National Olympic Committee

A National Olympic Committee (NOC) is a national constituent of the worldwide Olympic movement. Subject to the controls of the International Olympic Committee, NOCs are responsible for organizing their people's participation in the Olympic Games. They may nominate cities within their respective areas as candidates for future Olympic Games. NOCs also promote the development of athletes and training of coaches and officials at a national level within their geographies.

National Olympic Committees

As of 2019, there are 206 National Olympic Committees. These include each of the 193 member states of the United Nations, one UN observer state, Palestine, and two states with limited recognition, Kosovo and Taiwan (designated as Chinese Taipei by the IOC).

There are also ten dependent territories with NOCs:

Prior to 1996, rules for recognising separate countries within the IOC were not as strict as those within the United Nations, which allowed these territories to field teams separately from their sovereign state. Following an amendment to the Olympic Charter in 1996, NOC recognition can only be granted after recognition as an independent state by the international community.[1] Since the rule does not apply retroactively, the dependent territories which were recognised before the rule change are allowed to continue sending separate teams to the Olympics, while the Faroe Islands and Macau send their own Paralympic teams.

The only state which thus qualifies to participate in the future is the Vatican City, a UN observer state. Other disputed states face obstacles to being recognized by the IOC. Dependent territories such as Curaçao, the Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Macau, New Caledonia and Niue can no longer be recognised, so athletes from those territories can only participate in the Olympics as part of their parent nation's national team. This rule also applies to dependent territories experiencing a change in status- the Netherlands Antilles Olympic Committee was dissolved at the 123rd IOC session in July 2011 as the Netherlands Antilles ceased to exist on 10 October 2010.[2][3]


This section lists the current:

  • 206 National Olympic Committees who are recognised by the International Olympic Committee, and so are members of the Association of National Olympic Committees.
  • 8 National Olympic Committees who are recognised by their continental Olympic Associations, but are not recognised by the International Olympic Committee. (Italics)

ANOC members are eligible to enter the Olympic Games,

Some National Olympic Committees who are members of a continental Olympic Association but not ANOC members compete in continental-level and subregional tournaments. These committees, however, are not allowed to participate in the Olympic Games.

The five continental associations are:

IOC runs the Summer Olympic Games and the Winter Olympic Games as competitions in which all IOC-recognised NOCs can participate. Each continent also runs its own championships for their members:

While not a continental union in itself, the Union of Arab National Olympic Committees (UANOC) organises multi-sport events between Arabic-speaking countries. All 22 national governing bodies that form UANOC are also members of both AOC and are eligible to send athletes to either the African or Asian Games. National Olympic Committees from UANOC member countries are noted in the list below.

Africa (ANOCA)

1: National Olympic Committee is a member of UANOC

America (PASO)

Asia (OCA)

1: National Olympic Committee is a member of UANOC
2: National Olympic Committee is a member of OCA but not an ANOC member
3: Official name used by IOC, ANOC and OCA for Republic of China (Taiwan)

Europe (EOC)

1: Israel was a member of OCA but left in 1981, it joined the EOC in 1994

Oceania (ONOC)

  • Norfolk Island1
  • Northern Mariana Islands1
  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • French Polynesia (Tahiti)1
  • Tokelau1
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu
  • Wallis and Futuna1

1: National Olympic Committee is an associate member of ONOC but not an ANOC member

List of NOCs by recognition date

Below is a chronological list of the 206 NOCs recognized by the International Olympic Committee, since its foundation in 1894. Many of these committees were founded many years before their official recognition, while others were immediately accepted after being founded.

Only extant states are listed. Former states (e.g. The Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Netherlands Antilles, etc.), are not listed, only the current states derived from them: for example, the Czech Olympic Committee representing Bohemia was created and recognized in 1899. It was later transformed into the Czechoslovak Olympic Committee, and, after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, was re-recognized in 1993.


  1. Latvia's NOC was recognized by the IOC in 1923, while Estonia's and Lithuania's NOCs were recognized in 1924. However, following the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states their NOCs were disbanded. When they regained their independence their NOCs were re-recognized in 1991.
  2. Tanzania's IOC dates back to 1958 upon the recognition of Tanganyika. Tanganyika and Zanzibar united on 26 April 1964, to form Tanzania, but the new country was permitted to participate at the 1964 Summer Olympics under Tanganyika's IOC. Tanzania was recognized as the successor of Tanganyika's IOC in 1968.
  3. South Africa participated in the Olympics since 1904 - even before it became a unified country - its membership was suspended in 1962 and reinstated in 1991 with the abolition of apartheid.


The NOCs are all members of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), which is also split among five continental associations:

ContinentAssociationNOCsOldest NOCNewest NOC
Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa 54 Egypt (1910) South Sudan (2015)
Pan American Sports Organization 41 United States (1894) Dominica (1993)
Saint Kitts and Nevis (1993)
Saint Lucia (1993)
Olympic Council of Asia 44[4] Japan (1912) Timor-Leste (2003)
European Olympic Committees 50 France (1894) Kosovo (2014)
Oceania National Olympic Committees 17 Australia (1895) Tuvalu (2007)

See the article for each continental association for the complete lists of all NOCs.

Unrecognized National Olympic Committees

The Macau Sports and Olympic Committee was founded in 1987 and has attempted to enroll to the IOC since its foundation, but is still not officially recognized and thus no athlete has participated in the Olympic Games under the name "Macau, China". It has, however, participated in the Paralympic Games.

The Faroe Islands have a recognised National Paralympic Committee.[5]

Other existing countries/regions with unrecognized Olympic committees: Catalonia,[6] Gibraltar,[7] French Polynesia,[8] Niue,[9] Somaliland,[10] New Caledonia,[11] Kurdistan,[12][13] Northern Cyprus,[14] Abkhazia,[15] Native Americans,[16][17] the Northern Mariana Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat, and Turks & Caicos Islands.[18]

South Ossetia intends to establish a National Olympic Committee,[19] and representatives from the Republic of Artsakh take part in Armenia’s National Olympic Committee.[20]

In 2016, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces announced the creation of the Syrian Olympic Committee.

See also



  1. "Overseas Territories (3rd February 2012)". Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  2. "Executive Board concludes first meeting of the new year". ("Official website of the Olympic movement"). 13 January 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
  3. "Curtain comes down on 123rd IOC Session".
  4. The OCA includes 45 NOCs; the Macau Sports and Olympic Committee is not recognized by the IOC and Macau does not compete at the Olympic Games.
  5. "Ítróttasamband Føroya | Just another WordPress weblog". Archived from the original on 10 January 2010. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  6. Hargreaves, John (2000). Freedom for Catalonia? : Catalan nationalism, Spanish identity and the Barcelona Olympic Games ([Online-Ausg.]. ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521586153.
  7. "". Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  8. Friedrich, Walter L. "Questia, Your Online Research Library". Archived from the original on 16 August 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  9. "Full Page - Niue Island Sports Association and National Olympic Committee - FOX SPORTS PULSE". Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  10. "Website ka wasaaradda Dhalinyaradda Iyo Ciyaaraha Somaliland - Homepage". 18 January 2010. Archived from the original on 18 June 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  11. "New Caledonia National Olympic Committee". SportingPulse. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  12. "Display Article". 16 January 2010. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  13. Turkish Cypriots denied access to London Olympics 2012
  14. Smoltczyk, Alexander (27 August 2009). "The ABC Republic: Abkhazia Attempts to Invent Itself - SPIEGEL ONLINE". Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  15. "Native Americans seek recognition". 27 February 2006. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  16. "Jim Thorpe's Sons Bolster Native American Olympic Dream : Fri, 10 Jul 2009 : eNewsChannels". 10 July 2009. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  17. "CANOC Members". Archived from the original on 2 October 2009. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  18. "В Южной Осетии продолжат работу над созданием национального олимпийского комитета - Политика, выборы, власть - Новости - ИА REGNUM". Archived from the original on 19 February 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  19. "Armenia Karabakh Ministers Sign Accord | Asbarez Armenian News". 4 February 1999. Retrieved 23 January 2014.


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