Factbox: Past boycotts and cancellations

(Reuters) - Canada and Australia said they would not be sending athletes to the Tokyo Olympics if the Games went ahead as scheduled in July and August this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

FILE PHOTO: The Olympic rings are pictured in front of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne, Switzerland, March 17, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

Here is a list of previous cancellations, boycotts and changes of venues of the Summer and Winter games.




1916 Berlin World War I

1940 Tokyo World War II

1944 London World War II



1940 Sapporo World War II

1944 Cortina d’Ampezzo World War II


* 1908: The Games were due to be hosted in Rome but were moved to London in 1906 when the eruption of the volcano Vesuvius led Italy to divert funds to the rebuilding of Naples.

* 1948 (London): Germany and Japan were not invited due to their role in World War II while the Soviet Union did not participate.

* 1956 (Melbourne): Egypt, Iraq, and Lebanon did not participate due to the Suez Crisis.

Spain, Netherlands, Switzerland and Cambodia boycotted the Games because of the Soviet Union’s participation.

China boycotted the Games as Taiwan was allowed to compete and only returned to competing in 1980.

* 1964 (Tokyo): North Korea, China and Indonesia boycotted the Games after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) refused to allow athletes who competed in the rival Games of the New Emerging Forces in Jakarta the year before.

South Africa was barred from participating during the apartheid era in 1964 and was expelled from the IOC in 1970. The country was re-admitted to the IOC in 1991 and allowed to compete at the 1992 Barcelona Games.

* 1972 (Munich): Rhodesia was banned from taking part a week before the Games when African countries threatened a boycott.

* 1976 (Innsbruck): The Winter Games were originally awarded to Denver in 1970 but it backed out two years later after public resistance and amid environmental concerns. The Austrian resort of Innsbruck stepped in instead.

* 1976 (Montreal): 29 countries, mainly African, boycotted the Games after the IOC refused to ban New Zealand, whose rugby team had toured apartheid South Africa that year.

Taiwan withdrew because Canada did not allow them to compete as the Republic of China.

* 1980 (Lake Placid): Taiwan boycotted the Winter Games after the IOC recognized the People’s Republic of China as ‘China’ and asked Taiwan to compete under the name ‘Chinese Taipei’.

* 1980 (Moscow): 66 countries, led by the United States, boycotted the Games due to the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan although some athletes participated under the Olympic flag.

* 1984 (Los Angeles): 14 countries, including the Soviet Union, East Germany and its allies boycotted the Games in response to the American-led boycott in 1980.

* 1988 (Seoul): North Korea and Cuba boycotted the Games while five others either did not respond to the invitation or were unable to send athletes due to financial constraints.

* 2018 (Pyeongchang): Russia was banned by the IOC from the Winter Games due to a state-sponsored doping scandal and their athletes were only allowed to compete under the Olympic flag.


* 1972 (Munich): 11 Israeli athletes were killed by Palestinians who broke into the Olympic Village and events were suspended for more than 24 hours before the Games resumed.

* 1996 (Atlanta): A pipe bomb was detonated at the Centennial Olympic Park, killing two people and injuring 111, but the Games continued as planned.

Compiled by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge