The Marshall Islands was elected as the 203rd National Olympic Committee at the 118th IOC Session in Torino on 9 February 2006. Their case was initially taken up in 1993 by Paul Wallwork, formerly the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member to Samoa, but the IOC’s original response was that, as citizens of the Marshall Islands carry USA passports, the United States could, in effect, send a second team to the Olympics. This unusual reply completely overlooked the fact that other territories (e.g. Guam, Puerto Rico, British Virgin Islands, Netherlands Antilles, and American Samoa) were in a similar situation but had already been accorded membership in the IOC. The Marshall Islands finally competed in 2008 at Beijing with five athletes, and has also competed at the 2012, 2016, and 2020 Olympic Games.
The Marshall Islands has never won an Olympic medal, and it has not competed at the Winter Olympics. Their best performance came in 2016, when weightlifter Mattie Sasser finished 11th of 16 competitors in the women’s lightweight class.