Upper Volta at the 1972 Summer Olympics

The Republic of Upper Volta (as Upper Volta) competed at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany. This was the first and only time the country participated under that name at the Olympic Games. However, the first Upper Voltan athletes took part in the Olympics at the 1924 Games as part of the French contingent. André Bicaba was the only athlete representing Upper Volta in 1972, who participated in the men's 100 metres but did not progress past his heat. Upper Volta initially sought to send athletes to the 1976 Summer Olympics, but boycotted it with other Africa nations. By the time it returned to the Games in 1988, the nation was known as Burkina Faso.

Upper Volta at the
1972 Summer Olympics
Flag of Upper Volta.svg
NOCUpper Volta National Olympic Committee
in Munich
Competitors1 man in 1 sport
Flag bearer André Bicaba
Summer Olympics appearances (overview)


The first athlete from Upper Volta to compete in the Olympics was Taka Gangua, who along with Chadian Taki N'Dio, competed in the men's javelin throw as part of the French delegation to the 1924 Summer Games in Paris. French Upper Volta then formed part of French West Africa,[1] a federation of eight French colonial territories.[2] Upper Volta competed under that name for the first and only time at the Summer Olympics in the 1972 Games in Munich, West Germany.[1]


Upper Volta was represented by a single athlete in the athletics, André Bicaba, making his only appearance at the Olympics. He took part in the sixth heat of the men's 100 metres, finishing 5th with a time of 10.71 and failing to advance to the quarter finals.[3]

Following the 1972 Games, Upper Volta considered sending athletes to the 1976 Summer Olympics, but joined with 28 other countries in a boycott after the IOC allowed New Zealand to participate in the Games,[1][4] despite the breach of the international sports boycott of South Africa by the nation's rugby union team shortly before the Olympics. The majority of the 28 countries in the Olympic boycott were African nations.[4] When the country returned to the Olympics, in 1988, they would be known as Burkina Faso.[1]

Athlete Event Heat Quarterfinal Semifinal Final
Result Rank Result Rank Result Rank Result Rank
André Bicaba 100 metres 10.71 5 Did not advance


  1. ^ a b c d Grasso, Mallon & Heijmans 2015, p. 98.
  2. ^ Wooten, Stephen. "French in West Africa". University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  3. ^ "André Bicaba". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  4. ^ a b Grasso, Mallon & Heijmans 2015, p. lxxv.


  • Grasso, John; Mallon, Bill; Heijmans, Jeroen (2015). Historical Dictionary of the Olympic Movement (5th ed.). Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-4422-4859-5.