A new record has been set for participation at the Olympic Winter Games. Delegations from 82 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) paraded last night at BC Place in Vancouver for the Opening Ceremony of the XXI Olympic Winter Games. Four years ago, the city of Turin welcomed athletes from 80 NOCs, a record at that time. Between now and 28 February, more than 2,500 athletes will compete in seven sports: luge, skiing, skating, ice hockey, biathlon, bobsleigh and curling.
A first for six NOCs
Whilst some of the 82 NOCs competing in Vancouver can boast participation in the Winter Games since the first ones in Chamonix, in 1924, for six NOCs Vancouver 2010 represents their first ever Olympic journey. Athletes from the Cayman Islands, Colombia, Ghana, Montenegro, Pakistan and Peru have obtained their first Olympic winter ticket.What is an NOC?
There are 205 NOCs recognised by the IOC. The NOCs are committed to the development of athletes, and support the development of sport for all programmes and high performance sport in their countries. They ensure that athletes from their respective nations attend the Olympic Games. Only an NOC is able to select and send teams and competitors to participate in the Olympic Games.