Georgia officially lift threat of Sochi 2014 boycott
Thursday, 02 May 2013
May 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".
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 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.
October 2012: Georgia confirm participation at Sochi 2014 after dropping boycott threat
November 2012: Georgia set to officially announce participation at Sochi 2014 after boycott threat dropped
November 2010: Russian Deputy Prime Minister blasts Georgia over Sochi 2014 threats