Kosovo's first Olympics winner gets hero's welcome at home

August 14, 2016 21:59
1 minute read.


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


PRISTINA - Thousands lined the streets of Kosovo's capital on Sunday to give a hero's welcome to judo champion Majlinda Kelmendi as she arrived home after winning a gold medal in Rio 2016, the first Olympic games in which the small Balkan country took part.

Twenty-five year-old Kelmendi won gold last Sunday in the 52kg category, making history for the country of 1.8 million people which became independent in 2008.Fans waving Kosovo flags chanted her name "Majlinda! Majlinda!" as Kelmendi waved to people from an open bus covered with her photo.

"When she won I cried like a baby. That was the best moment of my life since we declared independence," said Emin Krasniqi, 62, as the bus carrying Kelmendi drove by.

The young woman had taken part in the London 2012 Olympics under the flag of Albania, as Kosovo was not yet recognized by the Olympic Committee.

"It still looks as a dream," Kelmendi told reporters after walking on the red carpet rolled out for her at Pristina's airport, where she was welcomed by Prime Minister Isa Mustafa.

"All the hard work and sacrifice I made, I did them for my country and my people," Kelmendi said, adding that she plans to participate in the next two Olympics.

Kelmendi will get 100,000 euros ($112,000) from the government for winning the gold medal as Kosovo, one of Europe's poorest countries, has said it would reward all medal winners.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Breaking news
April 25, 2019
Sri Lanka's defence secretary resigns following terror attack