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Netizens Hail Latvia's 1st Gold Medal at Beijing
    2008-08-23 00:49:29     Xinhua
Latvian websites were inundated Friday with praises of the athlete who won the country's first gold medal at the Beijing Olympics, with netizens hailing him as a "national hero."

"The gold winner has brought happiness to Latvia, and we should take off our hats to salute the hero!" said "Boris" in his post on Delfi, a major Latvian website.

Many netizens believe that winning an Olympic gold medal is a remarkable feat for Latvia, which has a population of only 2 million.

"The athlete and his achievements have brought great honor to Latvia. It proves that Latvia has something to be proud of," said a netizen named "Superman."

Another said: "It was a remarkable achievement, which shows that Latvian athletes can also become Olympic champions."

Netizens posted more than 200 comments on the Delfi website to express their joy within three hours of the release of the news that Latvian athlete Maris Strombergs had won gold in the men's bicycle motocross (BMX) event.

It is Latvia's first medal at the Beijing Games, and second Olympic medal since it declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

The BMX race was held in the early morning according to Latvia's local time and many Latvians got up very early on Friday to watch the live broadcast.
 
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