Iraq at the Olympics

The National Olympic Committee of Iraq was established in 1948 and was also recognized by the International Olympic Committee in the same year. Because of this, Iraq was able to participate in the 1948 Summer Games which was held in London.

The first ever Iraqi delegation to the Olympics consisted of their men's basketball team and Salman Ali who competed in the men's 100 meters and Labib Hassan for the men's 400 meters.

Iraq ended up missing the 1952 Helsinki Games and boycotted the 1956 Melbourne Olympics because of the Suez Crisis. They however came back stronger in 1960 where they won their first ever Olympic medal. Weightlifter Abdul Wahid Aziz was Iraq's first ever weightlifter representative in the Olympics and he won the bronze in the men's lightweight division in Rome, Italy.

Iraq chose to again boycott the Summer Games in 1972 and 1976 and became one of only two non-African countries that chose to not participate as a form of opposition to the apartheid South Africa.

They then came back in 1980 and has never been absent in the Summer Games even in the midst of the war in their country. Their football team came very close to winning their would-be second Olympic medal in 2004 in Athens but ended up losing to Italy for the bronze.

Iraq has never set foot in the Winter Games.


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