The oil-rich nation of Turkmenistan first competed at the Olympic Games in 1996. Prior to this, athletes from the region of Turkmenistan have competed at the Olympic Games under the former country of the Soviet Union. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, their athletes were part of the Unified Team in 1992. The nation’s capital, Ashgabat, comes with an Olympic Stadium even though the venue hasn’t hosted the Olympiad.
For a long time Turkmenistan was the only ex-Soviet republic that had not won a medal at the Olympics. After the Rio 2016 Olympics, the president of Tukmenistan lashed out on the nation’s NOC after the nation failed to win a single medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympic Games. None of its nine athletes went past the qualification rounds in their respective events. The president was disappointed at the lackadaisical performance of the athletes even though they were provided with all the facilities they needed.
However, all has changed in 2021 in Tokyo. Turkmenistan won its first-ever medal as an independent nation when Polina Gurýeva won the silver medal in the Women's 59 kg event in Weightlifting.