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Olympic fact: Independent Olympic Athletes compete at London Games

Saturday, August 04, 2012 | 6:10 PM    

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DID you know The International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive board has authorised certain athletes to compete as individuals at the London 2012 Olympic Games?

These athletes will have no official affiliation to a National Olympic Committee and will compete under the title Independent Olympic Athletes (IOA).

As things stand at the moment, this exceptional authorisation will apply to qualified athletes from Netherlands Antilles.

The IOC withdrew recognition for the NOC of Netherlands Antilles in 2011 but decided that a “temporary administrative structure” would continue to exist until the London 2012 Games to allow athletes who qualified from this territory to participate.

At the Opening Ceremony, athletes from Netherlands Antilles marched under the Olympic Flag.

In the event of one of these athletes winning a medal, the Olympic Flag and anthem will be used at the victory ceremony.

Such arrangements for non-NOC affiliated athletes to compete as individuals do have precedence.

At Barcelona in 1992, athletes from parts of the former Yugoslavia competed as Independent Olympic Participants, while at Sydney 2000, athletes from the NOC that is now recognised as Timor-Leste (TLS) also competed under the Olympic Flag.

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