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Sport Heroes Bring Serbia Together

Sport Heroes Bring Serbia Together

When most people think of Serbia, they think of Kosovo, conflict, political turmoil, and a divided country.

When most people think of Serbia, they think of Kosovo, conflict, political turmoil, and a divided country. According to the 2008 Global Peace Index published by The Economist, Serbia is ranked 85th in the world in terms of peace and conflict. But thanks to the exploits of young athletes Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic, and Novak Djokovic, people are thinking more about Serbian sport.

Ivanovic, a fresh-eyed 20 year old from Belgrade, explained at the recent Qatar Telecom German Open in Berlin, Germany, “Sport is a great way to bring people together. We are great ambassadors to our country.”

Ivanovic also serves as a UNICEF National Ambassador. As a child, she had to time her practices to avoid the NATO bombings that were occurring in the former Yugoslavia. And sometimes, these practices would occur in an empty swimming pool.

Jankovic added, “From a country that hardly had any tennis facilities, to one where the sport is the most popular and people are waking up at 3 AM to watch us play – we have come a long way.” Now, their images adorn Serbian postage stamps.

While their community has suffered a great deal due to the past conflicts, sport has had a direct impact on their lives, and has helped to unite the country in difficult times. “We’ve done an unbelievable job so far, representing Serbia in the best possible light. Great things are coming from it.” Jankovic said.

“It helps to bring good to our country,” smiled Ivanovic.

About

Article type

News

Author

Christopher Middleton

Published

Thursday, June 19, 2008 - 23:00

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