Cover yourself in Latvian culture with the World Champs’ medal and shirt!18 July 2023
75 days until the World Road Running Championships in Riga, we have unveiled the medals’ design created by Maija Rozenfelde, inspired by Latvian culture. Both the design of the medals, created in inspiration of Niklāvs Strunke’s work “A Man Entering a Room,” and the official running shirt of the championships, featuring Vilhelms Purvītis’ work “In Spring (Springtime)”, have been made with the kind support of the Latvian National Museum of Art, allowing Latvian art to become an integral part of the global sports and athletics events.
The official running shirt of the championships, featuring Vilhelms Purvītis’ artwork “In the Spring,” along with the medal design, made possible with the support of the Latvian National Art Museum, will allow Latvian art to enter the realm of global sports and athletics. Both artworks, “A Man Entering a Room” by Niklavs Strunke and “In the Spring (Springtime)” by Vilhelms Purvītis, are prominently showcased in the permanent exhibition of the Latvian National Museum of Art.
To strengthen the profound connection between Latvian culture and the World Championships, the starting point for the Road Mile race will be situated at the base of this iconic museum. Additionally, participants in the 21 km distance will have the privilege of running past this prominent architectural gem.
Vilhelms Purvītis (1933/1934) “In Spring (Springtime)” (© Latvian National Museum of Art)
At the outset of organising the championships, we made it clear that Latvian culture and art would be integral to the inaugural World Championships. Participants of the World Championships will have the chance to enjoy singers and dancers during the race. The official shirts will proudly feature Purvītis' masterpiece “In the Spring”, and the medals awarded to both world champions and mass race participants at the finish line will be inspired by the renowned artwork by Niklāvs Strunke.
Head of the LOC of the World Athletics Road Running Championships in Riga
The World Championship podium finishers in the Road Mile, 5km, half-marathon and half-marathon teams’ standings will earn medals in gold, silver and bronze according to the place earned. The medals are designed to be heavy to represent the hard work, long hours and energy put into training by the athletes to become the best in the world.
Finishers’ medals hold immense significance as a well-deserved reward for the determination and perseverance displayed by all participants throughout the course, as well as the effort they invested in training. Receiving a medal upon crossing the finish line holds particular importance for mass race participants. Therefore, all participants who complete the World Championships over 21 km, 21 km relay, 5 km, Road Mile race, and the Kids’ Day distance races will receive medals.
What sets the World Championships medals in Riga apart is that they are designed with the motifs of Strunke, ensuring both world champions and mass race finishers receive these special tokens of accomplishment.
The concept behind the medals is rooted in the geometry of the race, encompassing elements such as body position, step angle, breathing rhythm, and pulse rate. It symbolises the multifaceted journey of each participant towards the finish line, abstractly representing the length of the specific distance (1 mile, 5 km, 21 km). The longer the distance, the more strategic and precise effort must be invested, overcoming various obstacles.
Medal design author, partner at "KID Design", an associate professor at the Latvian Arts Academy, and the head of the Design Department
Niklāvs Strunke (1927) “Man entering the room” (© Latvian National Museum of Art)
Stylistically, Maija drew inspiration from the work of Niklāvs Strunke, one of the most original artists from the Latvian modernist generation. Strunke’s artwork “A Man Entering a Room” from 1927 is prominently featured in the permanent exhibition of the Latvian National Art Museum. His works were influenced by constructivism, drawing upon the foundations of futurism and cubism.
The championships program and medals have been intentionally designed to allow the most enthusiastic runners to aim for all three championships medals by participating in multiple distances. It begins with the Road Mile race, followed by the 5 km distance, and culminates with the option to run either the 21 km half marathon or participate in the 21 km relay in the afternoon, with each participant covering approximately 10 km.
With 75 days to go until the inaugural World Championships in Riga, will you conquer the challenge and earn all three World Championships medals?