Rio 2016 Olympics: Georgia makes history, record number of athletes

The Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games will see the highest number of Georgian athletes compete at the global sports event. Photo from Rio 2016., 22 Jul 2016 - 17:11, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia will make history at the upcoming Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games by sending its largest Olympic team involving a record number of athletes who will represent the country at the prestigious sporting event.

Thirty-nine Georgian athletes will be in contention for medals at next month's Olympic Games, which are being held in South America for the first time. This is the highest number of athletes Georgia has ever sent to an Olympic competition. This year's team involves 30 men and nine female athletes.

Previously, Georgia sent 36 athletes to compete at the 2012 London Olympic Games in the United Kingdom, and the same number to the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia and the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, United States.

Details about the team's preparation and travel plans to Brazil were announced at a special press conference at the Georgian National Olympic Committee in Tbilisi on Thursday.

The most athletes from Georgia's Olympic team will compete at the tournament's judo discipline. Photo from press office of the Georgian Judo Federation.

The Georgian athletes will compete in 13 disciplines at the 2016 Olympic Games.

They will compete for medals in judo, freestyle wrestling, Greco-Roman wrestling, athletics, weightlifting, archery, shooting sport, swimming, trampolining, rhythmic gymnastics, fencing, tennis and canoeing.

The Georgian team in Rio de Janeiro will feature two Olympic champions, two Olympic medal winners, four world champions as well as 19 European champions and prize-winners.

Of the group, 12 individuals have taken part in previous Olympics, while this year's competition will see three-time medal winning shooter Nino Salukvadze appear at her eighth Olympic Games.

Salukvadze will also make headlines with her son Tsotne Matchavariani, who is the youngest competitor of the tournament at the age of 18. Their appearance in shooting disciplines at Rio 2016 will be the first case of a mother and son taking part at the same Olympic event.

Three-time Olympic medal winner Nino Salukvadze will appear at her eighth Olympic Games next month. Photo from

The Georgian Olympic team will begin departing for Brazil starting July 26 and arrive at the Olympic host city over several days.

A number of other Georgian professionals will also travel to Rio de Janiero for the major sporting competition. Seventeen local reporters and camera crews are also due to fly to Rio to provide live coverage of the event to the Georgian pubic.

In a bid to provide a further incentive to achieve sporting excellence in Brazil, Georgia's Government will offer money prizes for Olympians who finish in medal-winning positions at the 2016 Olympic Games. 

Gold medal winners will receive 170,000 GEL ($72,400/€65,700*) for their success, while second and third-placed athletes will be awarded 102,000 GEL ($43,400/€ 39,400*) and 68,000 GEL ($29,000/€ 26,300*) respectively.

The Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games will run from August 5-21. The tournament will involve over 10,000 competitors from more than 200 countries.

* Currency rates are equivalent with today's National Bank of Georgia exchange rate.