List of Olympic Games boycotts

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The Olympic Games is a major international multi-sport event. During its history, there have been full boycotts on six occasions, all of them at Summer Olympics: the first boycott occurred at the 1956 Summer Olympics, with the most recent being at the 1988 Summer Olympics.

Rhodesia was prevented from entering the 1972 Summer Olympics when its invitation was withdrawn by the International Olympic Committee following protests by other African countries.

South Africa were not invited to the 1964 Games, while its invitation to the 1968 Games was withdrawn after other African countries threatened to boycott the Games due to apartheid: South Africa would not be permitted to return to the Olympics until 1992.

Possibly the most famous Olympic boycotts occurred in 1980 and in 1984, during the Cold War.

In 2021, several nations announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics to protest the Chinese mistreatment of the Uyghur population, thus prohibiting government officials from attending the games in an official capacity, while still permitting athletes to compete.[1] Later, India joined the boycott, accusing that China had chosen Qi Fabao, a regimental commander in the People's Liberation Army, as a torchbearer of the event.[2][3]

List of full boycotts of an Olympic Games or full non-attendance

Olympiad Year Host Country Host City Boycotting countries
List Map
XVI 1956 Australia Melbourne Countries boycotting the 1956 Games are shaded blue
XVIII 1964 Japan Tokyo Countries boycotting the 1964 Games are shaded red
XXI 1976 Canada Montreal Countries boycotting the 1976 Games are shaded blue
XXII 1980 Soviet Union Moscow
XXIII 1984 United States Los Angeles Countries boycotting the 1984 Games are shaded blue
XXIV 1988 South Korea Seoul
  1. Ethiopia (did not respond to invitation)
  2. Nicaragua (financial)
  3. Madagascar (financial)
  4. Cuba
  5. Albania (did not respond to invitation)
  6. North Korea
  7. Seychelles (did not respond to invitation)
Countries boycotting the 1988 Games are shaded blue

List of COVID-19 pandemic non-attendance of government officials or diplomatic boycotts of the Olympic Games

  • Countries that due to COVID-19 concerns or diplomatic boycotts did not send official delegations to the Games, however athletes were permitted to participate.
Games Year Host Country Host City Boycotting countries
List Map
XXXII Olympic Summer Olympics 2020 Japan Tokyo
  1. North Korea[4]
XXIV Olympic Winter Games 2022 China Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics (Beijing) boycotting countries (blue).svg

Note: During the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Russia, due to Russia's annexation of Crimea and the violation of the Olympic Truce, the United States and United Kingdom diplomatically boycotted the event, and the entire Ukrainian delegation except for their flagbearer boycotted the opening ceremony.


  1. ^ "2022 Beijing Winter Olympics: Australia joins US diplomatic boycott". BBC News. 2021-12-08. Retrieved 2021-12-08.
  2. ^ "India announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics". The Hindu. 2022-02-03. Retrieved 2022-02-03.
  3. ^ "India launches last-minute diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics over Chinese soldier".
  4. ^ "Tokyo Olympics: North Korea to skip Games over Covid-19 fears". BBC News. 2021-04-06. Retrieved 2022-07-17.
  5. ^ "Lithuania confirms diplomatic boycott of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics". ANI News. 3 December 2021. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  6. ^ Allie Malloy and Kate Sullivan. "White House announces US diplomatic boycott of 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing". CNN. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  7. ^ "Australia joins diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics". ABC News. 7 December 2021. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  8. ^ "UK 'effectively' plans a diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics, joining the United States, Australia and Lithuania". Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  9. ^ Tasker, John Paul (8 December 2021). "Trudeau announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics". CBC/Radio-Canada. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  10. ^ "Kosovo boycotts Beijing Winter Olympics". Alsat News. 8 December 2021. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  11. ^ a b "Which Countries Are Boycotting China's Winter Olympics? Full List". Newsweek. 8 December 2021. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  12. ^ "Denmark to join diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics over human rights". Reuters. 14 January 2022. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  13. ^ IndiaToday, Geeta Mohan 3rd Feb'22. "Indian diplomats to boycott Beijing Winter Olympics after China makes Galwan PLA soldier torchbearer". IndiaToday. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
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