Georgia officially lift threat of Sochi 2014 boycott

Thursday, 02 May 2013
By Duncan Mackay

Georgia flagMay 2 - Georgia's athletes will definitely compete at Sochi 2014 after the threat of an Olympic boycott was today officially lifted.

Georgia's National Olympic Committee's President, Leri Khabelov, revealed that they voted unanimously in favour of their country's participation ahead of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) deadline of May 7 for teams to confirm that they will compete.

Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, whose Georgian Dream political bloc defeated President Mikheil Saakashvili's United National Movement party in the Parliamentary elections last October, had said earlier that Georgia must take part in the Games.

But Saakashvili's party wanted a boycott of the Games, claiming Georgian athletes cannot take part in an event held in "the country that occupies 20 per cent of Georgia's territory".

Russian tanks in OssetiaA convoy of Russian troops makes its way through the Caucasus Mountains toward the armed conflict between Georgian troops and separatist South Ossetian troops in 2008

Moscow has been keeping troops in Georgia's breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Russia recognised the regions' independence following its brief war with Georgia in August 2008.

Georgia and Russia currently have no diplomatic relations.

"We made it based on consideration of sport and I am glad the preparations of our Olympic team have not passed by in vain," said Khabelov.

Georgia at Opening Ceremony of Vancouver 2010The Georgian team wore black armbands and a black stripe graced the flag during the Opening Ceremonies of Vancouver 2010 following the death of Nodar Kumaritashvili

Georgia made its debut in the Winter Olympics at Lillehammer in 1994 following the break-up of the Soviet Union. 

They have never won a medal but made headlines at Vancouver 2010 after luger Nodar Kumaritashvili died in an accident while training on the day of the Opening Ceremony. 

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