In memory: Janis Lusis (Latvia)
Janis Lusis (LAT) was undoubtedly one of the greats in athletics, both on the Olympic scene and in the Masters.
His four participations in the Olympic Games from 1964 to 1976, where he won gold (1968), silver (1972) and bronze (1964), are unforgettable. He achieved his personal best in 1972 in Stockholm with 93.80 m.
The javelin throwing duel became legendary at the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972, when he lost to the German Klaus Wolfermann with two centimetres. In Munich, Janis Lusis showed himself to be a fair sportsman, a characteristic which, in addition to his modesty, made him so popular and special all over the world.
At the IAAF (WA) Janis Lusis was inducted into the “Hall of Fame” in 2014, and in 2017 the “Wall of Fame” at Riga Airport was dedicated to him.
After his Olympic career he started at the Masters; there I got to know him in 1995 in Buffalo (USA) at the World Championships; a friendship developed which lasted until these days. Recently (2019) we met at the Latvian Sports Gala in Riga. As EMA Honorary President, I had the pleasure to honour decathlete Valdis Cela with a laudatory speech for his world record in Stendal (GER). At this gala, Janis Lusis addressed reminding words to his association and referred to the proud tradition of Latvian athletics.
On Tuesday, 5 May, the great sportsman Janis Lusis will be buried in his home city of Riga.
With Janis Lusis the probably best javelin thrower ever has left us.
Tribute by Dieter Massis