Estonian culture minister departs for Olympics
Estonian Culture Minister Indrek Saar on Thursday evening left for Rio de Janeiro to observe the Olympics as a representative of the government.
Saar plans to attend the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games and support Estonian athletes. "The efforts of our athletes already deserve recognition," he remarked before departing.
Saar stressed that competition for medals must be done up to Olympic standards. Doping greatly undermines those ideals and the world's sports organisations need to do everything possible to safeguard the honesty of the competition, he added.
Presidential couple remind athletes to show ‘endurance of Latvia's pines’ in Rio
President Raimonds Vejonis and First Lady Iveta Vejone have encouraged Latvian athletes to “preserve the freshness of the Baltic Sea in the Brazilian sun” and to display the “resilience and endurance of Latvia’s pines.”
On the day that the Latvian national flag was raised at the Olympic Village, the presidential couple posted a prerecorded video on YouTube. “We will be with you, sending you good thoughts and wishes,” the president promised.
Vejonis also emphasised that Latvia’s rich sporting traditions fortifies and unites the nation.
First Lady Iveta Vejone asserted in the video that the entire country is cheering for the Latvian team. “We take pride and keep fingers crossed for you,” she said.
Latvia will be represented at the Rio Olympics by 33 athletes instead of 34, due to an injury suffered by women's javelin hurler Lina Muze, which has prevented her from participating.
Latvia has won at least one medal in each summer Olympics since the restoration of independence, but is hoping for at least three or four medals at this year's Games.