On 10 January, the 4th Baltic Military Sports Games were opened with an ice-hockey match between Latvia and Canada. The Minister for Defence, Raimonds Bergmanis, also took part in the opening event.
“Ice-hockey makes you tougher the same as military training on the ground does. These soldiers that we have met today on the ice-rink are ready to stand side by side and protect the values that we stand for,” stressed Defence Minister Raimonds Bergmanis.
“Ice-hockey helps to develop different things. First, it brings armed forces closer together. This is an opportunity to promote solidarity and represent our country with honour. Competitions like these are very important,” expresses Captain Bernie Lafontaine, the coach of the Canadian Armed Forces ice-hockey team.
With the score of 11:2, the Latvian Armed Forces team lost to the Canadian Armed Forces team. Goal scorers for the Canadian team were Francis Ouellet, Dominic Beausolei, Mathieu Deshenes, Bryan Oullet and Sheldon Gauley. For the Latvian team, goal scorers were Corporal Raivis Brencēns (Military Police) and Senior Sergeant Helmuts Dežurovs (Air Forces Air Base) by doing a penalty shot.
From 10 to 12 January, the 4th Baltic Military Winter Games took place in Cēsis and Valmiera which brought together participants from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and for the first time also from Ukraine and Canada. The Canadian participants took part only in the ice-hockey tournament.
This was the second time when the Baltic Military Sports Games took place in Latvia. Latvia organised the 1st Baltic Military Sports Games in 2014.