GOOD AS GOLD: Maris Strombergs is among the group of Latvia’s best athletes to receive generous gifts for their Olympic performances.
RIGA - The Latvian government decided on Oct. 30 that Latvian medalists at this year’s London Olympic and Paralympic games will receive their cash awards in full, reports LETA. BMX gold medalist Maris Strombergs will receive 100,000 lats (142,000 euros), beach volleyball pair Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins, who won the bronze in London will receive 27,000 lats each. Furthermore, Latvian long-jumper Ineta Radevica, who finished fourth, will receive 21,600 lats.
Strombergs’ coach Ivo Lakucs will receive a 50,000 lats cash award. Aigars Apinis, who won the silver medal in discus throw and gold in the shot-put at the London Paralympic Games, will also receive 100,000 lats. Rihards Snikus, who finished fourth in the Paralympic Equestrian competition, will receive 21,600 lats.
The athletes’ coaches will also receive cash awards.
For their achievements at this summer’s Olympic Games, Latvian beach volleyball pair Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins, as well as long-jumper Ineta Radevica, will in addition be bestowed Latvia’s highest honor - the Order of the Three Stars.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist in the BMX Maris Strombergs was already bestowed the Order of the Three Stars after he won his first gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Radevica finished fourth in the women’s Olympic long-jump competition, one centimeter from capturing the bronze medal.
Apinis took the silver medal in discus throw at the London Paralympic Games, throwing 21 meters. This was Apinis’ fourth medal in the discus throw at the Paralympics - he won bronze in 2000, and gold in 2004 and 2008. With the medal, Apinis now has a total of seven medals in Paralympic competitions.