From the tatami: lessons in respect


RIO de JANEIRO — This is a story about Olympic dreams, though it is not just about that. This is a story about families of all sorts, though it is not just about that.

Kosovo's first-ever gold medalist, judoka Majlinda Kelmendi // photo IJF

This is a story about fairy tales, and how sometimes at the Olympic Games, in particular within the extended judo family — and it really is a family — fairy tales really can come true.

Last Friday, at the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympics, judoka Majlinda Kelmendi carried the flag for Kosovo. It wasn’t until 2014 that the International Olympic Committee had even recognized Kosovo as a separate country — a process that had started in the sports world when the International Judo Federation became the first to say Kosovo was real, in 2012.

On Sunday, in the women’s 52-kilogram (114 pounds) category, Kelmendi won gold.

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