Tag Archives: Martins Plavins

UPDATE: Latvian “giant killers”, gone but not forgotten…

Though you wouldn’t know it from watching NBC’s frustratingly America-centric coverage of the games, two of my favorite Beach Volleyball players, the Latvian “giant-killers” Martins Plavins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs were knocked out of the running for the quarterfinals a few days back.

Honestly, most people never thought they had a chance at even getting past the preliminaries, but after killing Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser in their opening game at Beijing, the “giant-killers” were on a roll. After a surprising loss to Argentina on August 11th, they beat Switzerland 2-1 on August 13th, and were seriously on their way to the quarterfinals before getting wiped out by Austria on August 16th in a crushing 2-0 match at Chaoyang Park.

But even if they didn’t get much screen time — I had to settle for photos of their matches online! — these Baltic beach bums kicked some serious ass in Beijing and certainly put Latvia on the map in my book.

So, rock on, my Baltic brothers. Hope we see ya again in London in 2012!

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Latvian “giant-killers” rule the day!

OK, Christine and I spent almost all of our waking hours this weekend watching the Olympic coverage from Beijing and so far, we have discovered a few very interesting things…

One: the American female gymnastic’s team needs to seriously step it up, because those little girls on the Chinese team are AWESOME. Two: Chinese lady weightlifters kick ass. And three: Chinese people really, really love Kobe Bryant. Seriously, it’s kinda crazy…

And while Christine loved watching those sideways walking horses in the Equestrian Dressage events, I gotta say, my favorite moment so far was the way a couple of kinda stonerish Baltic beach bums kicked our American golden boys asses in the beach volleyball preliminaries.

It was a classic moment, the Latvian team, Martins Plavins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs, came into the Olympics placed 23 out of 24 teams. The American team, Todd “The Professor” Rogers and Phil “The Thin Beast” Dalhausser came to Beijing expecting to clean house and go home with the gold.

But in a truly thrilling preliminary match up, the Latvians showed our guys what the Olympic spirit is all about. I’m not kidding you, man, Plavins and Aleksandrs kicked ass. It was like watching Rocky beat the crap out of Ivan Drago…really, a battle of total David and Goliath proportions. It was epic, baby!

And the story behind those crazy Latvians was even cooler. There are so few beach volleyball players of note in Latvia that Plavins and Aleksandrs actually trained by playing on the beach against six other guys. SIX! Apparently, that was the only way to truly simulate the caliber of players they would face in the games. Now that is Olympic spirit, amigos. Just awesome…

And though the Latvian “giant-killers” — as they’re quickly coming to be known online — were knocked down a few games later by some bad-ass Argentians, as of right now, they still have a chance at medaling. So, rock on Latvia!

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