Kastytis Pavilonis

 

We are joyfully starting this year. A start that was given one hundred years ago marked the beginning of race walking competitions. The first steps were timid, but they left remarkable footprints. Generations changed, new traditions were being made, and the first victories and records have been written in the chronicles.

We are proud of our athletes‘ achievements that include Olympic silver medal won by AntanasMikėnas and 29 other Olympic performances. Every Olympian’s participation in the Games is a reflection of countless hardworking athletes, devoted coaches, dedicated efforts of sport scientists and physicians.

We appreciate the work of organizers and judges, who created sport competition system. Our traditional events in Birstonas and Druskininkai are well known outside the country. Alytus race walking festival has been organized for 45 years already and has seen many Olympic, World and European champions as well as multiple record holders from 46 countries. It is these events that led us towards the pleasant evaluation of our efforts – an honour to organize European race walking cup in Alytus in 2019.

This year we shall celebrate several occasions. 30 years ago, in 1989, we were the first among all sports to create an independent sport organization in the country – Lithuanian race walking association – whose leader legitimately held President status, an event that had not happened before.

One of association’s tasks was to increase the publicity of Lithuanian race walking inside and outside the country. The current festive issue #30 of “Lietuvos ėjikas” (“Lithuanian race walker”) that is one of the kind in Lithuanian race walking community will be welcomed as usual with great enthusiasm and shall provide vast information and illustrate sport competitions.

In autumn, after World Championships held in hot Qatar, where we expect fast walking by our athletes, we shall meet in jubilee race walking event in our country, and we shall pay regard to our athletes and coaches, judges and scientists, organizers and sponsors, who make race walking possible in our country.

We are wishing that the next century would be meaningful, and would bring new victories, new records, and our national anthem would be played in all places of our planet.

Kastytis Pavilonis

President of Lithuanian race walking association

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