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18 Mar 2004
IOC News

Record Number of NOCs Accept Invitations to Participate in Athens Olympic Games

Following last year's sending of invitations to attend the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad in Athens, the IOC has received a positive response from every recognised National Olympic Committee (NOC). This means that 202 NOCs will be competing in Athens this summer - a new record for the Olympic Movement.

Record Participation
The Games in Athens will set a record for the number of participating NOCs, with 202 planning on being in the Greek capital this summer. Previously, Sydney 2000 held the record with 199 NOCs, as well as athletes from East Timor participating under the Olympic flag. Since Sydney, the IOC has reinstated Afghanistan and Iraq (excluded and reinstated during the four years between Sydney and Athens) and welcomed Timor Leste and Kiribati into the Olympic Family, making this historic figure possible.

Massive Evolution
The first Games of the modern era, held in 1896 in Athens, were attended by only 14 NOCs. The lowest number of NOCs ever to attend the summer Games was recorded eight years later in 1904 in St Louis, when only 12 NOCs were in attendance. The number of competing NOCs then grew steadily until 1972 in Munich, where 121 NOCs competed.

Lower Figures in 1976 and 1980
The number of NOCs then fell again to 92 in 1976 in Montreal and even to 80 in 1980 in Moscow - partially due to a political boycott. Since Moscow, the number of participating NOCs has risen continually to reach today’s record figure of 202 - a progression of 188 NOCs since the first summer Games in 1896.

Official website of Athens 2004
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