States Grow In Number
NICOSIA, 1 June 2009 - Montenegro has been officially
accepted into the family of the Small States of Europe,
following a decision at the General Assembly, here
today, of the GSSE. With the President of the Cyprus
Olympic Committee and President of the Organising
Committee of the XIII Games of the Small States of
Europe, Ouranios Ioannides, presiding over the Assembly,
the most important decision taken was the acceptance of
Montenegro into the Movement.
Despite the acceptance, however, it remains unclear
whether Montenegro will debut at the XIV GSSE in
Liechtenstein in 2011, or if their first appearance will
be at the XV Games in Luxembourg. The organisers of the
next edition of the GSSE expressed their concerns on the
extra capacity needed for accommodation and the extended
budget required if a ninth country joins the GSSE.
matter will be discussed again in November, when a final
decision will be made.
decisions of the General Assembly include the assignment
of the XVI Games of 2015 to Iceland, which last hosted
the Games in 1997.
By definition, for their eligibility
in the Games, the Small States of Europe are the
countries of the Continent with a population of less
than one million.
Montenegro, which gained independence
in 2006 when it broke away from the union with Serbia,
has a population of 620,000 (2003 census) in an area of
13,812 square kilometres.
The Montenegrin Olympic Committee was
founded in 2006 and was officially recognised by the
International Olympic Committee at its 119th Session in
Guatemala City on 6 July 2007. The MOC had 59 members at
its latest General Assembly, in November 2008.
Montenegro first took part in the
Olympic Games as an independent nation in 2008 in
Beijing, with representation in Athletics (Marathon and
Womenís 100m), Boxing (Heavyweight Class), Judo (Menís
81kg), Shooting (Menís 10m Air Pistol and 50m Pistol),
Swimming (Womenís 200m Breaststroke) and Menís Water
Polo. The Water Polo team was the most successful of the
Montenegrin entries, advancing to the bronze medal
match, but losing to Serbia 6-4.
Before independence, Montenegrin athletes
had competed in Olympic Games under the flags of Serbia
& Montenegro at the Athens Games in 2004 and of
Yugoslavia before that.