Georgia to participate in 2014 Sochi Olympics

Georgia will not boycott next year’s Winter Olympics in the Russian city of Sochi after the country’s National Olympic Committee voted unanimously Thursday in favor of taking part, R-Sport reports.

The question of a boycott has repeatedly arisen in Georgia as a result of the 2008 war with host country Russia. The two countries still do not have formal diplomatic relations.

The Games will be held in Sochi, near Russia’s border with  Abkhazia, which Georgia claims as part of its territory, while Russia considers it independent and maintains a large military presence there.

“I congratulate everyone that Georgian athletes will compete at the Olympic Games,” committee president Leri Khabelov said.

Had Georgia chosen to boycott, it would be the first country to do so since North Korea refused to compete at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul because of its ongoing state of war with South Korea.

The only previous Winter Olympic boycott came when Taiwan refused to compete at the 1980 Games in Lake Placid, New York over a dispute about what its team should be called.

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