The World Olympians Association understands
the need to conserve our natural resources and protect
the environment on our planet. In doing so the WOA
recognizes the excellent efforts being made through
the "Footprints" program in Latvia. Together with
Olympians everywhere we vow to help improve this
place we call home. The good work in Riga serves
to motivate everyone to carry the flame high in
knowing that Olympians are working for a better
Secretary General Dr. Liston D. Bochette
who have participated in the waste-collection bees
of the Project Footprints in 2002/2003
"I took part in the campaign Footprints because
I use nature and forest for my training and exercises.
I am very glad that such a project has finally begun
and that I have an opportunity to contribute myself
– so that rubbish under my feet does not disturb
Biathlon, 1998, 10 km, the 5 th place, 2002.
Bobsleigh, 1998, 2002.
"I want that my children breathe clean air
and walk on a clean land. With my participation
in the Footprints I hope to influence and provide
an example for the society, especially the youth.
These activities require the aspect of upbringing
Speed skating 1994, 1998, 2002.
"We can speak about global matters, which
happen around us and which worry us, but which
we are incapable of altering; however, we can
change ourselves, our attitude and our close vicinity,
if we truly wish to do it and if we want to start
acting to improve it…. And if every person begins
with small things, which surround us then all
of us will benefit, and the entire World will
benefit, as we are the ones who create the World
from tiny pieces…
Distance walking, 2000.
"My distance walking training takes place
in open air, walking along motorways, forest paths,
along the sea. When walking I see that the beautiful
nature of Latvia has been messed. Everywhere there
is a lot of rubbish left by human beings.
By participating and popularising the Project
Footprints I hope that citizens of Latvia will
become reasonable and will not throw out unnecessary
things all over. Otherwise we will bury ourselves
"I am a pedant and a patriot of the State
who likes tidiness and order in the country. And
in general, I like everything that is green and
Bobsleigh, 1998, the 6 th place, 2002.
While cleaning your surroundings you will understand,
that to drop a bottle or a tiny piece of paper
might seem a sheer little thing, still when collecting
it all back you get a full truckload out of nowhere.
Let's think about it! I want such truckloads to
form only at specially designated places and not
Luge, 1998, 2002.
"I want to walk along a clean forest. I
want to go fishing on a clean river. I want to
sunbathe by a clean sea."
Weightlifting 1996, the 10 th place, 2002.
Rowing, a Silver medal, 1980.
"Olympic movement and the “Project Footprints” are inseparable conceptions. Since they both care after people. Therefore I participate."
"The environment is a totality of external
conditions, which are interrelated to a particular
organism and which influences its processes of life.
Fresh air, clean water, good health. These are our
rights: to live in a clean environment. But we also
have an obligation: to avoid doing harm to ourselves
and to millions of other creatures by unmerciful
attitude towards nature.
Therefore, thinking globally, I am acting according
to my environment."
The "Footprints" is a wonderful opportunity
to meet other Olympians, as well as to prove that
only hard work leads to outstanding results that
can be enjoyed by oneself and others! It is exactly
the same as in sports:)
Janis Kipurs - a Gold medal
Bobsleigh, a pilot, 1984, the 4 th place for two-men
crews; 1988, the 1 st place for two-men crews.
"In life all things should be in balance
– there have to be bandits so that the police
have work to do; similarly “there also have to
be” scoundrels who litter so that the Olympians
and their supporters have also got work to do…"
||Aleksandrs Muzicenko - a Gold
Sailing in Star class, 1980.
Janis Lusis - a Gold medallist
Javelin throwing, 1964, a Bronze medal; 1968.
a Gold medal; 1972, a Silver medal; 1976, the
8 th place.
"I hate disorder at work and at home. Nature
should also be in order – clean and tidied up.
It is a question of culture and love. That is
the reason why I participate."
Javelin throwing, 2000.
"I will participate in the “Footprints”, since I wish to see pure and spruce Latvia, so that our children after us would have remembrance and work fortitude for I acknowledge that the project has a long way to go."
"Why I attend the Footprints? (Someone has
to collect this “shit”...)
Bobsleigh, a pilot 1992, 1994, 1998, the 5
th place, 2002.
An Olympian is an important factor in this event
(a bait); if one Olympian is present, at least 20-30
(I don't know the precise formula) students, pupils,
helpers will definitely arrive... The event itself
has been organised very well."
Biathlon 1992, 1994, 1998, 2002.
"It happens that each of us consciously
or unconsciously messes the surroundings, but
it is important to find time and by one's example
to convince our neighbours to tidy up the vicinity
If street sweepers do it, the majority is smiling
ironically and does not value the work, while
if well-known people do it, their initiative is
recognised and modelled. If the OLYMPIANS
can do it, why can't we do it?
Therefore I responded to the invitation of the
organisers of the Footprints to take part in waste-collection
bees, to tidy up the vicinity and, with the help
of my presence, to get started and encourage young
people to join this “green movement”!"
Judo, a Bronze medal, 2000.
"Work cannot be dirty if the idea is clean.
By tidying up my land I am purifying myself. It
really is more self-purification work. Each and
all should do it at least once in life.."
Weightlifting, the weight class over 110 kg,
1992, 1996, the 9 th place, 2000.
"Value that cannot be bought by money –
it is love towards nature that surrounds us. Parallels
can be drawn between clean and tidied nature and
an unpolluted soul. In these waste-collection
bees, by tidying up our land, we are teaching
ourselves and our children to love it and to maintain
it clean for ever."
Firstly, I participate in the Footprints in order
to create a clean, beautiful and tidy surrounding
environment in which I live – I believe it is a
duty of each citizen.
Luge, 1980, a Bronze medal, 1984, the 4 th
Secondly, being a pedagogue I am convinced that
this project involves a significant educational
aspect in upbringing and developing as a personality
and it is a transfer of experience to the next generation.
Thirdly, as an Olympian, I see myself as a good
example for the whole society and I do it in order
other people could act like me and attempt to do
the same things as I do.
||Igors Vihrovs - a Gold medallist
Gymnastics, free callisthenics, 2000.
Inese Jaunzeme - a Gold medallist
"It could not be otherwise. It was probably
a great sense of internal cleanliness. A dirty forest
looks ugly. It was like a hope that something might
change, I was restless, I went myself and I invited
my Olympians to follow me. Truly, the Footprints
did not keep me quiet and it pushed positive “craziness”
that things might come true."
Javelin throwing, 1956
Canoe, 1992, 2000, the 7 th place, 1000 m.
"We are a big family and we want Latvia
to be clean.
Waste-collection bees is a dirty work, but we,
the Olympians, are aware that it is necessary
and by participating in the bees we demonstrate
that nobody should be ashamed of them.
Our 2 years old daughter Jeïena was together with
Aleksandra and myself in all bees. Then she was
just watching, but now, at home, she does throw
anything down on the floor – she brings each sweet
wrapper to the dust bin."
"There is no special reason why I come to these
waste-collection bees. As any person I am rather
egoistic and I mostly do things that give me satisfaction.
In my opinion, it is joy and pleasure to live in
a clean environment."
Uljana Semjonova - a Gold medallist
Basketball, 1976, 1980.
"As much as possible I try to be in fresh
air by the sea, in the forest, in the countryside.
Unfortunately, one constantly comes across shocking
untidiness left by people even in lonely woods
of Latvia, let alone roadsides, banks of rivers
and lakes and seashores. It is surprising how
much the people who have done these swinish things
despise their descendants. The Project Footprints
brings together people who are not indifferent
towards the environment in which we are living.
The project is a reminder of our consciousness:
keep Latvia clean!"
"I participated because I believe that each
person has to do something in favour of the society
and the environment. The FOOTPRINTS is a good
and democratic project which is capable of involving
the youth; therefore there are good prospects
that something might change."
Ivans Klementjevs - a Gold medallist
Single canoe, 1000m, 1988; 1992, a Silver
medal, 1996, a Silver medal.
"I support the implementation of the environmental
idea of the Olympic movement because we do it
for ourselves and for the future. To demonstrate
that the environment looks better without rubbish
and papers and to make city officials think how
to provide rubbish bins for parks."
"I took part in order to truly evaluate
the beauty and tidiness and to contribute myself
to the cleanliness of the city."
"I dislike empty bottles that mess around
my feet and get on my nerves when I run through
Luge, 1998, 2002.
"I like coming to these waste-collection
bees as there is a special atmosphere. Very humane.
We leave a clean forest behind us and we provide
an example how it should happen. But there is
also another cleanliness apart from the tidied
environment, and it can be very inspiring. The
fact that I can leave such footprints gives a
feeling of great satisfaction."
Luge, 1992, 1994, 1998, 2002.
Speed skating, 1968, the 5 th place, 1500
"Why did I participate? To have a nicer
view all around."
Swimming, 100 m in butterfly stroke, 1992,
"I could not refuse the leader of the Footprints
as I myself have strict requirements for tidiness.
I am a fancier of orderliness. I hate uncleanness
wherever it is. In addition, I am convinced that
the young people who participate in these bees
will definitely avoid throwing things down and
they will have developed a desire for tidied surroundings."
Weightlifting, a Silver medal, 1956.
Distance walking, 50 km 1996, 2000, a Silver
"I am a sociable and responsive person,
therefore I try not to refuse anyone if my presence
can be of help in an event. Besides, I am truly
green inside out. I am very proud that we have
managed to plant trees and thus multiply life
on our Planet. Waste collection is the donkeywork
that has to be done. We have to get together to
achieve something and to be able to do more."
Javelin throwing, 2000.
"Day by day, in the rush of life, little
time is left over to pay attention to the fact
that we ourselves, including myself, are neglectful
to things around us. I participated in the project,
being aware of my duty towards the environment
in which I live in order to tidy it up and to
diminish the evil that we, people, cause to nature."