The good news regarding winter sports have been of abundance lately. First, the Latvian slider Martins Dukurs became the European Champion again and earned his 50th World Cup. Second, it was announced that Sweden wants to include Latvia’s Bobsleigh Track in Sigulda in its Olympic bid. And third, Sigulda itself had done a great job, calculating that due to the success of our bobsleigh and skeleton athletes, the municipality has more gold medals per head of population than anywhere else in the world.
As ibsf.org writes, Martins Dukurs has become the most successful skeleton athlete of all time: in addition to 50 wins out of a total of 79 World Cup races, he has secured a further 16 podium finishes and the overall World Cup title eight times in succession since 2010. Several Olympic medals are also into his account.
Martins’ hometown, the small city of Sigulda in Latvia, and the Sigulda Bobsleigh Track have often been dubbed “the mint of medals” in Latvia. Not only Martins and his brother Tomass Dukurs, but also many other athletes have made impressive achievements and brought Latvia’s name in the world. Indeed, the Sigulda municipality has actually counted that it has more gold medals per head of population than anywhere else in the world. Sigulda has 18,677 inhabitants, according to the data of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, currently accounting for about 1% of the total population of the country, yet a total of 10 Olympic Winter Games medals won during the last three Winter Olympic Games. That's one medal per 1867 inhabitants, thus taking first place in the world, eng.lsm.lv reports.
The city and the Sigulda Bobsleigh Track have also just been honoured with an offer that is difficult to decline: the representatives from Stockholm's bid to organize the 2026 Winter Olympics have approached the Latvian Olympic Committee for the Sigulda Bobsleigh Track to be included in its Olympic bid, as Stockholm does not have its own bobsleigh track. However, in order for the Sigulda Track to be able to host the Olympic bobsleigh, luge and skeleton events, it would have to be reconstructed, as it is not possible to organize 4-man bob competitions at the facility in its current form, eng.lsm.lv reports.