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.