Artūrs Liepa, 1st-year student of the Business Administration Program at Riga Business School, successfully combines studies with the professional sports.

Artūrs Liepa began studying at Riga Business School in the Business Administration program in September 2022. Before that he participated in RBS Greenhouse program where, for demonstrating leadership, activity and high achievements, he received a scholarship to cover of the tuition fee for the first study year. Artūrs has always been active and involved in sports, and he calls triathlon “his” kind of sport. Artūrs has been a triathlete since childhood. His father, who is also his coach, instilled in him this love for sports. Artūrs has big goals – being the best triathlete amongst juniors in Latvia, and he is determined to participate in the Paris Olympics in 2024. Asked if it possible to have a double career – combining intensive business studies with high-level sports, Artūrs responds that it is more than challenging. 

At the end of 2022, the World Triathlon Championship U23 took place in the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, with the participation of the Riga Business School student. After returning from the championship, Artūrs had a chat with us.

RBS: What does Triathlon mean to you?

Artūrs Liepa: I will start with a little joke – triathlon is meant for those who do not understand that even one type of sports is difficult enough.

But seriously I “was introduced” to triathlon already at a young age. I was not even a year old, when I already started to support my father in the local triathlon competitions; a few years passed and I was taking part myself in the triathlon for children.  Later I trained in swimming, for a while and also in basketball, but gradually realizing my options, I completely devoted myself to triathlon with the Olympics being my goal. Triathlon teaches me to get to know myself, and understand strategy and tactics. It is a work both with my body, mind and emotions. It is very exiting but frequently also very complicated. 

RBS: What does combining it with the studies demand from you?

Artūrs Liepa: I enrolled in Riga Business School this year as I consider that a person cannot be an athlete one’s entire life and strong education is one of the founding stones in life. Is it easy for me to combine practices with studies? Saying it is easy, would be a lie. Combining high-level studies with a high-level sport is a challenge.  There are studies proving that physical exercise is beneficial for the functioning of the brain so I look forward to that. I know that when combining studies with sports, understanding and support of those around me, both family and university faculty members are essential.  

RBS: Recently you took part in a competition. How did it go?

Artūrs Liepa: The last competition I participated in took place in Abu Dhabi. I took part in the U23 World Championship. It was very difficult to practice before the race, and unfortunately, I was only able to practice indoors. It was a big disadvantage when preparing for this race, as it is very important whether you bike and run in conditions that are close to the one’s in the race or if you do it in the gym. Also, the difference of temperature was huge, from minus degrees to more than +30. My body was not fully ready for such a toll, but now I know what needs to be changed to make it easier in future. Emotionally I feel a sense of responsibility and duty. I must work on emotional resilience and learn how to balance my energy. In this race we had to do an Olympic distance – swim for 1500 meters, bike for 40 km and run for 10 km – it is quite a new distance for me, I am not used to it, and therefore, there is definitely room for growth and development. Of course, I was feeling sad that I did not achieve the performance I hoped for, but I have learned to look forward!

In his free time from practices and studies Artūrs loves to read books and play chess, also he likes to follow the latest news in sports and the world. Artūrs says, “I like to challenge myself physically during practices and mentally – during my free time.”

The Latvian Triathlon Federation provides a great support to Artūrs on a daily basis.

For the first time Artūrs took part in the World Championship Finals U23. 67 of the  world’s best triathletes started the race in U23 group. During the race day air temperature was more than 30 C and the water 28 C. Heat made an impact on the performance of athletes. Artūrs had a very good start in swimming and started cycling in a big group of athletes followed by the group of leaders comprised by 9 athletes. Unfortunately, Artūrs was not able to successfully complete the cycling stage due to the heat. Artūrs continued to fight and in the running stage he already caught a few athletes and finished in his debut start in U23 group in the high 56 position. It should be noted that several athletes also withdrew from the race and did not finish at all.

Aigars Štrauss
President, Latvian Triathlon Federation

Artūrs Liepa is currently the best triathlete in Latvia and he practices a lot so, with the help of successful starts in 2023 he could get closer to the opportunity to take part in the Olympics. 

Artūrs has received the Latvian champion title in triathlon several times. He is the winner of several European Junior Cup stages. Concluding the 2022 season his Junior Ranking is 2nd in Europe.

We wish success and perseverance to Artūrs in his efforts to combine studies and professional sports, and to find time also for relaxation and hobbies in the New Year – 2023!

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