National Olympic Committee

A National Olympic Committee (NOC) is a national constituent of the worldwide Olympic movement. Subject to the controls of the International Olympic Committee, NOCs are responsible for organizing their people's participation in the Olympic Games. They may nominate cities within their respective areas as candidates for future Olympic Games. NOCs also promote the development of athletes and training of coaches and officials at a national level within their geographies.

National Olympic Committees

As of 2016, there are 206 NOCs: Each of the 193 member states of the United Nations; United Nations observer state Palestine and two states with limited recognition, Kosovo and Taiwan (designated as Chinese Taipei by the IOC).

There are also ten dependent territories with NOCs:

Prior to 1996, rules for recognising separate countries within the IOC were not as strict as those within the United Nations, which allowed these territories to field teams separately from their sovereign state. Following an amendment to the Olympic Charter in 1996, NOC recognition can only be granted after recognition as an independent state by the international community.[3] Since the rule does not apply retroactively, the dependent territories which were recognised before the rule change are allowed to continue sending separate teams to the Olympics, while the Faroe Islands and Macau send their own Paralympic teams.

The only state which thus qualifies to participate in the future is the Vatican City, a UN observer state. Other disputed states face obstacles to being recognized by the IOC. Dependent territories such as Curaçao, the Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Macau, New Caledonia and Niue can no longer be recognised by the IOC. Athletes from those territories can only participate in the Olympics as part of their parent nation's national team.


This section lists the current:

  • 206 National Olympic Committees who are recognised by the International Olympic Committee, and so are members of the Association of National Olympic Committees.
  • 8 National Olympic Committees who are recognised by their continental Olympic Associations, but are not recognised by the International Olympic Committee. (Italics)

ANOC members are eligible to enter the Olympic Games,

Some National Olympic Committees who are members of a continental Olympic Association but not ANOC members compete in continental-level and subregional tournaments. These committees, however, are not allowed to participate in the Olympic Games.

The five continental associations are:

IOC runs the Summer Olympic Games and the Winter Olympic Games as competitions in which all IOC-recognised NOCs can participate. Each continent also runs its own championships for their members:

While not a continental union in itself, the Union of Arab National Olympic Committees (UANOC) organises multi-sport events between Arabic-speaking countries. All 22 national governing bodies that form UANOC are also members of both AOC and are eligible to send athletes to either the African or Asian Games. National Olympic Committees from UANOC member countries are noted in the list below.

Africa (ANOCA)

1: National Olympic Committee is a member of UANOC

America (PASO)

Asia (OCA)

1: National Olympic Committee is a member of UANOC
2: National Olympic Committee is a member of OCA but not an ANOC member
3: Official name used by IOC, ANOC and OCA for Republic of China (Taiwan)

Europe (EOC)

1: Israel was a member of OCA but left in 1981, it joined the EOC in 1994

Oceania (ONOC)

  • Norfolk Island 1
  • Northern Mariana Islands 1
  • Palau Palau
  • Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea
  • Samoa Samoa
  • Solomon Islands Solomon Islands

1: National Olympic Committee is an associate member of ONOC but not an ANOC member

List of NOCs by recognition date

Below is a chronological list of the 206 NOCs recognized by the International Olympic Committee, since its foundation in 1894. Many of these committees were founded many years before their official recognition, while others were immediately accepted after being founded.

Only extant states are listed. Former states (e.g. The Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Netherlands Antilles, etc.), are not listed, only the current states derived from them: for example, the Czech Olympic Committee representing Bohemia was created and recognized in 1899. It was later transformed into the Czechoslovak Olympic Committee, and, after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, was re-recognized in 1993.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Latvia's NOC was recognized by the IOC in 1923, while Estonia's and Lithuania's NOCs were recognized in 1924. However, following the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states their NOCs were disbanded. When they regained their independence their NOCs were re-recognized in 1991.
  2. ^ Tanzania's IOC dates back to 1958 upon the recognition of Tanganyika. Tanganyika and Zanzibar united on 26 April 1964, to form Tanzania, but the new country was permitted to participate at the 1964 Summer Olympics under Tanganyika's IOC. Tanzania was recognized as the successor of Tanganyika's IOC in 1968.
  3. ^ South Africa participated in the Olympics since 1904 - even before it became a unified country - its membership was suspended in 1962 and reinstated in 1991 with the abolition of apartheid.
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