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Jānis Lūsis

Jānis Lūsis
Lūsis in 2011
Personal information
Born(1939-05-19)19 May 1939[1]
Jelgava, Latvia
Died29 April 2020(2020-04-29) (aged 80)
Riga, Latvia
Height180 cm (5 ft 11 in)[1]
Weight90 kg (198 lb)[1]
Country Soviet Union
EventJavelin throw
Achievements and titles
Personal best93.80 m (1969)
Medal record
Men’s Athletics
Representing the  Soviet Union
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1968 Mexico City Javelin
Silver medal – second place 1972 Munich Javelin
Bronze medal – third place 1964 Tokyo Javelin
European Championships
Gold medal – first place 1962 Belgrade Javelin
Gold medal – first place 1966 Budapest Javelin
Gold medal – first place 1969 Athens Javelin
Gold medal – first place 1971 Helsinki Javelin
Gold medal – first place 1963 Porto Alegre Javelin
Updated on 1 June 2015.

Jānis Lūsis (19 May 1939 – 29 April 2020)[2][3] was a Latvian track and field athlete who competed in javelin throw.


Lūsis trained at Daugava Voluntary Sports Society and later at Armed Forces sports society. He competed in four Summer Olympics for the USSR team, winning bronze in 1964 Olympics, gold in 1968 Olympics and silver in 1972 Olympics.

The javelin competition at the 1972 Games was the closest in Olympic history. Germany's Klaus Wolfermann had taken the lead from Lūsis in the fifth round with an Olympic Record throw of 90.48 meters. Then, in the sixth and final round, Lūsis let fly with a very long effort that measured at 90.46 meters - Wolfermann's two-centimeter margin was, at the time, the smallest unit of measurement used in javelin competitions.

As of 2020, he remains the only Latvian to have won an all three classes of Olympic medals (gold, silver and bronze) over the span of his career. Lūsis set two world records in javelin throw, of 91.68 m in 1968 and of 93.80 m in 1972. He is also a 4-time European champion. In 1987 IAAF named him the greatest javelin thrower in history.

After Lūsis finished competing, he became an athletics coach. He was married to Elvīra Ozoliņa, the 1960 Olympic female champion in the javelin throw. Their son, Voldemārs Lūsis, is also a javelin thrower who competed in 2000 Summer Olympics and 2004 Summer Olympics.

During the 2009 Latvian Sportspersonality of the year award ceremony, Lūsis received the Lifetime Contribution to Sport award.

In 2014 he was inducted into IAAF Hall of Fame.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Jānis Lūsis". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 3 December 2016. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  2. ^ "1968 Olympic javelin champion Lusis dies". World Athletics. 29 April 2020. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  3. ^ "Legendary Latvian javelin thrower Jānis Lūsis passes away". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. 30 April 2020. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  4. ^ "Olympic javelin champ joins world sports Hall of Fame". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. 21 November 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
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Jānis Lūsis
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