Sports News

Ultramarathoner Aidas Ardzijauskas

Promising Athlete Found Dead

The long weekend brought news of a sad event to US Lithuanian basketball fans. LAUNA (ŠALFASS) president Laurynas (Larry) Misevičius relayed the news that 28-year-old basketball star Lukas Žemaitis was found dead on September 5 in a parking lot. Cause of death is not known.

Žemaitis played in the European youth championship games in 2008, when coach Kazys Maksvytis set his team on a golden path. Playing with J. Valančiūnas, Vytenis Čižauskas, Dovydas Redikas, Edgaras Ulanovas, Tautvydas Sabonis, the Lithuanian team won all eight games, taking first place after crushing Czechia in the final.

Born in Kaunas in 1992, he moved to the US to live with his father Evaldas in New Jersey, where he continued to play basketball. He represented the US-Lithuanian team in the Millenium World games in Vilnius, as well as playing in other tournaments in Washington and elsewhere.

COVID-19 Changes Ultramarathoner’s Plan

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, ultramarathoner Aidas Ardzijauskas has been forced to change his cross-world itinerary meant to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Lithuanian Independence. He will now begin his journey in Kaunas on October 1, but will restrict his route to Lithuania.

Ardzijauskas admits that COVID-19 has ruined a plan that was 10 years in the making, and he has been forced to look for news ways to move forward on it. Now he will make it a virtual itinerary. He said that the route will be recalculated taking into consideration the terrain, weather conditions, heart rate, caloric exertion and transferred to the world map.

He will be running from Kaunas through Trakai, Vilnius, Šalčininkai, Varėna, Druskininkai, Kalvarija, Kudirkos Naumiestis, Viešvilė, Šilutė, Palanga, Skuodas, Mažeikiai, Joniškis, Biržai, Rokiškis, Zarasai, Ignalina and Pabradė. This course, circling through Lithuania is 1178 kilometres long. These kilometres will be applied to a world map and shown to reach Warsaw, Berlin, Brussels, London, Washington, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Ottawa, Mexico, Havana, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Wellington, Sidney, Valdivostok, Moscow, Vilnius and Kaunas.

Ardzijauskas’ goal is to run a total of 37,500 kilometres and finish in Kaunas at the end of 2021, or possibly in Druskininkai in the summer of 2022 to coincide with the 11th Lithuanian World games. He hopes his run will encourage Lithuanians throughout the world to participate in the Lith. World games, and to join him in running any part of his route. Of course this will be a virtual course and he hopes to meet many of his running mates via modern technology.

LT Basketball Federation Signs with Huawei

The Lithuanian Basketball Federation (LKF) has signed a sponsorship deal with China’s Huawei. The logo of a company allegedly associated with espionage and human rights violations may now appear on the T-shirts of the Lithuanian national team, writes LRT news. Some observers in the country argue that the technology giant, which has been accused of links with the Chinese government and aiding Beijing’s espionage efforts, has no place in Lithuania’s favourite sport. Analyst Marius Laurinavičius of the Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis went so far as to call the deal a threat to national security.