Kosovo at the Olympics

Kosovar athletes have been participating in the Olympics since 1912. However, due to the absence of their own Olympic committee, they have always been part of other delegations like the Serbian or Yugoslavian teams. Only in 2016 did athletes from this region participate in the Olympic Games under their own flag.

In 1912, athletes from Kosovo were part of the Serbian delegation. From 1920 to 1988 Summer Games, they were in the Yugoslavian Olympic squad. The 1960, the Yugoslavian football team who won the gold in the Rome Summer Games included Kosovo players Fahrudin Jusufi, Milutin Šoškić, and Vladimir Durković.

Boxer Aziz Salihu also won the bronze in the super heavyweight division in the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles, California, USA. After the dissolution of Yugoslavia, most of the Kosovar athletes with Serbian ethnicity went on and became part of the Serbian Olympic delegation.

In February of 2008, Kosovo was officially declared independent from Serbia but since Kosovo did not have an Olympic committee that was officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), they were not able to participate in the Summer Olympics. In 2012, Kosovar judoka Majlinda Kelmendi qualified for the Olympics and wanted to represent Kosovo. Fortunately Kelmendi had an Albanian passport and was able to compete in judo under its flag.

The Olympic Committee of Kosovo (OCK) was officially established in 2003, though they were not accepted into the IOC until 2014. They participated in their first Olympic Games in 2016 Rio, and straight away found success. Judoka Majlinda Kelmendi won the women's 52kg to hand Kosovo its first ever medal at the Olympics.

In Tokyo 2020, they added another two gold medals in judo to the country tally, Nora Gjakova won the Judo women's 57kg match and Distria Krasniqi won gold in the Judo women's 48kg match. The country now has three Olympic medals, all gold, and all from the sport of judo.

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