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THE VOICE OF INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIA

26 April 2017
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Section 14: SPORT AND LEISURE

Rūta Meilutytė, born 19 March 1997, is a Lithuanian competitive swimmer, Olympic gold medalist, and world record-holder. She is the current world record holder in the 50- and 100-meter breaststroke (long course). At the age of 17 she was also the first and the only swimmer in history to win all the possible swimming titles in all age groups.

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Lithuanian-American Johnny Podres (1932-2008):
US baseball’s ‘most
valuable player’ in 1955

Johny Podres, Lithuanian American, son of immigrant parents, born and raised Upstate New York, pitched two historic World Series wins against the New York Yankees in 1955. The World Series championship was the one and only victory in the history of the "Brooklyn" Dodgers. Subsequently, the Dodgers (and Podres) moved to Los Angeles in 1958.

People always said the cigarettes and the gambling and the whiskey and the late hours would surely get Johnny Podres. In 2008, those experts were proved right. Now they’re going to have to explain how The Pod made it to 75.

Read more...

Category : Lithuania in the world / Sport & leisure

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The other dream team
New film about Lithuania’s 1992 basketball team

The Other Dream Team is a documentary film directed by Marius A. Markevičius (picture). The inspirational story of the 1992 Lithuania national basketball team and their incredible journey from the clutches of Communism to the Summer Olympics in Barcelona. It stars many famous basketball persons like Yao Ming, Arvydas Sabonis, David Stern, Jim Lampley, Bill Walton, Šarūnas Marčiulionis, Paul Gasol and others. The film should be released in 2012.

When you hear the words "dream team" the names such as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen come to your mind. That's the squad of USA national team in Barcelona Olympic Games 1992. But that wasn't the only team in Barcelona which deserves the title "dream team". The other dream team was Lithuania.

The moment of Lithuania returning to the world's basketball family and instantly winning bronze in the Olympic Games was a unique moment in the history of basketball, memories of which brings NBC Sports Broadcaster Jim Lampley to tears. The full movie features many basketball legends such as Bill Walton, Šarūnas Marčiulionis and more.

TalkBasket.net presents you the trailer of the new documentary by Marius A. Markevičius called "The other dream team". Enjoy the video.

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Category : Front page / Sport & leisure

Arvydas Sabonis – EuroBasket 2011 ambassador and basketball legend

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Sabonis at the “Berlin ITB”, held 9 – 13 March

AP photo


In Lithuania, basketball has an almost religion-like status and a big part of the population considers hosting a EuroBasket an once-in-a-lifetime experience.

In this context, it's easy to understand why the EuroBasket 2011 official ambassador needed to be a "larger than life" figure. Luckily, figures -Lithuanian or otherwise- don't come any bigger than that of Arvydas Sabonis.

The basketball legend who revolutionized the game in the 80's, when he showed the world that a big (2.22m big to be precise) player could pass the ball like a point guard and shoot from long range even better than one, was the automatic choice when the LOC and FIBA Europe asked themselves who better personifies Lithuania and EuroBasket 2011.

Sabonis, in his capacity as the official ambassador has been promoting the event all over Europe since late October. "This is a big day for our country, after 72 years basketball is coming back to Lithuania",
"We built five new arenas, EuroBasket is very important for our young players and for all Lithuanians, for us basketball is like a second religion."

Read more...

Category : Sport & leisure

Lithuanian sport A – W

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Ramūnas Vyšniauskas, the weightlifter whose medal collection contains European silver and bronze medals.

There are over a hundred different kinds of sports in Lithuania, with the top three most popular sports being basketball, football, track-and-field. Check this web page to read more: http://lietuva.lt/en/sport

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Category : Sport & leisure

OPINIONS

Have your say. Send to:
editor@VilNews.com


    • Toronto Raptors select Jonas Valančiūnas

      Jonas Valančiūnas

      By Mike Ulmer

      This week the Toronto Raptors drafted Jonas Valanciunas out of Lithuania and while it matters little where he is from, it matters quite a bit where he will stand.

      At centre.

      When, of course is anybody's guess. Still, the Raptors decision to draft him at number five at Thursday's NBA draft was great fun to dissect.

      First, the whole deal was a surprise. It had widely been assumed that given the chance, the Raptors would opt for either Kemba Walker or Brandon Knight. Both were point guards and explosive athletes who could supercharge the Raptors in the open count and supplement Jerryd Bayless and Jose Calderon.

      It turns out no one was more shocked than the 19-year-old Lithuanian.
      "I was so surprised, so happy," he said from New Jersey moments after being selected. "I didn't think I was going to be drafted so high."

      Valanciunas, a kid whose 231 pounds is spread on a surface about the size of PEI knows he must get bigger but he covets the chance to bang bodies in the low post. He sees himself as a centre, now and forever.

      "I'm not ready yet but I will work hard and improve. I will get my body bigger and stronger."

      At 19, it will take a while for Valanciunas to reach Toronto.

      There are media reports of a necessary buyout with his European team and the fact that he is probably still growing means immediate immersion in the NBA is highly unlikely.

      All this, in turn, means that while Andrea Bargnani pines for more time at power forward, his immediate future looks to be at centre where he will be subject to the defensive demands of new coach Dwane Casey. There will be help for Bargnani. It will be Valanciunas but it will not arrive soon.

      The selection will prompt the usual eye-rolling that the Raptors are Euro-centric. By selecting a European big man instead of an American guard, the Raptors will invite still more people to buy into that notion.

      Truth is, the Raptors got the best potential centre in the draft. Valanciunas pocketed 12.8 points and 8.5 rebounds in just 21 minutes a night in Lithuania. He is smooth for a big man with a great motor and a hunger for defence and rebounding.

      Finally, there is the question of timing. When GM Bryan Colangelo signed a two-year contract extension with a club option for the third no one thought he would invest in something as slow to mature as a green banana. Yet he drafted a player whose journey to the roster could take years.

      It speaks to an enviable confidence. Say what you want about Colangelo, his only term is long.

      Read more about Jonas Valančiūnas:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonas_
      Valančiūnas

      Read more...

    • Please place Johnny Podres in your gallery of great players.

      Keeping the conversation going about famous Lithuanian American sports giants: Johnny Podres, born in Upstate New York, helped the Brooklyn (now Los Angeles Dodgers) win their first series championship in 1955 against the formidable New Yankees. The links have invaluable information about Podres who as pitcher won 2 games (4-2 and 2-0) in October, 1955. Please place him in your gallery of great players.
      http://www.usbaltic.org/celebrities/
      johny_podres.php


      Aciu ir linkeimais,
      Tony Mazeika,
      Mission Viejo, California, USA


      P.S. You have put together an outstanding interactive website. Congratulations.
      TM

      Read more...


    • Lithuanian sportsmen in the US
      Mention the words Sport and LITHUANIA and the next word you hear is always BASKETBALL. While a number of Lithuanian players have gone on to careers in the NBA it may surprise you to find out that quite a few Lithuanian athletes have had succesfull professional careers in the U.S.A. in other sports as well. What may be even a little more surprising is that these athletes excelled in what are considered "American" sports. As an example, did you know that the two players that most people say were the greatest players in the National Football League were Lithuanians?

      BASKETBALL

      Basketball is the sport that has tied Lithuania and USA closest together, so let's first introduce you to the Lithuanian basketball stars "over there".

      Sarunas Jasikevičius
      July 2005 Sarunas Jasikevičius signed a three year contact with the Indian Pacers of the NBA. The point guard, who won three consecutive Euroleague championships, agreed to a three-year deal with the Pacers. Back in 1998, he was a solid wing player with Maryland, known for his shooting and intelligent play. He went back to his native Lithuania and plied his skills in club ball in Europe, becoming one of the best at his position. Arunas said "European ball is getting closer to the level of the NBA. I don't feel I have to play there to prove myself as a player,"
      Read more...



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