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South Korea at the Olympics

The Republic of South Korea or simply South Korea first competed at the Olympic Games in 1948, and has been at all Games since then except when they joined the boycott in 1980. Some athletes from Korea competed as part of the Japanese teams during their occupation between 1910-1945. South Korea is a formidable force in sport disciplines such as archery and taekwondo.

South Korea ranked in the top 12 in the Olympic medal standings from 1984 up to 2016. The nation ranked as high as fourth with a gold-silver-bronze medal haul of 12-10-11 when the Games was held at its own turf in the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics.

The first Korean athletes to capture Olympic medals were Sohn Kee-chung and Nam Sung-yong who won the gold and silver medals in the men’s marathon event in the athletics competition at the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics. But since Korea was part of Japan, there medals were credited to Japan instead.

South Korea took part at the 2016 Rio Janeiro Summer Olympics which marked its seventeenth appearance at the Games. The nation’s 204-strong contingent composed of 103 men and 101 women participated in 24 sports and won 9 gold, 3 silver and 9 bronze medals to place 8th in the medal standings.


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