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 2016, there are 206 NOCs: Each of the 193 member states of the United Nations; United Nations observer state Palestine; the Cook Islands, a state in free association with New Zealand whose capacity to participate in international organizations has been recognized by the United Nations Secretariat;[1][2] and two states with limited recognition, Kosovo and Taiwan (designated as Chinese Taipei by the IOC).

There are also nine 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.[5] 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 states which thus qualify to participate in the future are the Vatican City, a UN observer state, and Niue, a state in free association with New Zealand like the Cook Islands. Other disputed states face obstacles to being recognized by the IOC. Dependent territories such as Curaçao, the Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Macau and New Caledonia can no longer be recognised by the IOC. Athletes from those territories can only participate in the Olympics as part of their parent nation's national team.


This section lists the current:

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 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 Island Norfolk Island1
  • Northern Mariana Islands Northern Mariana Islands1
  • Palau Palau
  • Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea
  • Samoa Samoa
  • Solomon Islands Solomon Islands
  • French Polynesia French Polynesia (Tahiti)1
  • Tokelau Tokelau1
  • Tonga Tonga
  • Tuvalu Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu Vanuatu
  • Wallis and Futuna 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. 1 2 3 4 5 6 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. 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:

Continent Association NOCs Oldest NOC Newest NOC
Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa 54 Egypt Egypt (1910) South Sudan South Sudan (2015)
Pan American Sports Organization 41 United States United States (1894) Dominica Dominica (1993)
Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Kitts and Nevis (1993)
Saint Lucia Saint Lucia (1993)
Olympic Council of Asia 44[6] Japan Japan (1912) East Timor Timor-Leste (2003)
European Olympic Committees 50 France France (1894) Kosovo Kosovo (2014)
Oceania National Olympic Committees 17 Australia Australia (1895) Tuvalu 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.[7]

Other existing countries/regions with unrecognized Olympic committees: Catalonia,[8] Gibraltar,[9] French Polynesia,[10] Niue,[11] Somaliland,[12] New Caledonia,[13] Kurdistan,[14][15] Northern Cyprus,[16] Abkhazia,[17] Native Americans,[18][19] the Northern Mariana Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat, and Turks & Caicos Islands.[20]

South Ossetia intends to establish a National Olympic Committee,[21] and representatives from the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic take part in Armenia’s National Olympic Committee.[22]

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to National Olympic Committees.


  1. "Organs Supplement", Repertory of Practice (PDF) (8), UN, p. 10, archived from the original (PDF) on 19 October 2013
  2. The World today (PDF), UN
  3. "Executive Board concludes first meeting of the new year". ("Official website of the Olympic movement"). 13 January 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
  4. "Curtain comes down on 123rd IOC Session".
  5. "Overseas Territories (3rd February 2012)". Retrieved 2014-01-23.
  6. 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.
  7. "Ítróttasamband Føroya | Just another WordPress weblog". Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  8. Hargreaves, John (2000). Freedom for Catalonia? : Catalan nationalism, Spanish identity and the Barcelona Olympic Games ([Online-Ausg.]. ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521586153.
  9. "". Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  10. Friedrich, Walter L. "Questia, Your Online Research Library". Archived from the original on 16 August 2012. Retrieved 2014-01-23.
  11. "Full Page - Niue Island Sports Association and National Olympic Committee - FOX SPORTS PULSE". Retrieved 2014-01-23.
  12. "Website ka wasaaradda Dhalinyaradda Iyo Ciyaaraha Somaliland - Homepage". 18 January 2010. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  13. "New Caledonia National Olympic Committee". SportingPulse. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  14. "Display Article". 16 January 2010. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  16. {{Turkish Cypriots denied access to London Olympics 2012}}
  17. Smoltczyk, Alexander (2009-08-27). "The ABC Republic: Abkhazia Attempts to Invent Itself - SPIEGEL ONLINE". Retrieved 2014-01-23.
  18. "Native Americans seek recognition". 27 February 2006. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  19. "Jim Thorpe's Sons Bolster Native American Olympic Dream : Fri, 10 Jul 2009 : eNewsChannels". 10 July 2009. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  20. "CANOC Members". Archived from the original on 2 October 2009. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  21. "В Южной Осетии продолжат работу над созданием национального олимпийского комитета - Политика, выборы, власть - Новости - ИА REGNUM". Retrieved 2014-01-23.
  22. "Armenia Karabakh Ministers Sign Accord | Asbarez Armenian News". 1999-02-04. Retrieved 2014-01-23.

External links

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