under the Soviet Union flag. It took them quite some time in gaining their footing in the Winter Games though because they did not win a single medal until Mārtiņš Rubenis (Luge) won the bronze in men's singles.


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