How Majlinda Kelmendi’s historic Olympic medal put Kosovo on the map | The Power of One

How Majlinda Kelmendi’s historic Olympic medal put Kosovo on the map | The Power of One

People in Kosovo
look at me as a hero. I just prove to them that
even after the war, if they want something,
they can have it. If they want to be Olympic
champions, they can be. When Majlinda
won the gold medal, everything changed,
not only for Majlinda. Gold medal to Kosovo. This medal changed Kosovo, more than a century
doing politics. This is their first medal ever! Our teenagers are inspired
by that medal. But this goes beyond sport. (THE POWER OF ONE) (KOSOVO
THE BIRTH OF A NATION) I started training in judo when
I was around five years old. I love this sport because
my father was a judoka too. Watching him training made me
want to be a judoka. At the beginning of the day,
I get ready for school, then at 19:30 or 20:30
I go training. War is something that
my generation left behind, and now we have to focus
on our future. (PRISHTINA
KOSOVO) During the ’90s, Kosovo was
in a very bad situation. This situation ended in a war. Kosovo was abandoned,
as a million Albanians were forced to leave it,
being bound to go even in Albania,
Montenegro or Macedonia. Immediately after the war,
we thought that everything will change
during a night. I think that everyone saw
the need to contribute to the development of
the country, which was already destroyed. And also, was an intention
to try to be a normal state, to achieve also a final point,
as we had freedom and were aiming to have
also independence. After the independence
everyone knew that no more excuses were worth.
We needed work-work, education-education,
or training-training, and the results will come. (PEJE KOSOVO) In 2016, Kosovo took part
for the first time in the Olympic Games. This situation probably put
a bit of pressure on me, but it increased my motivation
to win a medal. (LONDON 2012
JUDO – 52KG WOMEN ROUND OF 16) In the Olympic Games
of London 2012, I represented Albania as Kosovo was not part
of the Olympic Committee. Unfortunately, the competition
did not go as it should, maybe because I was young.
Even though I was very good, I did not have enough
experience. Luck was not on my side. After the Olympic Games
in London, I had very serious offers
from very powerful states, offers worth millions
of dollars. But my coach, Toni, has
always been against that. Together, we decided
to stay in Kosovo despite the difficulties
that we had here. 70% of the population
in Kosovo is younger than 30 years old. So, we have a strong youth, an enthusiastic youth,
and with no doubt this young generation
loves sports. That is a guarantee for
future success in sports. Everybody knows that Kosovo,
as a new country, has faced many challenges
since 2008, such as dealing with
countries which have not recognised
Kosovo as a state. But the Olympic gold medal
won in Rio was the best promotion
for Kosovo and that was achieved
thanks to sports. Kosovo has been struggling
for years, daily, monthly, yearly,
to finally hear the news that the IOC accepts Kosovo
as a country. 9th December
of 2014. 9th December of 2014. – 9th December of 2014.
– 9th December of 2014. 9th December of 2014. OK. I would like to propose to
move to point 7 of the agenda.
This is the recognition of National Olympic Committee. Mr Miro, please. Kosovo is a real
sports country. We are waiting for
your approval of the National Olympic
Committee in Kosovo. On December 9th,
the IOC Session was held and the agenda was
the admission of Kosovo. We tried to think
it was going to be fine, but we were so excited
at that moment. The hearts of all athletes
and myself wished to conquer that dream. ..the Kosovo Olympic Committee. Who is in favour?
Please raise your hands. Thank you very much. The Kosovo Olympic Committee
is a full member of the International
Olympic Committee of the Olympic family
and the Olympic movement. This has been a dream
come true for a quarter of a century, for all sports people
and for me personally. On that day,
we had morning training and we actually
shortened training and we all went to Toni’s
house to watch the event. The moment Kosovo
was recognised, there was absolute quiet
in the room. Toni started to cry and it was a very exciting
situation for all of us. We have been waiting
for this news with enthusiasm,
with great desire, that all the work we have done, all the result summarised
in other competitions culminate with medals
in the Olympic Games – that personally has been
my greatest wish. This is one big day,
one historical day for athletes of Kosovo.
Thank you. Thank you very much. You can imagine the moment when we came
in the stadium, when the whole world
had their eyes directed to a new state
that is being presented, and on the other hand,
for me personally it was very special
that my student who was born in this hall, grown and built as athlete
in Kosovo, has come up with the flag
of our state. Anes knows how to behave with the father-son figure
in training. In his beginnings,
he hadn’t specific skills compared to other children, but sometimes
he had a lack of them. What made me incredibly
impressed was his insistence on
completing all tasks. As a child,
Anes was a spoiled one. He used to cry during
all the exercise if he couldn’t fulfil
the goals. Majlinda Kelmendi,
with her sports achievements and her behaviour
even in gym here, the world or even
in the street, she’s a role model
for every young person. She has proved that
with witty work and a huge sacrifice,
everything is possible. Majlinda is a hero of Kosovo. Young people are now
motivated to achieve great success not only
in sports, but in other areas. And I am very excited
to be able to meet and stay with Majlinda. Italy against Kosovo in the final of the women’s
52kg division here, and now a moment… My dream is to qualify
and win the Olympic Games. Thus, I will focus
on exercising and make sacrifices
for the gold medal. Right now, not all the doors
are open for us in sports. We have a gold medal, but we should not be satisfied
with only a medal. I know Anes.
He is a talented child. Anes for the moment
is 14 years old, a prospective boy,
and I believe that one day he will be a competitor
of the Olympic Games because he is dedicated, and is seriously working
hard with his coach. I was runner-up
world champion 2015, European champion in 2016, runner-up European champion
in 2017. When I saw Majlinda
with a flag in her hand, and our flag was on top, it was an unbelievable
moment for me. I imagined myself,
that in future I could succeed
as Majlinda did. My main goal is Olympics
Tokyo 2020, and I hope to win a gold medal,
just like Majlinda, representing Kosovo. I believe that Donjeta
one day can achieve the same results
in the seniors category and automatically
would be a girl that could win
the Olympic medal. I did not take part in Rio, because I was in the
same category with Majlinda. I went there to help the
Olympic team in future generations. The medal I think has given
many good things to Kosovo. In Kosovo we have
great athletes and we have to be proud
of them. My goals for the future are
to follow Majlinda’s footsteps and bring to Kosovo
as many medals, world, European
or even Olympic Games. Distria has played a major
role in making Majlinda a competitor because
a sparring partner in our sport plays
an important role. Maybe she is waiting
for the moment when Majlinda ends her career
so that she can take over. Young people in Kosovo
are very talented and with a tendency
to martial sports. I believe that my success has
motivated many young people in their career. At the moment when
Majlinda reached a final, I was pretty sure that
the gold medal will be ours. Her achievements to the end
and the final itself are big achievements written
with golden letters. I remember myself saying, “She’s the new hero
of my country.” There were tears,
there were laughs and joy. It’s very hard to describe
that special moment, but for sure that’s a moment that I will never forget
in my life. Four minutes in life are short, but in judo,
especially in a final of the Olympic Games,
are too long. She’s ready for this.
She is ready for this. She’s waited such a long for
this. Competed in… It is a fact that I wanted
to write history. And perhaps, for many athletes
it is a pressure, it makes them not
give their best. But for me it’s different. It is just an honour,
a pride, a privilege. It motivates me and gives me
much more power. For Kosovo, Majlinda Kelmendi! Those four minutes of a match have been the longest
four minutes in my life. In the final, I was calm
and convinced for victory. The Italian athlete
was a competitor who I have beaten
several times. In the final, I was convinced
that I will triumph and so it happened. I can remember this fight
in every detail from the beginning –
second per second, I’m able to describe it because my brain has
been so focused in that fight. After it finished, I cannot
remember anything. The Olympic gold medal
is certainly not my medal. It is the medal of
all Albanians. Gold medallist
and Olympic champion in blue, for Kosovo. Majlinda Kelmendi! Majlinda’s performance
has left us speechless, and it’s hard to say
something about her work. I have refused millions only
to represent my state, my people. I am happy for
the fact that I have succeeded.
I managed to tell the world that I come from Kosovo, we are worth and able
to achieve anything. So when I win gold medals, when
I raise the flag of Kosovo, especially in countries
that do not recognise Kosovo, I am the happiest person. I’ve been the protagonist
of such a big event and I think it’s something
that can’t be described. I knew that all Albanians
were watching me and they felt proud of me. Nevertheless, what happened
to my career at that moment, was the culmination of
everything. There is nothing that can
replace that moment in my life. Ladies and gentlemen,
the anthem of Kosovo. When Majlinda
won the gold medal, everything changed,
not only for Majlinda. A new era of Kosovo started when Majlinda
won the gold medal. The gold medal of Majlinda
gave hope. I believe that has given hope
to every girl in the world. This example should be
taken for powerful states so that we can get the
opportunity to move forward and tell the world
that we have real value. I would like to ask her how she has managed
to do all this great work even though she comes from
a small village in Peja, how she has come to be
known all over the world. I had the chance
to see her when she came to the airport,
so I walked away quickly. I could not say her
“Bravo, Majlinda.” I know Majlinda Kelmendi,
and she is well known in Kosovo, and all of us
are proud of her results. Majlinda won the gold medal, represented us with dignity
and made us proud. I felt so proud of her,
because I saw that Kosovo was presented
in good way there and with a high quality. That medal it’s a new
recognition for Kosovo, because many countries which
didn’t recognise Kosovo, now will learn
through Majlinda about us. She’s a sparkle for
Kosovo in sports. She means a great example
for us, for our country. We are proud of her and that
she has never betrayed Kosovo, though, she had many offers
from other countries, but she is still here. This medal changed Kosovo, more than a century
doing politics. Sports means everything, sports
gave everything to Kosovo, and sports contributed to
change us more than everything else. It’s been a great presentation
of Kosovo in all conditions. – Are you excited?
– A little bit, yes. Don’t worry. It is super great that
you’re going to meet her. You will need it
for your future. Yes, it will help me,
of course. – Hello.
– Hello, Majlinda. – How are you?
– I am fine. – When you arrived?
– Just now. – What’s your name?
– Anes. I’m Anes. – From Pristina, right?
– Yes. Maybe you have just
seen the pictures. That one is when we were in the ceremony of
the Olympic Games. Have you followed me
in Rio? Yes, of course. Very good. I’m happy with the fact that
this Olympic medal and my success are a motivation
for youths and friends of your age in Kosovo. It is very good that you came
to meet me today. – Thank you very much.
– I am very glad. How did you achieve
this success? How did you become an
Olympic Games champion? For many people this
was an abstract thing, it was impossible to win
the Olympic medal. It is not easy, you have
grown and live in Kosovo but when you
have the desire and you work hard,
nothing can stop you. This is the medal. It is very heavy. – You never saw it, right?
– No, only in pictures. I hope I can win
a medal as you did. If you work hard,
nothing is impossible. Of course. Now there is no athlete
in Kosovo who does not believe
that European, world or Olympic medals
are achievable. And that is something
that every country dreams of. In the end, Majlinda showed
that great commitments will never get lost. Your country does not
create your personality, but your own personality,
your character and the motivation you have,
leads you to overcome and level up. Representing Kosovo in
international competitions means everything to me.
For me, it is my life.

74 Replies to “How Majlinda Kelmendi’s historic Olympic medal put Kosovo on the map | The Power of One”

  1. This series (the power of one) fits perfectly with Yuna Kim, please made a video about her, the impact she had in South Korea in figure skating is something so unique and unbelievable, she really set herself apart from everybody else and change her nation mentality bout that sport :')

  2. Majlinda Kelmendi è una cittadina della Serbia, può scegliere se giocare con l Albania o con la Serbia, visto che il Kosovo è Serbia e lo dico da italiano.

  3. And the most amazing thing is that Kosovo was accepted that year for the first time — and for the first time she got a medal and a GOLDEN one. She really is amazing !!

  4. proud of you God blessed Majlinda Kosovo And Big Albania soon ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  5. Vajzat Shqiptare ma shum Jan ne sport dhe ma shum te suksem se kta mshkullit qe vetem rrin naper kafe tu fantazu dhe tu u mir me punt e kshija

  6. Mailinda na bene te lumtur, ty je Ambasadorja me e mir per Kosoven dhe gjith shqiptareve ,Te uroj shendet dhe suksese.

  7. Kam refuzu shume miliona vetem me prezentu vendin tim venin e Kosoves te lumte bija e Kosoves krenare edhe motiv per ne te rinjte edhe pse politikanat na murren ne qafe

  8. The power of freedom the power of love for ur country the power of Sport God bless u Majlinda. Te duam

  9. Ju politikarat e kosoves Karin ren MA hangshi muta bre qkulana kjo asht shqiponje e kosoves e ju politikarat mutat e kosoves

  10. Kosovës ajo i ban dritë bravo Po President at kryeministrat e shumë tjeret Po e ndalin driten Po e lane ne terrë që 20 vite

  11. Krenar qe Femra Shqiptare i tregon botes se eshte hyenore. Por ta kuptojme edhe ne Mashkujt, qe vajzat tona nuk jane te lindura per roberi!!!

  12. Ju lumte per dokumentarin Suksese Luaneshes Majlinda e te tjereve.
    Turp per folk muziken serbe gjate pritjes se Majlinda Kelmendt ne autobus. A smundet te leshoni Bareshen apo diq tjeter shqip

  13. What an amazing story love it every bit of it. Even though they suffered so much under Serbian government. They stand tall here they left the past behind them and focus on the future.. that show this people deserve freedom more then anyone. I’ve seen Serbians flooding around social media claiming Kosovo je serbia with so much hate. That only shows who they really are.. Kosovo I’m proud of you ????❤️

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