May 2, 2013, 9:53 AM EDT
Following the lead of Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, the country’s Olympic Committee decided in a unanimous vote Thursday that its athletes would be allowed to compete in the 2014 Sochi Games next February.
“I congratulate everyone that Georgian athletes will compete at the Olympic Games,” Georgian Olympic Committee president Leri Khabelov said.
The two countries have been at odds since a brief war over separatist South Ossetia back in 2008, and Georgia’s previous Prime Minister had threatened to boycott the Games, which will sit about eight miles from the Georgian border.
But Ivanishvili has sought to improve dealings with Russia since taking power in October, and said that competing in the Olympics is necessary if Georgia wants to have “normal relations” with its neighbors.
Russia suffered through a boycott at their last hometown Games when 65 countries, including the United States, sat out the 1980 Moscow Olympics in protest.
- Shaun White ‘more motivated’ to compete than before Sochi 0
- Lolo Jones eliminated from ‘Dancing with the Stars’ 5
- Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps hope to meet for first time before Olympic farewell 0
- What U.S.’ FIBA World Cup title means for Olympics 0
- Oscar Pistorius’ Nike contract terminated 6
- Oscar Pistorius would be allowed in Paralympics after serving sentence 1
- Oscar Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide (verdict video) 3
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (57)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)