Great Olympians - Nationalities

A Nationality is a characteristic for a given person, which does not change during someone's lifetime (although there are many exceptions to this - see the list).

On the other hand, countries do often change name, countries split or merge, territories change allegiance.  Through that process, many athletes have changed the country they represent from one Olympiad to another.  These athletes are always listed as having one single nationality, throughout their Olympic career.

This one nationality is expressed in present-day terms.  Thus, the athletes representing Bohemia in the early 1900's are listed as "Czech" nationals, even if they would never have dreamt there would ever be something like a "Czech Republic".

In almost all cases (starting in 1906), it is clear which nation a particular athlete represented.  It is the nation whose National Olympic Committee sent him to the Olympic Games. An athlete's nationality is not so straightforward though.

In deciding on the nationality of an athlete, I have followed the following rules :

Years NOC Region/City History Nationality Athletes
Great Britain Ireland independent after 1922 Ireland Ireland (1896),
Ireland (1900),
Ireland (1904),
Ireland (1906)
1908 Northern Ireland part of Great Britain Great Britain R. C. Robb
David Stevenson
Francis Guy
Hungary Slovakia part of Czechoslovakia after 1918,
Slovakia since 1993
Slovakia Aljoz Szokol,
Juraj Luntzer
Vojvodina part of Yugoslavia after 1918,
Serbia since 1991
Serbia Momcilo Tapavica,
Sztantics György
1906 Cluj part of Romania after 1918,
Hungarian population still present
Romania István Somodi
Ottoman Empire Smyrna,
part of Turkey after 1922,
all Greeks emigrated to Greece,
foreign nationals counted in their
own nationality,
Turk counted as Turkish
Greece Loverdos,
Dimitrios Tombrof,
Greece (1906)
Armenia Zareck Couyoumdzian
France France
Great Britain Great Britain
Turkey Vahran Papazyan
1906 Thessaloniki,
part of Greece after 1922 Greece Greece (1906)
Cyprus British after 1922
Independent after 1960
Cyprus Anastasios Andreou,
Cyprus (1906)
1900 Austria Croatia part of Yugoslavia after 1918,
Croatia since 1991
Croatia Milan Neralic
1906 Silesia part of Poland after 1918 Poland Otto Scheff
1900 France Algeria independent 1961 Algeria Algeria (1900)
1904 Canada Newfoundland part of Canada since 1949 Canada Bob Fowler

Special cases :

Written 2001-03-09 - last modified 2010-12-22

This page is part of the site "Full Olympians" by Herman De Wael. See here for a full Introduction.