A historic first time for the war torn nation
This is for the first time Kosovo is participating in the Olympics. The war-torn country that was declared independent just eight years ago from Serbia has already grabbed attention world-wide.
And this has happened because of 25-year-old Majlinda Kelmendi, the judoka who brought the first Olympic gold medal for the country after defeating Italy’s Odette Giufredda in 52 kg women’s judo. It was a historic moment for her as well for her country.
She returned to make her country proud
However, it is not the first time Majlinda is participating in the Olympics. In 2012 London games, she represented Albania. Though she had to return empty-handed in 2012, this time, she was determined to make her own country proud. She was also the flag bearer for Kosovo during the opening ceremony. Majlinda is now a double world champion judo player – rated as the best in any weight category in 2014 and recently reclaimed her European title, after injuries prevented her from competing for much of 2015.
Almost lost in conflict
Kelmendi has an inspirational story of escaping from the killing fields of the conflict-torn southeastern European nation with a population of a little under 1.9 million. Kosovo was only recognised by the International Olympics Committee two years ago.
The story tells us what war can do to a country and its citizens’ aspirations. It is indeed inspirational to see Majlinda to overcome the difficulties and participate. It is high time, the global community stands up against war and hopefully one day we will have an Olympics where all countries can participate without any difficulties.