Q:

How many countries participate in the Olympics?

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Quick Answer

As of 2014, the total number of National Olympic Committees (NOC) who have fielded athletes in the most recent games have been 204 in the 2012 London Summer Olympics and 84 in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Three additional nations qualified for the Sochi Games but chose not to participate.

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How many countries participate in the Olympics?
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Full Answer

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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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How long are the Olympics?

    A:

    The modern summer and winter Olympic Games stretch across 16 or 17 consecutive days of competition. The summer games generally feature more countries competing in more events, because countries with a lack of cold weather often do not participate in the winter games.

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  • Q:

    How long have the Olympics been going on?

    A:

    The modern Olympic Games began in 1896, while the ancient Olympic Games were played between 776 B.C. and 393 A.D. The ancient Olympic Games were founded by Heracles, according to legend. The games were abolished by Roman emperor, Theodosius I, due to perceived Pagan influences.

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  • Q:

    Where did the Olympics start?

    A:

    The ancient Olympic Games were first held in 776 B.C. in Greece. Though these athletic competitions were often held in conjunction with religious festivals at the time, they were secular in nature. The modern Olympic Games were first held in 1896 in Athens, Greece.

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  • Q:

    How old do you have to be to compete in the Olympics?

    A:

    The age limit for competing in the Olympic Games varies with each international sports federation, according to the official website of the Olympic Movement. The Olympic charter does not set an age limit for competitors in the Olympic Games.

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