Countries That Have Never Won A Winter Olympic Medal

Flags of participating countries on display at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Image credit: Aron Hsiao/Shutterstock

The first Winter Olympics were held between January 25th and February 5th, 1924, in Chamonix, France. On January 26th, the first Winter Olympics gold medal was won by Charles Jewtraw of the United States. France failed to win a gold medal in the Games but managed to accumulate three bronze medals. The first Winter Olympics involved 258 participants from 16 states competing in nine disciplines.

The XXIII Olympic Winter Games were held in Pyeongchang County, South Korea between February 8th and 25th, 2018. 92 countries presented 2,920 participants competing in 102 events in 15 sports. The next Winter Olympics are set to take place in Beijing, China in 2022. All states seeking to attend the Olympic Games must be members of the National Olympic Committee. To date, there are 206 countries that can actively participate in the Olympics. 119 countries have participated in the Winter Olympics since it was established, while 90 of the 206 countries have yet to field participants.

Countries That Have Never Won A Winter Olympic Medal

The Tonga flag at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Image credit: Leonard Zhukovsky/Shutterstock

Despite the ever-increasing number of countries participating in the Winter Olympics, slightly more than half have won an Olympic medal. Cameroon, Colombia, Egypt, Ghana, Guatemala, Paraguay, Serbia and Montenegro (now defunct), Togo, Tonga, Uruguay, and Zimbabwe have all participated in a single Winter Olympic without winning a medal. Countries that have participated in two Winter Olympics without winning a medal include Ethiopia, Montenegro, Netherlands Antilles (now defunct), Pakistan, Peru, and Serbia.

Algeria, Fiji, Kenya, Thailand, and Trinidad and Tobago have all competed in three Winter Olympics without finishing on the podium. Hong Kong, the Philippines, Tajikistan, and Venezuela have registered four participations without a medal. Senegal, Macedonia, and Azerbaijan have participated in five Winter Olympic games without any of their contestants finishing in the podium position. Notably, South Africa has never won a Winter Olympics medal despite participating in six Winter Olympic Games.

Israel's Olympic team at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Israel had never won a medal in the Winter Games. Image credit: Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock

Countries that have unsuccessfully competed in six Winter Olympic Games are Armenia, Costa Rica, Georgia, Ireland, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Moldova, Puerto Rico, and South Africa. Bermuda, Brazil, Jamaica, Portugal, and the Virgin Islands are all seven times unsuccessful participants. Lithuania and Mexico have participated eight times without winning either a gold, silver or bronze medal. India has been unsuccessful nine times, while Iran and Cyprus have not won a medal after making ten appearances. Chinese Taipei has participated unsuccessfully 11 times while Mongolia has done so 13 times. Chile, Lebanon, and Turkey are 16 times unsuccessful participants while Iceland has taken part in 17 Winter Olympics. Argentina and Greece set the record with 18 participations without finishing in a podium position.

The Most Successful Countries In The Winter Olympics

Norway holds the largest number of medals (368) won in the Winter Olympics since 1924. The United States ranks second with 305 while Germany ranks third with 240. Austria ranked fourth with 218 while the (now defunct) Soviet Union accumulated 194 medals. Canada, Finland, and Sweden ranked sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectively.

Countries That Have Never Won A Winter Olympic Medal

Rank´╗┐Country# of Winter GamesGold MedalsSilver MedalsBronze MedalsTotal Medals
1 Cameroon (CMR)10000
2 Colombia (COL)10000
3 Egypt (EGY)10000
4 Ghana (GHA)10000
5 Guatemala (GUA)10000
6 Paraguay (PAR)10000
7 Serbia and Montenegro (SCG)10000
8 Togo (TOG)10000
9 Tonga (TGA)10000
10 Uruguay (URU)10000
11 Zimbabwe (ZIM)10000
12 Ethiopia (ETH)20000
13 Montenegro (MNE)20000
14 Netherlands Antilles (AHO)20000
15 Pakistan (PAK)20000
16 Peru (PER)20000
17 Serbia (SRB)20000
18 Algeria (ALG)30000
19 Fiji (FIJ)30000
20 Kenya (KEN)30000
21 Thailand (THA)30000
22 Trinidad and Tobago (TRI)30000
23 Hong Kong (HKG)40000
24 Philippines (PHI)40000
25 Tajikistan (TJK)40000
26 Venezuela (VEN)40000
27 Azerbaijan (AZE)50000
28 Macedonia (MKD)50000
29 Senegal (SEN)50000
30 Armenia (ARM)60000
31 Costa Rica (CRC)60000
32 Georgia (GEO)60000
33 Ireland (IRL)60000
34 Israel (ISR)60000
35 Kyrgyzstan (KGZ)60000
36 Moldova (MDA)60000
37 Morocco (MAR)60000
38 Puerto Rico (PUR)60000
39 South Africa (RSA)60000
40 Bermuda (BER)70000
41 Brazil (BRA)70000
42 Jamaica (JAM)70000
43 Portugal (POR)70000
44 Virgin Islands (ISV)70000
45 Lithuania (LTU)80000
46 Mexico (MEX)80000
47 India (IND)90000
48 Cyprus (CYP)100000
49 Iran (IRI)100000
50 Chinese Taipei (TPE)110000
51 Mongolia (MGL)130000
52 Chile (CHI)160000
53 Lebanon (LIB)160000
54 Turkey (TUR)160000
55 Iceland (ISL)170000
56 Argentina (ARG)180000
57 Greece (GRE)180000
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