Kosovo recognized as IOC's 205th member committee
Updated: 2014-12-10 09:35
MONTE CARLO - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has recognized Kosovo as the 205th member committee on Tuesday.
"This was a very important decision, particularly for the athletes of Kosovo. Now they can start to prepare for Rio," said IOC president Thomas Bach after the 96 members unanimously voted in favor of the decision.
"This is one big day, one historical day for athletes of Kosovo," Besim Hasani, chairman of the Kosovo Olympic Committee, told the assembly. "This is the beginning of a new era for the Olympic movement in Kosovo."
Serbia were unhappy about Kosovo competing in Olympic Games as an independent nation but eventually accepted the IOC's decision.
Kosovo will attend next year's inaugural European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan as well as at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro under the name of a national Olympic committee.
"We have some very good athletes who in recent years achieved world gold medals and medals from European championships," Hasani said.
"It's a good example of what can be achieved through sports and through autonomy and thanks to diplomacy of sports."
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