Kosovo’s First Olympic Gold Medal

My friend Nicole emailed me to suggest I write about the Olympics. And I was like, “Ummm. Right. The Olympics.” I’ll gladly watch the Olympics if they happen to be playing in a room I enter, but they are not something I seek out.

Having said that, this year is a big deal for Kosovo. Despite the fact that Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, this is the first time Kosovo has been represented in the Olympics.

Majlinda Kelmendi, who previously represented Albania in the 2012 Olympics, just won Kosovo’s first gold medal in women’s-52kg judo.

Photo taken from the BBC website

Malindja Kelmendi is from Peja, Kosovo. I haven’t yet been to Peja, but it is high on the list of Kosovar cities I plan to visit. Peja is in the “big mountains,” as people here call it, and is home to a brewery that brews its namesake beer.


This year, Kosovo is represented by 11 athletes in the Olympics. If you are curious to learn more about Malindja Kelmendi, I suggest checking out the BBC articles here and here.

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