Simonas Stankevicius is the only player that you might have heard of in English football. He’s recently signed for Leicester City but yet to make a start for the premiership side. However, at 19 years of age he has plenty of time! (You may have heard of Tomas Danilevicius if you’re an Arsenal fan!)
The most famous sporting hero in Lithuania is probably basketball legend Arvydas Sabonis. Basketball is Lithuania’s second religion and when Arvydas Sabonis was elected as the NBA’s greatest impact foreign player and enshrined in the International Basketball Federation’s Hall of Fame in 2010, his legendary status was cemented. Officially Lithuania’s tallest man at 7ft 3 inches he is recognised as one of the best European players of his era with a plethora of accolades and titles under his belt. Having retired in 2005, he was voted the next president of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation in 2011, a position he still holds today.
Holding onto the sporting pedestal, at the age of only 16, Ruta Meilutyte is one of Lithuania’s youngest stars having won Lithuania its first Olympic swimming gold in 2012. Escaping the hype surrounding her impressive accolades at such a young age, Meilutyte moved to Plymouth, South West England in 2010 to further her training and live with her father.
Finally, one of our sporting heroes, watching World’s Strongest Man over the years, is Žydrūnas Savickas - widely considered to be one of the greatest strongman competitors of all time, being the only modern strongman competitor to have won every current major strongman competition - many in multiple years.
Who are your favourite Lithuanian sporting stars?
Image credit: The Guardian