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Mongolia at the Olympics

Mongolia is one of the oldest nations in the world but they only started participating in the Olympics relatively recently. The Mongolian National Olympic Committee was established in 1956 and it will take the International Olympic Committee six years before they will officially recognize it.

In 1964, Mongolia made their Olympic debut in Tokyo, Japan. They sent a total of twenty one athletes to represent them in four sports. That first outing served as a very good learning experience for the Mongolian athletes because in the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, Mexico, they won a total of four Olympic medals.

Wrestling is an integral part of the Mongolian culture which is why it comes as no surprise that their first Olympic medals came from this sport. Wrestler Jigjidiin Mönkhbat became Mongolia's first-ever Olympic silver medalist when he took the second spot in the men's freestyle middleweight division and fellow wrestlers Chimedbazaryn Damdinsharav (Men's freestyle flyweight), Danzandarjaagiin Sereeter (Men's freestyle lightweight) and Tömöriin Artag (Men's freestyle welterweight).

Many of Mongolia's Olympic medals did come from wrestling but their first-ever Olympic gold came in 2008. Judoka Naidangiin Tüvshinbayar took the top spot for the Men's 100 kg division while boxer Enkhbatyn Badar-Uugan dominated the bantamweight division. Both men won the gold but Tüvshinbayar did win his first making him Mongolia's first-ever Olympic gold medalist. That year, female shooter Otryadyn Gündegmaa (Women's 25 m pistol) and boxer Pürevdorjiin Serdamba (Light flyweight) each won the silver in their respective sports.

Mongolia has participated in almost all of the Summer Games since their debut except when they joined the Soviet-led boycott of the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angele, California, USA.

They also made their debut in the Winter Games in 1964 and since then have attended all except in 1976. They are yet to win their first medal in the Winter Games.


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