The sources of Lithuanian Sports University (LSU) are traced to the interwar period of independent Lithuania when on October 10, 1934 by the decree of President of Lithuania Antanas Smetona the Higher Courses of Physical Education (HCPE) were set up offering a higher education degree. The HCPE were founded with the idea to integrate such subjects as physical exercises and military training so that the graduates would be able to teach these subjects in gymnasiums. The short-lived HCPE were closed in 1938 and its role to train physical education teachers and military training officers was taken over by the Department of Physical Education founded at Vytautas Magnus University.
As an independent institution – Lithuanian State Institute of Physical Education was founded after the Second World War in 1945. The Institute was settled in the premises of the former Physical Education Palace built in 1934. Starting with the enrolment of 100 students, the Institute has developed and expanded over the years and decades into an institution with over 2500 students. In 1999 the Institute was renamed into Lithuanian Academy of Physical Education and in 2012 into Lithuanian Sports University.
The LSU has always been and remains to be an important centre of sports science and a fosterer of physical education and sports values and traditions in Lithuania. Since its foundation the institution has trained over 13 000 teachers of physical education, sports coaches, physiotherapists, tourism and sport managers and other qualified specialists. Many distinguished scholars, world-known coaches, prominent sports and public figures have graduated from the Academy. A great number of LSU graduates have become champions and prize-winners of the Olympic Games, world and European championships, among them are the twice European boxing champion Algirdas Šocikas, the winner of the Olympic gold medal and world basketball champion Modestas Paulauskas, the winners of the Olympic gold medals Voldemaras Chomičius, Rimantas Kurtinaitis, and Virgilijus Alekna.