Majlinda: Much More than an Olympic Champion.

12 July 2021 By Paul Martin

Double former world and reigning Olympic judo champion Majlinda Kelmendi has a realistic hope to gain another Olympic gold for the previously war-torn nation of Kosovo in eastern Europe.  This nation of fewer than two million people is taking part in the Olympics in Tokyo under its own flag for only the second time – a flag Majlinda will be carrying proudly into the stadium.  She and her coach come from the same small town, Pejë.   We’ve been there with Majlinda as she prepared for a personal and national triumph, winning the Olympics in 2016, leading to national idolisation.

Before viewing our newest version, have a look at how we reported it in 2016 for BBC World’s Sport Today:

BBC reports Majlinda’s return, (C) by Paul Martin

And here’s another version we did in 2016:

Now view our latest unique portrait of a champion in an historic bid for glory at her — and her new country’s –second Olympics.

An introduction to the video:

“One flag is being raised for only the second time at an Olympic Games.  It belongs to Kosovo, a country of fewer than two million people in eastern Europe.  It’s still recovering from a war, and, as a breakaway state, it has had a tough struggle for recognition.  Judo played a key role in getting official Olympic recognition for the Kosovan sports team.  In fact the country has only one defending Olympic champion: a 30-year-old judo athlete called Majlinda Kelmendi, who’s also a double world champion.  Film-maker Paul Martin went to Kosovo to find out more about Majlinda and her coach, and the history they’ve made — and could be making again.”

And here’s a slightly shorter slightly tighter version:

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