Below is a list of all the countries that are currently recognized by the International Olympic Committee as National Olympic Committees.
Five countries have been represented at all Summer Olympic Games – Greece, Great Britain, France, Switzerland, and Australia, though not always as part of official teams. Switzerland is on this list even though they boycotted the 1956 Olympics - they had competed in the equestrian events several months earlier in Stockholm. France did not send a team to the 1904 Games but a lone Frenchman did compete for the USA and a mixed team. Also in 1896 Great Britain competed as part of the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland', while Australia participated in 1908 and 1912 as part of a combined Australasia team with New Zealand. Therefore, out of these five nations only Greece has participated under its own flag in all modern summer Olympic Games.
On the other hand, Vatican City is one sovereign state never to have competed in an Olympics.
A few of the places below are territories/regions rather than countries, though they all participate at the Olympic Games under this name. For some interesting trivia about the countries that have participated at the summer Olympic Games, follow the links below.
* territory rather than a country
- Athletes from Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia competed as Independent Olympic Participants in 1992, and athletes from East Timor competed as Individual Olympic Athletes at the 2000 Summer Olympics.
- In 2016, small group of "Refugee Olympic Athletes" will compete
- After the break up of the Soviet Union, the independent states competed under the banner of The Unified Team at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.
Past Competing Countries / Territories / Combined (Mixed) Teams
Over time there have been changes to borders, and countries merging and separating, so there is a history of countries participating at the Olympics that no longer exist or no longer compete under that name. Also on many occasions mixed teams with athletes from more than one country have participated. Examples include the Australasia team from 1908-1912 including athletes form Australian and New Zealand. Past countries such as Czechoslovakia, USSR and Yugoslavia have now split into smaller regions. There are many more examples, see the articles about Past Participating Countries.
Existing countries/regions with no or unrecognized Olympic committees
- Faroe Islands
- French Polynesia
- New Caledonia
- Northern Cyprus
- South Ossetia
- Native Americans
- the Northern Mariana Islands
- Turks & Caicos Islands
In 2013, the International Olympic Committee insisted that it does not recognize National Olympic Committees for Abkhazia or South Ossetia after the Russian Olympic Committee listed the two Georgian rebel regions as separate entities on its database for the Sochi 2014 Olympics and Paralympics. The IOC recognizes an NOC for Georgia (which has jurisdiction over the whole territory of Georgia) but does not recognize an NOC for Abkhazia or South Ossetia.
- Macau has a National Olympic Committee (the Macau Olympic Committee) but it is not a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), so cannot compete at the Olympics. It has been a member of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) since 1989, and so can compete at the Asian Games.