Independent Olympic Athletes (IOA)



Olympic Games 76
Youth Olympic Games 1


In 1992, at Barcelona, 58 athletes (39 men and 19 women) from Yugoslavia were allowed to compete as Independent Olympic Participants. The United Nations Security Council Resolution No. 757 had placed a ban on Yugoslav teams competing internationally because of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. However, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) made arrangements allowing individual athletes to compete, providing they did not officially represent Yugoslavia.

At Sydney in 2000, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) allowed athletes from the disputed nation of East Timor to compete under the designation of Individual Olympic Athletes. This was despite the fact that the nation did not yet have a National Olympic Committee recognized by the IOC. East Timor was represented in 2000 by four athletes – three men and one women, who competed in track & field athletics, boxing, and weightlifting.

Independent Olympic Athletes appeared again in London 2012. The Netherlands Antilles had become part of the Netherlands in 2010, with autonomous status for Curaçao and St. Maarten (similar to Aruba). Not being independent, the new nations were not recognized by the IOC. Its athletes could choose to compete either for the Netherlands, or, only in 2012, as Independent Olympic Athletes (which three competitors did).

South Sudan, which had become independent on 9 July 2011, had not yet set up an Olympic Committee, and one athlete (Guor Marial) entered under the Olympic flag. Athletes from Kosovo, notably former judo world champion Majlinda Kelmendi, had also appealed to compete under this banner, as the Kosovan NOC was not recognized. This request was denied by the IOC, stating the athletes could compete for Serbia. Kelmendi eventually represented Albania.

Finally, Kuwait was threatened by the IOC to have to compete as Independent Olympic Athletes, as its NOC had been suspended on charges of governmental involvement in the NOC. The conflict was resolved shortly before the London Games, and during the opening ceremony, Kuwait entered the Olympic stadium under its own banner.

At the 2014 Winter Olympics Shiva Keshavan, who had competed for India four times in the past, was forced to participate under the IOA banner because his nation had been suspended by the IOC in 2012. India was reinstated in the midst of the 2014 Games, but not in time for Keshavan to officially represent the country.

In October 2015, Kuwait was banned from the international sport scene, when the IOC and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) announced the suspension of the Arab nation due to governmental interference in the sporting entities. The athletes from Kuwait competed under the IOA banner, and won two medals: a gold medal in double trap shooting, and a bronze medal in trap shooting. This was the first gold medal by Independent Olympic Athletes.

As noted above, one problem with this group of athletes is that it has been variously referred as Independent Olympic Participants (IOP), Individual Olympic Athletes (IOA), and Independent Olympic Athletes (IOA) although the latter name is now fairly standard.

Participations by edition

Olympic Games

Edition As Men Women Total
1992 Summer Olympics Independent Olympic Participants 39 19 58 Results
2000 Summer Olympics Individual Olympic Athletes 3 1 4 Results
2012 Summer Olympics Independent Olympic Athletes 3 1 4 Results
2014 Winter Olympics Independent Olympic Participants 1 0 1 Results
2016 Summer Olympics Independent Olympic Athletes 8 1 9 Results

Youth Olympic Games

Edition As Men Women Total
2014 Summer Youth Olympics Independent Olympic Athletes 0 1 1 Results

Participations by discipline

Olympic Games

Discipline (Sport) Men Women Total
Artistic Swimming (Aquatics) 0 3 3 Results
Athletics 9 4 13 Results
Boxing 1 0 1 Results
Canoe Slalom (Canoeing) 3 0 3 Results
Canoe Sprint (Canoeing) 2 0 2 Results
Cycling Road (Cycling) 5 0 5 Results
Cycling Track (Cycling) 1 0 1 Results
Fencing 1 1 2 Results
Judo 4 1 5 Results
Luge 1 0 1 Results
Rhythmic Gymnastics (Gymnastics) 0 2 2 Results
Rowing 2 0 2 Results
Sailing 0 1 1 Results
Shooting 9 5 14 Results
Swimming (Aquatics) 3 3 6 Results
Table Tennis 3 2 5 Results
Tennis 1 0 1 Results
Weightlifting 1 0 1 Results
Wrestling 9 0 9 Results

Youth Olympic Games

Discipline (Sport) Men Women Total
Athletics 0 1 1 Results

Medals by Games

Edition Competition Type Gold Silver Bronze Total
2016 Summer Olympics Olympic Games 1 0 1 2
1992 Summer Olympics Olympic Games 0 1 2 3

Medals by sport

Olympic Games

Sport Gold Silver Bronze Total
Shooting 1 1 3 5

Most successful competitors

Includes medals won as part of mixed teams.

Olympic Games

Athlete Nat Gold Silver Bronze Total
Fehaid Al-Deehani IOA
1 0 0 1
Jasna Šekarić IOA
0 1 0 1
Abdullah Al-Rashidi IOA
0 0 1 1
Aranka Binder IOA
0 0 1 1
Stevan Pletikosić IOA
0 0 1 1