Paul Loicq AwardBorn Liepaja, Soviet Union (Latvia), November 5, 1940
a ranking they have maintained ever since.
Equally impressive, Latvia has participated in the last four Olympic Winter Games, from 2002 to 2014.
In addition, Latvia joined the U20 and U18 tournaments on the men’s side and the Women’s World Championship as well, establishing an impressively diverse and successful program at all levels thanks to Lipmans’ tenacity and vision.
These results are rewards for grassroots development greatly encouraged by Lipmans, who has overseen the construction of many arenas across the small nation. Today, Latvia boasts 19 ice rinks and some 7,000 registered players, numbers that tower over what Lipmans saw when he became president of the federation two decades ago.
Along the way, the Latvians have developed several world-class players, sending most on to the NHL over the last 20 years. Part and parcel with this greater success was Lipmans’ tenacity in getting the Dynamo Riga team back in the KHL so that players from the small country could develop in Europe’s most-skilled league.
But perhaps as a nation there was no prouder moment for Lipmans than in 2006 when Riga hosted the World Championship for the first time. More than 331,000 fans attended the 56 games at the two main arenas in Riga, and the success of that event has led to the awarding of the 2021 World Championship to Riga (and Minsk).
Lipmans was also very active within the IIHF family, notably as a delegate at Congress and within several committees. Overall, his contributions were recognized by his government, which, on April 12, 2001, awarded him the Order of the Three Stars (4th Class), the highest honour a Latvian can receive.