Latvian athlete breaks through the pain barrier for team-mates
Richard Lauznis, a cross-country skier from Latvia, lived up to the athlete oath yesterday when he completed the 5km race despite fracturing his wrist half-way through the grueling event. Richard, who is 14 years old, fell on the ice towards the end of the first circuit of the race, but got up to complete the second circuit and win a silver medal for his country. As he finished the race, an exhausted Richard told his coach "I can't do anything more, I did everything I can" and it was only then that everyone realized the extent of his injury. When asked why he kept going, Richard's answer was simple: "I had to get up because I remembered my team-mates who still had to compete and thought 'if I give up, they will be discouraged' and I wanted to show them no matter what happens you can not give up". Program Director of Special Olympics Latvia, Galina Kanejeva, said "Richard has inspired everyone on our team with his spirit and we are incredibly proud of what he has achieved".
Denis Doolan is a staff member from Ireland who heard about this story from Galina Kanejeva, Program Director, Special Olympics Latvia