The first Baltic Military Winter Games took place from 4 February to 7 February in Vidzeme — Priekuļi, Valmiera and Raiskums parish at the Lake Ungurs — with the goal to find out the most powerful soldiers-athletes and teams, as well as to promote winter sports.
More than 150 soldiers and youth guards from Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia competed in various sports types and disciplines at the first Baltic Military Winter Games.
Soldiers and youth guards of the Baltic States competed in skiing — mixed relay-race and individual sprint competition — and biathlon — sprint relay-race and mixed relay-race — at the skiing-biathlon complex “Priekuļi” of the Cēsis Olympic Centre. Meanwhile other soldiers of the Baltic States participated in a hockey tournament organised at the ice hall of the Vidzeme Olympic Centre in Valmiera, whereas ice fishing contest was organised on the Lake Ungurs.
Eight athletes participated in the 7.5 kilometres long sprint distance as a result of what the first two places were obtained by the biathletes of the Estonian Military Forces. A representative of Latvia — private first class Gints Rozenbergs (Military Police) — obtained the third place.
An Estonian biathlete had the best result also among female competition. A representative of Latvia — corporal Linda Savļaka-Bondare (Training and Doctrine Command) — obtained the second best result in the 4.5 kilometres long distance, leaving the competitor from Lithuania far behind.
Meanwhile the male group of youth guards of the competition had to cover the distance of three kilometres. Representatives of Lithuania showed the best results in this category by obtaining the first and the second place. The third best result was achieved by a representative of Latvia — youth guard Egons Briedītis (Unit No. 205).
A representative of the Lithuanian youth guard organisation showed the best results also in the female competition, outpacing the Estonian biathlete. A representative of Lithuania obtained the third place, outpacing Latvian Elīna Radziņa (Unit No. 205). In total six athletes of the Baltic youth guard organisations participated in the three kilometres long distance.
The team of Estonian Defence Force obtained the first place in the soldier category of the mixed sprint relay-race of biathlon, outpacing the first team of Latvia (corporal Linda Savļaka-Bondare and private first class Gints Rozenbergs). Lithuanian soldiers obtained the third place. The second team of Latvia (private Monta Razgale (National Defence Academy) and private Artūrs Švuksts (Military Police)) reached the finish line with the fourth best result.
Lithuanian youth guards also showed the best results in this particular discipline, obtaining the first two places. The first team of the Latvian youth guards (Elīna Radziņa and Egons Briedītis) obtained the third place, whereas the second team (Pārsla Kupriša (Unit No. 218) and Imants Vilks) — the fifth place.
A representative of the Estonian army was the first to reach the finish line in the skiing sprint distance, leaving Lithuanian soldiers in the second and third position. First lieutenant Valdis Bodnieks (Military Police) was the fastest one among Latvian soldiers as he covered the five kilometres long distance with the fourth best result.
A representative of the Lithuanian Armed Force was the fastest in the three kilometres long sprint distance among females. She left behind two skiers of the Estonian Defence Force. Skier of the Latvian National Armed Forces private Gerda Āboliņa (National Defence Academy of Latvia) showed the fourth best result in the competition of nine skiers.
Lithuanian skiers of the youth guard group covered the three kilometres long sprint distance the fastest, whereas Latvian youth guard Matīss Slikšjānis (Unit No. 218) obtained the third place. A representative of Estonia was the fastest among females, whereas Lithuanians obtained the second and the third place. A representative of the Latvian team Elīna Skopāne (Unit No, 218) had the fourth best result.
The third team of Estonia was the fastest in mixed skiing sprint relay-race as it outpaced the first team of Lithuania and the first team of Estonia. Latvia was represented by three teams in the referred to relay-race and the best result — the fifth place — was achieved by the third team (private Gerda Āboliņa and private Atis Putnis (Militaru Police)).
Lithuanian skiers obtained the first two places in the mixed relay-race of the youth guard group, whereas the first team of Latvia (Elīna Skopāne and Ilgvars Caune (Unit No. 218) obtained the third place.
With the total score of 22:0, the team of Latvia obtained the first place in the hockey championships of the first Baltic Military Winter Games. In total 18 players were registered for the team.
The Latvian team won the Lithuanian Armed Force with the score of 12:0, as well as beat the Estonian team with the score of 10:0.
With the score of 3:2, Lithuanians were more powerful in the game of Lithuanian soldiers versus Estonian soldiers thereby winning the silver medal.
In the individual evaluation, a representative of Latvia — sergeant Jānis Stirna (Military Police) obtained the best result by obtaining a 1.84 kg heavy catch. A representative of the Estonian Defence Force Hanno Parnaste obtained the second place (1.67 kg), and a representative of Latvia — staff sergeant Deniss Artamonovs (Military Police) — obtained the third place (1.3 kg).
In the team evaluation, the team of the Latvian National Armed Forces (staff sergeant Deniss Artamonovs, sergeant Jānis Stirna and staff sergeant Gundars Svenckis (Military Police)), obtained the first place with the catch of 3.59 kg. Meanwhile the 2.72 kg heavy catch ensured the second place to colleagues from Estonia. The catch of Lithuanians was 2.21 kg, ensuring the third place in the competition.
Latvia was the host of the first Baltic Military Winter Games, which at the same time was also the regional competition of the International Military Sports Council (CISM). The event was organised by the Sports Club of the Armed Forces with the support of the NCO School.
Latvia was also the organiser of the first Baltic Military Games in 2003 and last year the sports event was organised in Alūksne already for the tenth time.
Such type of collaboration between the military forces of the Baltic States to a large extent has promoted also the physical preparedness, skills and growth of the Latvian soldiers in the field of sports that allows them participate at the highest level of CISM regional and global championships, as well as the Military World Games that are also referred to as the Olympics for soldiers.