by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as of January 2016.
For more information you should visit the web site of the International Olympic Committee.
This list is in alphabetical order in English, based upon the name of the COUNTRY in English.
The information on this page is provided as a quick reference,
but will require regular attention by our staff to remain timely and accurate.
If you find broken links or incorrect information pleaase send us an email with details
so we may make additions or corrections. Thank you / Merci / Danke.
Addresses are given in the American method using the regulations of the United States Postal Service (USPS).
The US Postal regulation places the name of the country on the bottom line in CAPITAL letters.
A zip code or country code goes in the line above.
Europeans do it differently.
Description of the format used here:
NAME OF the COUNTRY in English and in BOLD CAPITAL letters,
followed by parenthesis with the (3 letter IOC abbreviation).
[The formal name of the country within brackets]
followed by the languages spoken in this country in italics.
National Olympic Committee (NOC) Name
City, Zip code
email(s) are given but not as active links to avoid robots and spammers
web site(s) of the NOC
Brief history or description of the Country with link(s) for further research.
Emphasis is placed on sports and important information that might be useful in our opinion.
...as in this example from MALTA....
[Republic of Malta] Maltese, English.
Malta Olympic Committee
(if we can find an image we will add it here)
National Swimming Pool Complex
Maria Tereza Spinelli Street
tel: (+356) 332801
fax: (+356) 332798
email: (not given as an active link, however).
web site: NOC of Malta
This small island nation became part of the British Empire in 1814 and gained independence in 1964. The country has 400,000 people on an island slightly smaller than Washington, DC.
Read more at the CIA FACTBOOK: Malta.
Notes on the presentation:
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) uses a 3-letter abreviation for all National Olympic Committees (NOC's), and these abreviations are given in (CAPITAL LETTERS INSIDE PARENTHESIS). Please note that these abreviations are generally from English but they can also be from the French word for that country such as "Switzerland" (SUI) from the French word "Suisse" or "SPAIN" (ESP) from the French word "Espagne."
2. Contact information for National Olympic Committees (NOC's):
The mailing address, telephone, fax, email and web site information is also provided. But we cannot guarantee that the information is up-to-date, as some information can change without our knowledge. THEREFORE - for the most up-to-date information you should go to that country's web site, or to the IOC website. we will not provide the email address in the html format for you -- in order to prevent web-robots from gathering the data for spam email. If you wish to communicate directly with any NOC then type the information into your email window yourself.
Each NOC will eventually be linked to a new, separate page dedicated only to that NOC. When that page is up it will have more specific details about that NOC and sport in that country, including links within that country. This page (NOC page 4) is the abbreviated version.
3. Historical information:
The Olympic Games is a huge and popular sports event. But sport is more than just a game and a score. There is a lot of history to sport - what has happened in history has an impact on today - and tomorrow. Sport is a mirror of society - and not just American society. Economics, politics and religion are just some of the forces that have an impact on sport. Some historical information is provided for you -- but this is merely provided to assist you in finding more information on your own. We could easily write 200 pages about each country and their sports, history and culture. Maybe we will someday -- but not today.
4. Updates, corrections, additions, deletions:
This is a long-term educational project -- your scholarly participation is welcome. If you are interested in adding information to these pages -- please offer your time and knowledge.
HISTORY OF SPORT IN GERMANY or NOC's of AFRICA. Pick a topic and have a group of students work on it,
send us the results, and if it's well done (and subject to our editing) we will use it on this website.
Contributor(s) will get credit by first name, age and state/country only (ie: John, 15, Missouri, or Elizabeth, 16, Australia) in order to maintain some privacy.
Our basic sources of information are:
2. CIA FACTBOOK hosted by the Central Intelligence Agency: CIA FACTBOOK
The CIA FACTBOOK is a gold mine of information. We have relied upon their researchers for much of the information about each nation's size and population, languages spoken and some historical background. The information from their website is in the public domain, so we do not credit them every time we use their information. However we do provide a link for you directly to the page where we found the information. Contrary to rumor - Mr. Abrams does not work for the CIA. Even if he did, we could not tell you.
3. Websites of the various NOCS, Embassies and Consulates of the various countries.
4. United States Department of State Consular Affairs: Bureau of Consular Affairs
5. European National Olympic Committees European National Olympic Committees
This is an association of forty-nine (49) National Olympic Committees in Europe that works together to promote sport in Europe. There is a lot of information available at this website including their newsletters in pdf format.
6. Scholarly Sports Sites: Scholarly Sports websites and the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports This scholarly resource was originally organized and maintained by Gretchen Ghent, librarian at the University of Calgary, Canada. In 2010 she retired and the site moved to the University of Texas at Austin. The site is now hosted and updated by the staff at the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports, a research center within the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education and the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin. Gretchen Ghent was a former American swimmer and professional librarian who worked at the University of Calgary in Canada her entire career. She made a tremendous impact in the field of sport research and sport information. She passed away October 31, 2011.
7. Western European Studies Section/WESSWEB: Association of College & Research Libraries -- Western European Studies Links
This scholarly site will give you many hundreds of links to resources in various European countries for historical, educational and many other resources.
8. Library of Congress, Federal Research Division: Country Studies. Library of Congress Federal Research Division: Country Studies.
In-depth research conducted by scholars for the US Army.
9. World Newspapers.com - links to newspapers around the world: World newspapers.com - LINKS
News sources in every country in their own words. Go here for daily news reports via links. You should read as much as you can from different sources in order to piece together a whole story -- because no matter where you look there will be some bias or error. Do your research, and do it well!
10. WORLD INFO ZONE -- WIZ Around the World: World Info Zone -- LINKS
Very nice source to begin research on a country; brief descriptions; links. British host.
11. World Olympians Association: World Olympians Association.
This is an association for former Olympic athletes from every country of the world. There are ten thousand athletes at every olympic celebration - so this group could potentially be huge.
12. Embassy.Org: the Electronic Embassy Foreign Embassies in the Washington DC area
13. Radio Free Europe: Radio Free Europe
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is a private, international communications service to Eastern and Southeastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Middle East, funded by the United States Congress.
14. Enchanted Learning web site: US States Area and Ranking US States: Area in square miles
This page lists all the states of the USA with their size in square miles which allows you to compare the size of the countries below to your home state. You may have to convert "kilometers" to "miles" so pay attention to what you are comparing!
and paying attenton to your
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
- What is the source of the information?
- How did the writer get their information? What was THEIR source?
- How did they know that their information was correct?
THEREFORE -- How do you know the information you are borrowing from them is accurate?
ALWAYS challenge your source of information.
How can you guarantee it is accurate?
RESEARCH -- you need to take the time and patience to look for several sources of information for your work. Always use at least two (2) sources of information for your work -- never rely upon a single source of information -- unless you have absolute proof that it is the one and only best source. Most of all -- do not be lazy -- always be thorough.
USING OUR PAGES
We prefer to use primary sources of information that have knowledge and authority rather than second-hand information.
(OUR pages are second-hand information for you)!
Many schools and universities are sponsoring web sites with links to sources of information. Use these sites -- but read carefully when you get to a personal web site.
Poor research will leave you with re-cycled garbage. Very few links that we give you here are from personal web sites -- but they must be extremely good to be here!
NOTE: We will NOT provide any links to web pages that have popups, spyware, adware or any other annoyance.
Some sites may have advertising -- but we have kept this to a minimum and use that site only if we believe that the information is exceptionally useful. Otherwise, no advertising is permitted anywhere.
This page is not complete -- but will be updated regularly until it is finished. However -- because information is always changing then logically this page will never be "finished."
You can see from the information presented here what we are trying to do -- and if you wish to help -- please do so. This is a public service of the IISOH Library & Museum.
[Islamic Republic of Afghanistan ] Formerly: Republic of Afghanistan; Afghan Persian or Dari (official) 50%, Pashto (official) 35%, Turkic languages (primarily Uzbek and Turkmen) 11%, 30 minor languages (primarily Balochi and Pashai) 4%, much bilingualism.
Afganistan National Olympic Committee
[National Olympic Committee of the Islamic Republic of Afganistan]
P.O. Box 1824 GPO
tel: (93) 752 060 849
fax: (93) 202 102 470
web site: National Olympic Committee of the Islamic Republic of Afganistan
The website of the Afganistan NOC is not up to date. The English page refers to the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. To obtain recent information do a web search using Google and the search words "Afghanistan at the Olympics." You should be careful about your sources, of course.
For a lengthy history of Afganistan from ancient times to the present see: History of Afganistan
The country is slightly smaller than Texas with a population of approximately 30.5 million people. The last census was in 1979 and was not completed because of the Soviet invasion of Afganistan that led to the US boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. Since 2001 the US has led a coalition of nations in a war against terrorism (Taliban and Osama bin Laden) that has kept this country in turmoil. Afganistan has had very few athletes compete in the Olympic Games and no Olympic champions. In recent years women have competed in spite of threats from radical Muslims. Some very interesting stories available for your research.
In October 2010, the Netherlands Antilles, consisting of six islands in the Caribbean Sea, was dissolved and ceased to exist. Aruba had already became an independent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands and still maintains its own National Olympic Committee. The three smallest islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba became special municipalities in the Netherlands administrative structure. The larger islands of Sint Maarten and Curacao joined the Netherlands as constituent countries so that all six islands are now formally part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands with two National Olympic Committees, that of ARUBA and that of THE NETHERLANDS.
[Republic of Albania] Formerly: People's Socialist Republic of Albania; Albanian (Tosk dialect), Greek.
[Republika e Shqiperise]
National Olympic Committee of Albania
(Komiteti Olimpik Kombëtar Shqiptar)
Rruga "Muhamet Gjollesha"
P.O. Box 63
Sheshi Mustafa K. Ataturk
(ish 21 Dhjetori)
tel: (355.42} 235 249
tel: (355.42) 240 602
fax: (355.42) 240 565
web site English version: Albanian NOC English start page
This English page does not have much in English on the day I retrieved it...February 3, 2013.
Albania has a population of slightly over 3.5 million in an area smaller than Maryland. Seventy percent of the nation is Muslim. The area was known as Illyria in ancient days, and was conquered by the Romans. Later it was conquered by the Turks and became part of the Ottoman empire. After the 1912-1913 Balkans wars, it gained independence. During World War II it was invaded by the Italians. After WWII Albania alligned itself with the Soviet Union and later with Communist China. The repressive dictatorship ended in 1990 when Albania became a democracy. The country is struggling to overcome serious internal problems including crime and unemployment. It is the poorest country in Europe with approximately two telephones per 100 inhabitants, and in some villages there is no telephone service at all. Albanians love football (soccer to Americans).
Read more at the CIA Factbook: Albania
[Argentine Republic] Spanish (official), English, Italian, German, French.
Argentine Olympic Committee
Comite Olimpico Argentino
Buenos Aires 1062
Address in Spanish):
COMITE OLIMPICO ARGENTINO
Ciudad Autonoma de Buenos Aires
tel: (54 11) 48 19 17 00 (new)
tel: (54 11) 48 14 03 75
fax: (54 11) 48 19 17 00 (new)
fax: (54 11) 48 14 41 28
email: email@example.com (Not sure if this is still useful)
web site: Comité Olimpico Argentino (In Spanish)
As of February 4, 2013 there was no English language website for the NOC of Argentina.
Argentina is approximately four times bigger than Texas, or approximately 22 times larger than Pennsylvania. The population is approximately 39 million people. Originally the ancient land of the INCA Indians. Spanish explorers arrived in the 1500's. Argentina is the second largest country in South America and gained independence from Spain in 1816. Its history as a nation is full of revolutions and civil wars, military and civilian governments. After World War II it was ruled by the authoritarian dictator Juan Peron and his wife Eva, made famous in an American broadway show and movie entitled EVITA. Numerous German Nazis escaped from Europe after world war II to hide in Argentina. It was here in 1960 that Israeili agents kidnapped the notorious Adolf Eichmann and flew him back to Israel where he was tried and executed for war crimes. In 1982 Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands (called Maldives by Argentina) in the South Atlantic ocean and had a brief but nasty war with Great Britain. Since 1983 Argentina has progressed towards a full democracy.
Argentinians love soccer and have won the World Cup twice (1978, 1986). Polo is popular as well as rugby, tennis, golf, hiking in the Andes mountains and water sports -- especially along the long Atlantic coastline.
Read more at the CIA FACTBOOK: Argentina
[Republic of Armenia] Armenian, Yezidi, Russian.
[Hayastani Hanrapetut'yun] formerly known as: Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic; Armenian Republic.
National Olympic Committee of Armenia
Abovyan Street 9
tel: (374 10) 529-797
fax: (374 10) 545 789
web site: NOC of Armenia
web site: (In English) NOC of Armenia - the English Pages have disappeared as of June 7, 2012. The link above is primarily in Armenian with no English links (yet).
Armenia is a small country of just under 3.5 million people, east of Turkey in southwest Asia. The country is slightly smaller than the state of Maryland. Armenia is an ancient land, the first nation to adopt Christianity in the 4th century CE. It has been repeatedly conquered and occupied by various invaders including the Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Persian, Ottoman and Russian empires. It was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1920 and regained independence in 1991. Armenia is primarily a Christian nation which is currently having conflicts with its primarily Muslim neighbor Azerbaijan, which also gained its independence from the Soviet Union. They are fighting over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is in Azerbaijani territory but primarily Armenian-populated. There has been a long-standing historical antagonism with Turkey. The issue of massacres to the Armenian community in the first part of the 20th century has never been addressed by the Turkish government, which at the time was the Ottoman empire. I cannot begin to explain these still hot issues! But they are great topics for your further research -- because sport, religion and politics do mix. I am adding news links so you can follow in English.
[COMMONWEALTH OF Australia] English, native languages.
Australian Olympic Committee
Level 27, Chifley Towers
2 Chifley Square
Sydney NSW 2000
tel: (02) 9247 2000
fax: (02) 9223 0036
web site: Australian Olympic Committee
The Australian Olympic Committee has a number of regional offices around the country - you will find their addresses here: Australian Olympic Committee State Councils
Australia is the only country in the world that is also a single continent. The continent of Australia has been inhabited by ancient civilizations for at least forty thousand years. European settlers first arrived on the continent on January 26, 1788. Part of the British Commonwealth of Nations, the head of state is England's Queen Elizabeth. In 1999 the Australians went to the polls and voted to remain in the British Commonwealth rather than become an independent Republic. In size the Australian continent is slightly smaller than the 48 states of the continental USA with a population of approximately 20 million people. Australian athletes have participated in the Olympic Games since they began in 1896. Melbourne hosted the 1956 summer Olympic Games and Sydney hosted the 2000 summer Olympic Games. There is a vast amount of information about the 2000 Olympic Games available for your use -- in English -- on the web and in libraries.
Read more at the CIA FACTBOOK: CIA FACTBOOK - Australia
[Republic of Austria] German
Österreichisches Olympischen Comité
tel.: +43 (0)2253 / 58 168
fax: +43 (0)2253 / 58 168-20
Bürozeiten / Office hours
Mo-Do 8.00 - 17.00 Uhr
Fr 8.00 - 14.00 Uhr
Monday to Thursday 08:00 to 17:00
Friday: 08:00 to 14:00
Web site: Austrian Olympic Committee website (in German only)
Their former address was (and may still be in use for other sports offices):
Austrian Olympic Committee
tel: (43 1) 799 55 11 20
fax: (43 1) 799 55 12 20
Web site: Austrian Olympic Committee website (In German only)
Their websites seem to be the same at both url's above, but I will keep both for now.
Austria is located in central Europe north of Italy and is slightly smaller than the state of Maine, with a population of approximately 8.2 million people. This small nation used to be the center of European power when it was the capital of the Austro-Hungarian empire. The big loser in World War I, the empire was dismantled and made into smaller nations. In 1938 Austria was annexed by Hitler's Germany and once again lost in World War II, becoming an occupied nation until 1955. Austria declared perpetual "neutrality" as a condition for the Soviet Union army to leave its territory in 1955. The winter Olympic Games were hosted at Innsbruck in 1964 and again in 1976. The host city for the 1976 winter Olympic Games was supposed to be Denver but the public rallied to protest and after a state-wide referendum barred any Colorado money from being spent on the Games the IOC moved them to Innsbruck. In the Olympic Games Austria has a long and strong history in the sport of skiing.
Americans fell in love with Austria in 1965 when the film The Sound of Music became a hit and won ten Academy Awards, including best film. The opening scenes were breathtaking as the camera closed in from above to the top of an Alpine meadow where actress Julie Andrews sang the opening song "The hills are alive with the sound of music...."
Most recently the Austrian Olympic Committee was jolted by the imprisonment of its long time Secretary-General who was convicted of embezzling and sentenced to five years in prison (August 1, 2012). Citing the Austrian Times "Heinz Jungwirth, former long standing Secretary General of the Austrian Olympic Committee (?OC), has been sentenced to five years in prison for embezzlement and ordered to pay a fine of 1.5 million Euros. Jungwirth, it was alleged, embezzled 3.3 million Euro in cash from the Austrian Olympic Committee to fund a luxury lifestyle for himself." Read more about this in Austrian sources such as the Austrian Times: Austrian Olympic Secretary Jailed
Read more at the CIA FACTBOOK: Austria
[Republic of Azerbaijan] Formerly: Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic; Azerbaijani (Azeri) 90.3%, Russian 1.8%, Armenian 1.5%, other 3.9% (1999 census).
National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan
Olympic street 5
If you write to them another way to address the envelope using the European method, as they told me in a letter received March 13, 2005:
National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan
5, Olympic str.
tel: (994-12) 465 1323 (and) 465 84 38
fax: (994-12) 465 4225
web site: NOC of Azerbaijan
This link was not working on August 11, 2012. It was the main page with two choices -- links for languages in Azerbaijani or English.
Try this link for additional information at the website of the International Olympic Committee (IOC):
NOC Azerbaijan NOC Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan is a small country of almost 9.5 million people, slightly smaller than the state of Maine. The country considers itself European but is located in Southwest Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Russia, with a small European portion north of the Caucasus mountain range. This is a nation that was part of the Soviet Union -- with a Turkic and majority-Muslim population (93.4%). It only regained its independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Azerbaijan has yet to resolve its conflict with Armenia over the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh enclave (largely Armenian populated). Azerbaijan has lost 16% of its territory and must support some 800,000 refugees and internally displaced persons as a result of the conflict. There is potential for great wealth from petroleum resources which are as yet undeveloped. Local scientists consider the Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula) (including Baku and Sumqayit) and the Caspian Sea to be the ecologically most devastated area in the world because of severe air, soil, and water pollution; soil pollution results from oil spills, from the use of DDT as a pesticide, and from toxic defoliants used in the production of cotton.
Sport in Azerbaijan dates to antiquity. Horseback riding and sports included both men and women. Wrestling was one of the most ancient sports practiced. Since 1952 athletes from Azerbaijan were part of the Olympic team of the Soviet Union, which placed mostly Russian athletes on the teams for many years. Some athletes from Azerbaijan distinguished themselves in the Olympic Games but are recorded in history books as athletes from the Soviet Union. The independence of Azerbaijan led to the creation of its own Olympic Committee in 1992. A number of athletes have won medals in the Olympic Games since then.
Read more at the CIA Factbook: Azerbaijan
[Republic of Belarus] Belarusian, Russian, Polish, Ukrainian.
National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Belarus
Y. Kolasa str. 2
(August 11, 2012: they have four telephone numbers on their NOC page but they do not specify which numbers are telephones and which are faxes - they might each be BOTH).
tel./fax: (375 17) 237 3484
tel./fax: (375 17) 227 6184
tel./fax: (375 17) 288 2549
tel./fax: (375 17) 292 3028
fax?: (375 17) 327 6184(IOC website lists this as the Belarus Fax number, see BELARUS Identity card
email: firstname.lastname@example.org (from IOC website)
email: http://www.noc.by/eng/feedback_eng.html (only through online form).
web site: The NOC of the Republic of Belarus
Belarus was part of the Soviet Union and is now an independant nation with very close ties to Russia. It is a country of 9.5 million people east of Poland, north of the Ukraine, with northern neighbors Lithuania and Latvia and eastern neighbor Russia. The country is slightly smaller than Kansas. Although the country is a republic in name, it remains in fact a dictatorship. Many athletes from Belarus have won medals in the Olympic Games since 1952, but they were part of the team from the Soviet Union (USSR). At the NOC of the Republic of Belarus website you can read about their success.
This site is published by Belarusians living outside their country. In their own words: "Belarus Digest was launched in Washington, D.C. in 2008. Today our authors write on Belarus from London, Boston, Berlin, Moscow and Minsk. Belarus Digest provides non-partisan analysis of Belarus-related events written by Belarusians specifically for an English-language readership. Belarus regime's conduct and poor reputation provides a fertile ground for all kinds of myths and speculations. Belarus Digest tries to de-mystify Belarus and write about what is actually going on in the country. The project's contributors regularly appear as commentators on Belarus-related topics for leading international media such as BBC World TV, AlJazeera, Radio Liberty and others." There are several links within including Digest, Politics, Economy, Security, Social and Myths.
This site is the official government version of the news from Belarus.
According to the CIA Belarus is a dictatorship. US-Belarus relations are strained and since 2008 the nations have removed their ambassadors from their respective missions.
Read more at the CIA FACTBOOK: Belarus.
[Kingdom of Belgium] Dutch, French, German
[Koninkrijk Belgie / Royaume de Belgique]
National Olympic Committee of Belgium
(new logo) (old logo)
Dutch version of their address:
Belgisch Olympisch en Interfederaal Comité
(or the French version)...
Comité Olympique et Interfédéral Belge
Avenue de Bouchout 9,
tel: +32 (0)2 474 51 50
fax: +32 (0)2 479 46 56
web site: Belgisch Olympisch en Interfederaal Comité (Belgian Olympic Committee front page in Dutch)
web site: Belgian NOC French language page
The web site of the Belgian NOC is in Dutch and French so you may have trouble using this site without these language skills. It is interesting to note that this is one of very few NOC's that have not yet created English language versions of their web site.
Belgium is a bilingual nation where both Dutch and French are the official languages. German is used by only 1% of the nation. There is historical friction between the Dutch speaking northern section (Flemings) and the French speaking southern section (Walloons). As a result of the 1993 constitutional revision that furthered devolution into a federal state, there are now three levels of government (federal, regional, and linguistic community) with a complex division of responsibilities. Belgium has a long history of being in the middle of conflicts. The region was conquered by the Roman armies under Julius Caesar around 50 BCE, and changed hands several times under the control of other invaders. Napoleon was defeated at the battle of Waterloo, near Brussels in 1814, and the United Kingdom of the Netherlands was created from Belgium and Luxembourg. But the Belgians revolted and declared independence from the Netherlands in 1830. They remained neutral until the German invasion of 1914 and the battles of World War I. Immediately after the war ANTWERP hosted the 1920 Olympic Games. Then the Germans invaded again in 1940 and Belgium suffered greatly through World War II. Belgium today has has a population of over 10 million people and is about the same size as the state of Maryland. Belgium is a coastal city and mostly flat, so bicycling is the most popular sport followed by football (soccer) and tennis.
Read more at the CIA FACTBOOK: Belgium
[CANADA] English, French.
Canadian Olympic Committee
21 St.Clair Avenue E., Suite 900
Toronto, (Ontario) M4T 1L9
tel: (416) 962-0262
fax: (416) 967-4902
Canadian Olympic Committee Montreal Office
4141 Pierre de-Coubertin
Montréal (Québec) H1V 3N7
tel: (514) 861-3371
fax: (514) 861-2896
Canadian Olympic Committee Ottawa Office
85 rue Albert Street
Ottawa, (Ontario) K1P 6A4
tel: (613) 244-2020
fax: (613) 244-0169
NOC of Canada web site: Canadian NOC website front page for the English language.
Canada is the large country that borders the United States to the north, a huge nation that has a population of over 32 million people, of whom 85 percent live within 300 kilometers of the United States/Canadian border. Canada is a bi-lingual nation where English is the primary language in most provinces and French is the primary language in the province of Quebec. Canada gained its independence from Great Britain in 1867 but remains part of the British Commonwealth with Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State. Canada created their National Olympic Committee in 1907 and has a long history of participation in the Olympic Games. Montreal hosted the 1976 summer Olympic Games and Calgary hosted the 1988 winter Games. Vancouver, British Columbia (BC) hosted the 2010 winter Games.
[People's Republic of China] Chinese in various dialects. Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghaiese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (Han Chinese 91.9%, Zhuang, Uygur, Hui, Yi, Tibetan, Miao, Manchu, Mongol, Buyi, Korean, and other nationalities 8.1%).
[Country's formal name in Chinese: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo; Short form: Zhong Guo].
Chinese Olympic Committee
Tiyuguan Road 9
tel: (86 10) 671 16 669
fax: (86 10) 671 15 858
web site: Official Website of the Chinese Olympic Committee
China is the world's fourth largest country, slightly smaller than the USA. But the population is huge -- over one billion, three hundred-million people. That means for every American there are 4.6 Chinese. Imagine how hard it is to make their Olympic team! The 2012 Olympic Games were celebrated in China in the capital city of BEIJING (formerly known as PEKING).
China's history is very long, fascinating and complicated. The language is difficult for westerners. Unlike western languages such as English, French, German, Greek and Latin -- Chinese does not use an alphabet. Instead there are written symbols -- as many as fifty thousand -- that are used to communicate concepts, not sounds. The average Chinese person can read and write about 6,000 symbols -- enough to read a newspaper.
China is an ancient civilization, several thousand years old. For centuries China stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the rest of the world in the arts and sciences, but in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the country was beset by civil unrest, major famines, military defeats, and foreign occupation. Americans study very little about China in school -- but you may recognize some of the names and events: the Boxer Rebellion, the excellent 1987 movie The Last Emperor about Pu Yi, China's last emperor, who was overthrown in 1911 by Sun Yat-sen, and his United Revolutionary League, the forerunner of the Kuomintang. This group eventually lost the civil war in China and fled to the island of Taiwan off the coast of China.
Political leaders are known to most American students through World War II and cold war politics. Chiang Kai-shek, followed Sun Yat-sen and in 1927 he ended the alliance with the Communists led by Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai. Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931 while the Chinese political parties, Kuomintang and Communists, were fighting for control. Full scale war with Japan erupted in 1937 and ended in 1945. During the war, in 1942, Chiang Kai-shek became supreme allied commander of the Allied (USA and allies) forces in the China theatre. But when the Japanese surrendered -- civil war erupted between the Chinese factions and in 1949 the Communists won control of the entire country.
Chiang and his army fled to the island of Taiwan, which has acted as an independent nation, but don't say that to China, because they still consider Taiwan to be a renegade province. This whole question is a flashpoint of political and military conflict to this day. Taiwan is protected by defense treaties with the United States. China has a border with North Korea, the most politically repressive and hostile nation on earth. North and South Korea have a common border (the infamous "38th parallel") with the US military camping out right in the middle. In the early 1950's the Korean War entangled all these parties when North Korea invaded South Korea. The United States military, led by General Douglas McArthur, came to aid of South Korea. China came to the aid of North Korea. McArthur wanted to nuke the Chinese. President Truman -- who gave the go-ahead to nuke the Japanese to end World War II -- fired him. A truce was declared and hostilities ceased -- -- but the war never "officially" ended.
Then there is the issue of Hong Kong. This tiny seaport and island group was conquered by the British in 1841 and became part of the British Empire. In 1984 the British and Chinese governments signed a treaty that reverted Hong Kong back to China starting in 1997. Today Hong Kong is a special administrative unit (SAR) of China, but it remains a semi-autonomous region until 2047.
Today China has become a major economic trading partner of the USA -- and tensions have declined dramatically. China's economy is booming and imported goods flow into the USA every day. This does not diminish the fact that this region is a potential flashpoint.
Both "countries" of China and Taiwan send teams to the Olympic Games, but Taiwan can no longer use the "Chinese" flag. Hong Kong has its own National Olympic Committee, so you can read more at their listing, above. WOW -- great research stuff here for Olympic and sports students. Politics does indeed effect sport. And, of course, you know something about Chinese sport -- kung fu is an ancient Chinese martial art (actually called "Wu Shu"). Read all about it!
Read more at the CIA FACTBOOK: CHINA
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Abrams, Harvey. National Olympic Committee Directory, Page 4.
January 20, 2016.
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