How many countries participate in the Olympics?

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There are currently 204 National Olympic Committees, each representing their own country, that participate in the Olympic Movement.
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As a matter of convention, participating teams in Olympic Games are officially recognized by their National Olympic Committees, not the names of their respective countries. This practical measure represents an effort to appease nations with differing opinions on the sovereignty of one another. China, for example, does not recognize the independence of Taiwan, whose NOC participates in the Games under the name Chinese Taipei as a compromise. Additionally, there are qualifying athletes who, for reasons ranging from political discord to simple lack of domestic support, compete instead under an Olympic flag.

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