On 29th of May 2014 at 17.00 an event dedicated to the second All-Russia Olympiad will take place in Latvian Sports Museum. This year marks 100 since the great Russian Olympic competition in 12 different sports that took place in 8 different locations in Riga and Jūrmala.

How successful was the start of Rigans and other representatives of cities of Baltic provinces? Can we still, even after 100 years, be happy and proud about Riga’s Olympiad under the wings of two headed eagle? Rita Apine, the leading research worker of Latvian Sports Museum will introduce the venue, success and defeats on the Olympiad from the 21st century’s point of view.

Yellow posters decorated with two small lions and mighty Greek athletes reported about Riga to have the honour to host the Second All- Russia Olympiad in the summer of 1914. In the early Sunday morning of 6th of July 1914 thousands of spectators and athletes travelled to the racecourse of the Union of Riga’s Trotters located in the end of Strelnieku Street to watch the parade of the Olympiad’s opening ceremony. The weather was clear that morning and the sun was heating everyone’s backs. At 10 o’clock the racecourse was full of spectators. Concerns about Rigans not to support the great Event where unnecessary.

The Olympic racecourse was decorated by flags. More than 1000 athletes went to stood of the racecourse, modified to serve as dressing rooms, to change for the parade procession. The athletes where stood in columns. The sounds of war march heralded the beginning of the great event. At the head of the procession - athletes from Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev, Revel, Riga, Tērbata, Jelgava, Penza, Ventspils, Warsaw.

The most significant was the number of athletes representing Riga – 289, after Riga - Petersburg – 211, Kiev – 150, Moscow – 68, Revel (Tallinn) – 30, Liepaja – 15, Jelgava – 10, Ventspils – 7 athletes. Athletes from further cities of Russia – Penza, Simferopol, Sevastopol, Odessa – participated in the parade. Solemn service was lead by archpriest Plif, in his speech he emphasized the meaning of sports event in lives of Russians and Rigans. After a short speech of General B. V. Smirnov, V.I. Sreznewsky, the head of Russian Olympic Committee greeted the Olympiad. The Second All-Russia Olympiad was announced to be open. A triple Hurray! pervades the racecourse to honour his majesty lord and Kaiser – Russian tsar.

The source of the photo on top of the article: Latvian Sports Museum (Author: Sohnwald, Riga)
The Second All-Russia Olympiad Opening Ceremony in the Racecourse of Riga, 6th of July 1914

Event’s photos:

Viskrievijas 1      Viskrievijas 2
Viskrievijas 3
  Viskrievijas 4
Viskrievijas 5   Viskrievijas 6