Syria at the Olympics

The war-torn Middle-East nation Syria first took part at the Summer Olympic Games in 1948 in London, when it sent its only competitor named Zouheir Al-Shourbagi in the diving event of aquatics. Al-Shourbagi checked in at 10th place in the men’s platform event.

Syria then dropped out of the next four Games although it competed with Egypt as part of the United Arab Republic team, but it is unknown if any Syrian athletes participated as part of the UAR team. After two decades, the nation made a return trip to the Games when it sent a delegate in the 1968 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games. The nation also missed 1976 Games, when they were part of the African boycott.

Sports that already contributed to the medal of Syria include wrestling, athletics and boxing. Joseph Athyeh became the first Syrian to win a medal in the Olympics by taking the silver medal in the men’s freestyle 100 kg event in wrestling in the 1984 Summer Olympic Games. Ghada Shuoaa earned the distinction as the first Syrian and first Syrian woman to bag a gold medal by clinching the top spot in the women’s heptathlon event in the track and field competition at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games. The third medal winner for Syria is Nasser al Shami who captured the bronze medal in the men’s heavyweight division in boxing in 2005 Athens Summer Olympics.

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