Countries Participating in the 2020 Olympic Games

Countries Participating in the 2020 Olympic Games

September 18, 2019

Tokyo 2020

The 2020 Summer Olympics, what people are calling Tokyo 2020, will start in July 2020 in Japan.

It's an exciting time for geography enthusiasts, as we get to see athletes from all over the globe represent their countries. In all the excitement, there can be some confusion, too. We know there are 195 states recognized by the UN, so that means that some of the 206 countries that will be competing in the Olympics aren't really countries!

The body that decides who can compete in the Olympics is called the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and each state that's deemed eligible to participate is known as a National Olympic Committee (NOC). According to the OIC, "the mission of the NOCs is to develop, promote and protect the Olympic Movement in their respective countries, in accordance with the Olympic Charter."

The OIC doesn't require that NOCs be independent countries. Some partially self-governed or dependent territories and certain partially recognized states have been approved.

In 2020, there will be 206 NOCs. Let's break them down by the numbers.

193UN Member States
1UN Observer States (Palestine)
2Partially recognized states (Kosovo, and Chinese Taipei, AKA Taiwan)
1One almost-independent state, the Cook Islands, in free association with New Zealand
9Dependent Territories—American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Aruba, and Hong Kong.
206That's the grand total

There are 206 states that the IOC recognizes as eligible to participate in the 2020 Olympics.

Will you be rooting for Canada? The US? Maybe your cousin from Monaco is a track and field star.

Athletes from New Zealand will be competing, along with those from Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Venezuela, and so many more countries.

You can find the country you'll be pulling for, plus every other OIC-recognized state, using our comprehensive map quiz that includes all 206 states competing in the 2020 Olympics!