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Morocco at the Olympics

The Moroccan Olympic Committee was created in 1959 and was officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee in the same year. The very next year, they made their debut in the 1960 Summer Games held in Rome, Italy by sending a delegation completely made up of men. Forty seven athletes represented Morocco in ten sports on forty five separate events.

One name stood out in their very first delegation to the Olympics. The name Rhadi Ben Abdesselam made history for being the very first Moroccan to win an Olympic medal. He took the silver for marathon losing to Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia by less than 25 seconds. Abdesselam will be Morocco's only Olympic medalist for 24 years.

Since their debut, Morocco only missed the Summer Games once. This is when they chose to boycott the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow is support of the United States' push against Moscow. Although Morocco did participate in the 1976 Summer Games in Montreal, Canada, they later on withdrew in support of the African nations' boycott against the South African apartheid team.

When they came back in 1984, they again made history by winning their first Olympic gold medal. Saïd Aouita took the gold for the men's 5000 meters and Nawal El Moutawakel for the women's 400 meter hurdles.

Morocco did start participating in the Winter Games in 1968 but they are somewhat inconsistent in their participation missing three meetings (1972 – 1980) before coming back in 1984 just to miss four more starting 1994.


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