List of Olympic Games boycotts

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

Rhodesia was prevented from entering when its invitation to the 1972 Summer Olympics was withdrawn by the International Olympic Committee, following protests by other African countries. South Africa was not invited to the 1964 games, and its invitation to the 1968 games was withdrawn when numerous other teams threatened to withdraw due to apartheid. South Africa was not permitted to return to the Olympics until the 1992 Summer Olympics.

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

In 2021, several nations announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in response to the Chinese mistreatment of the Uyghur population, prohibiting government officials from attending the games in an official capacity, while still permitting athletes to compete.[1] Later, India joined the boycott of Beijing's 2022 Winter Olympics, accusing that China has 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-attendanceEdit

Olympiad Year Host Country Host City Boycotting countries
List Map
XVI 1956 Australia Melbourne  
XVIII 1964 Japan Tokyo  
XXI 1976 Canada Montreal  
XXII 1980 Soviet Union Moscow  
XXIII 1984 United States Los Angeles  
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)

List of non-attendance of government officials or diplomatic boycotts of the Olympic GamesEdit

  • Countries that engage in diplomatic boycotts plan to not send official delegations to games, however athletes are permitted to participate.
Games Year Host Country Host City Boycotting countries
List Map
XXIV Olympic Winter Games 2022 China Beijing  


  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. ^ "Lithuania confirms diplomatic boycott of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics". ANI News. 3 December 2021. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  5. ^ Allie Malloy and Kate Sullivan. "White House announces US diplomatic boycott of 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing". CNN. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  6. ^ "Australia joins diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics". ABC News. 7 December 2021. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  7. ^ "UK 'effectively' plans a diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics, joining the United States, Australia and Lithuania". Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  8. ^ Tasker, John Paul (8 December 2021). "Trudeau announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics". CBC/Radio-Canada. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  9. ^ "Kosovo boycotts Beijing Winter Olympics". Alsat News. 8 December 2021. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  10. ^ a b "Which Countries Are Boycotting China's Winter Olympics? Full List". Newsweek. 8 December 2021. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  11. ^ "Denmark to join diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics over human rights". Reuters. 14 January 2022. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  12. ^ 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.