History of the Museum

The idea of creating Sports Museum arose in 1930’s when Kārlis Vītoliņš (1872-1953), a famous circus artist and a jeweller gave his sports trophies and his collection of bicycles as a gift to Voldemārs Šmidbergs (1893-1975).

After the World War II thousands of testimonies of Latvian sports history could be viewed in Voldemārs Šmidbergs (photographer and collector of sports relics) house in 11 Augļu Street. He had the largest collection in Latvia – the quantity of relics (posters, photos, medals, cups, sports equipment and diplomas) gathered in his collection in 1970s reached 10 000 items.

smidberga maja
The cultural heritage of Latvian sports history
in Voldemārs Šmidbergs house in Augļu Street, Āgenskalns, Rīga.

In 1974 Voldemārs Šmidbergs left by will his collection to the future Sports Museum. Museum’s formation started only in 1985. On the 1st of January 1990 Latvian Sports Museum was founded and named as the Museum of LSSR states physical culture and Sports Committee. Since the 7th of February 1992 the Museum is located in Old Riga, Alksnāja Street.