People from Riga who made the year 2021 better


The Riga City Council Award “Riga citizen of the Year 2021” went to Professor Jānis Kloviņš, a doctor of Biology, for outstanding achievements in science which contributed to protection of human health and life in the conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic. The award was presented to him on Thursday, November 18, at the Riga City Council meeting, which was convened in honour of the 103rd anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Latvia.

Mayor of Riga Mārtiņš Staķis stated at the award ceremony: “Under his leadership, the analysis of the Covid-19 genome was provided at a such level that we are among the best in the world in this field.”  He also posted about the event on his Facebook page, honouring the “amazing Riga people”

Riga citizen of the year 2021, Jānis Klovins, said the following: “I have to say that I see this award more than in recognition of myself, but in recognition of science. Scientists have found a way out of the pandemic disaster that has befallen upon us. And here, too, in Latvia, last year, when we got together with one idea – to do something, to help something – it was not a separate human decision, it was a collaboration of many organizations and people involved ”.

He also called for people to think more about the future and for involving scientists more in development. “I’m not just talking about fighting a pandemic, scientists are needed for many things, their contribution can be very significant, and if we think of Riga as the city of future, I think it has to be done, and I hope it will be done” said Klovins while receiving his award.

Nikita Trojanski, an epidemiologist and blogger, received a letter of commendation for his selfless, responsible and professional work which benefited public health during the Covid-19 pandemic. On the other hand, Ieva Irbina, the head of the cultural space “Hanzas perons”, was awarded a letter of commendation for her active work during the Covid-19 pandemic, providing an opportunity to enjoy unusual and high-quality cultural events in epidemiologically safe conditions. 

Trojanski said: “From the beginning, I didn’t feel that I could influence anything. And it was people who trusted me, they at some risk, chose to invest in me and give me a chance. It is what has helped the most. I’ll tell you my favorite opinion. On communication: everything should be explained as simply as possible, but not simplified. Some complex questions do not have simple answers. ” But Irbina said: “Actually, just because we can’t do anything has made us find a lot of ways we can do it, to inspire people, to create a new environment and to create a festival in one month.” 

Anyone living in Riga could apply for the award. The submitted applications were evaluated by a jury chaired by the Chairman of the Riga City Council, Mārtiņš Staķis. The jury consisted of a physicist, Vyacheslav Kaščejevs, a professor at the University of Latvia, Lolita Tomsone, director of the Jean Lipke Memorial, Marija Ručevska, co-founder of the innovation management company Helve and a member of the board of TechChill, Eva Johansone, Ieva Lasmane, Deputy Director of the Riga Tourism and Investment Agency, Head of the Tourism Board, Villiams Vrobļevskis, Project Manager for Neighborhood Development, Riga City Council.

A person of any nationality who has reached the age of 18 and who has promoted the recognition of Riga and attracted public attention to the capital of Latvia can apply for the municipal award “Rigans of the Year”. The recipient of the award “Rigans of the Year ” is traditionally chosen on November 18, at the solemn sitting of the Riga City Council dedicated to the anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Latvia. So far, the boxer Mairis Briedis, opera singer Elīna Garanča, composer Boriss Rezņiks, tennis player Alona Ostapenko, conductors Romāns Vanags and Māris Sirmais, maestro Raimonds Pauls, director Alvis Hermanis, hockey coach Jūliuss , artist Džemma Skulme, patrons Ināra and Boriss Teterevs, as well as Zaiga and Māris Gaiļi. 


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