Tobias gets Lithuanian ticket to Olympics

VILNIUS - Lithuania’s president on Monday granted citizenship to US ice dancer Isabella Tobias, allowing her to compete in the 2014 Sochi Olympics with her partner from the Baltic state. The decision marked a turnaround for President Dalia Grybauskaite, who first rejected the citizenship request in January on grounds that Tobias had failed to meet the strict requirements. But the presidential office said in a statement Monday that Tobias now met the criteria for exceptional merit, after she and skating partner Deividas Stagniunas secured their Olympic berth in March. She had improved her Lithuanian language skills, the office said, while presidential advisor Indre Pukanasyte told reporters that huge public support in Lithuania had also played a crucial role in the decision.–AFP

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