The Summer Olympics is an athletic competition where the best athletes in the world compete against each other. The athletes try to win either gold, silver, or bronze medals. An athlete’s Olympic medal is a badge of honor an Olympian will have the rest of his or her life. The U.S. has dominated the Summer Olympics, but sixty-five countries in the world have not had any of their athletes ever medal at the Summer Olympic Games. Read through the following paragraphs to learn about some of these countries.
Cambodia has a population of 15 million. It is bordered by Vietnam to the East, Laos to the northeast, Thailand to the northwest, and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest. The United Nations (U.N.) considers Cambodia a least developed country. Cambodia has never competed in the Winter Olympics. The country has only competed in 9 Summer Olympics. Cambodia started competing in the 1956 Melbourne, Australia Olympics. Cambodian athletes only entered the equestrian events held in Sweden since there were quarantine rules at the time. After the 1972 Summer Olympics, Cambodia did not compete again until the 1996 Summer Olympics because of the Khmer Rouge regime. The country has competed in every Summer Olympics since.
Aruba is an island country located about 18 miles off Venezuela’s north coast. Aruba has a drier climate, and cactus’s dot its landscape. Aruba is one of the four countries that are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Aruba is a popular tourist destination as well. Aruba began participating in the games at the 1988 Olympics, but it competed as a part of the Netherlands Antilles from 1952 until 1984. Aruban athletes have competed in the judo, swimming, cycling, and sailing events.
Madagascar is officially known as the Republic of Madagascar. Madagascar is located about 250 miles of Africa’s eastern coast. It is the second largest island country in the world. About 90% of Madagascar’s plants and animals aren’t found anywhere else in the world. Madagascar began competing in the 1964 Olympics, and Madagascar even sent 10 athletes to the 2000 Summer Olympics. In the 1968 Summer Olympics, Jean-Louis Ravelomanantsoa ran in the finals of the 100 meters and finished in eighth place. It was the highest any athlete from Madagascar has placed. The country also competed in the 2006 and 2018 Winter Olympics.
Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America. It borders Honduras to the northwest, Costa Rica to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. The second-largest rainforest in the Americas is in Nicaragua. The six million people that live in Nicaragua are of European, Asian, African, and indigenous descent. Nicaragua has competed in the Summer Olympics since 1968, except for the 1988 Games it boycotted in support of North Korea. The Nicaraguan baseball team came close to winning a medal in the 1996 Atlanta games. The team beat Australia, Italy, South Korea, and the Netherlands before losing to Cuba. The largest delegation that ever competed at the Summer Olympics was during the 1996 Atlanta games.