On 12 September the Ambassador of Republic of Latvia, Alberts Sarkanis, together with the rest of diplomatic corp took part in a commemorative ceremony for a famous Czech sportswoman and later adviser of Czech president Václav Havel, Věra Čáslavská, who passed away on 30 August at the age of 74. The Ambassador signed a book of condolences.
V. Čáslavská belongs to prominent Czech, or more precisely Czechoslovakian, sportsmen. She won many world championships and was succesful at Olympic games in Rome (1960), Tokio (1964) and Mexico City (1968). In the years 1990 to 1996 she presided the Czech Olympic Committee. She went down in history not just for her outstanding results, but for her civic stance too – at the 19th Olympic games in Mexico in October 1968, a few months after the Occupation of Czechoslovakia, she, standing on the podium and sharing the first place with Soviet gymnast, while the Soviet anthem was playing, lowered her head, showing by that a symbolic protest against the Moscow intervention. Despite having been banned from sport competitions and social life afterwards, she became one of the sources of national self-respect and a symbol of opposition against the foreign forces.