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 2020, there are 206 National Olympic Committees. These include each of the 193 member states of the United Nations
, one UN observer state
), one UN non-member state in free association
with New Zealand
(the Cook Islands
) and two states with limited recognition
There are also nine dependent territories
with recognized NOCs: four territories of the United States
, Puerto Rico
, and the United States Virgin Islands
), three British Overseas Territories
, the British Virgin Islands
, and the Cayman Islands
), one constituent country
of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
) and one special administrative region
Prior to 1996, rules for recognising dependent territories or constituent countries
as 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 country by the international community. Since the rule does not apply retroactively
, the dependent territories and constituent countries which were recognised before the rule change are allowed to continue sending separate teams to the Olympics, while the Faroe Islands
send their own Paralympic
The only states which thus qualify to participate in the future are the Vatican City
, a UN observer state, and Niue
, a UN non-member state in free association with New Zealand. Currently, all other remaining states
are ineligible to join the IOC as they are not recognised by a majority of the United Nations member countries.
Constituent countries and dependent territories such as Curaçao
, the Faroe Islands
and New Caledonia
can also no longer be recognised, so athletes from these territories can only participate in the Olympics as part of their parent nation's national team. This rule also applies to 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
For those countries and territories that are part of the Commonwealth of Nations
, their National Olympic Committees also serve as the members of the Commonwealth Games Association
. They are responsible for organising and overseeing their national teams at the Commonwealth Games
This section lists the current:
* 206 National Olympic Committees who are recognised by the International Olympic Committee, and so are the 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'').
The 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-level tournaments. These committees, however, are not allowed to participate in the Olympic Games.
The five continental Olympic associations are:
* Africa – ''Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa
* America – ''Pan American Sports Organization
* Asia – ''Olympic Council of Asia
* Europe – ''European Olympic Committees
* Oceania – ''Oceania National Olympic Committees
The 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:
* ANOCA – African Games
* PASO – Pan American Games
and Pan American Winter Games
* OCA – Asian Games
and Asian Winter Games
* EOC – European Games
* ONOC – Pacific Games
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 Olympic Committees that form the UANOC are also members of either the ANOCA or the OCA and are eligible to send their athletes to either the African or Asian Games. National Olympic Committees from the UANOC member countries are noted in the list below.
1: National Olympic Committee is a member of the UANOC.
1: National Olympic Committee is a member of the UANOC.
2: National Olympic Committee is a member of the OCA but not an ANOC member.
3: Official name used by the IOC, ANOC and OCA for the Republic of China (Taiwan).
1: Israel was a member of the OCA, but left the organisation in 1981. It joined the EOC in 1994.
1: National Olympic Committee is an associate member of the 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. Also, the states that have changed their name at some point are listed under their current names. Former states (e.g. the Soviet Union
, and the Netherlands Antilles
etc.), are not listed, only the current states derived from them: for example, the Czech Olympic Committee
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.
The NOCs are all members of the ''Association of National Olympic Committees'' (ANOC), which is also split among five continental associations:
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
Like Macau, the Faroe Islands
have a recognised National Paralympic Committee
Other existing countries/regions with unrecognized Olympic committees: Catalonia
, French Polynesia
, New Caledonia
, Northern Cyprus
, Native Americans
, the Northern Mariana Islands
and Turks & Caicos Islands
intends to establish a National Olympic Committee, and representatives from the Republic of Artsakh
take part in Armenia's National Olympic Committee.
*National Paralympic Committee
*List of IOC country codes
*District of Columbia Olympic Committee
*Commonwealth Games Association
* Association of National Olympic Committees website