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London 2012: 85 who did, 119 who didn't

Twenty-six sports, 302 medal events, about ten and a half thousand competitors. A total of 204 National Olympic Committees represented at the Games of the XXX Olympiad, plus the "Independent" athletes. Medals were won by 85 NOCs, one less than the total at Beijing.

That's 41 per cent of competing teams coming away from London with at least one medal, with Bahrain, Botswana, Cyprus, Gabon, Grenada, Guatemala and Montenegro each taking a medal for the first time.

One hundred and nineteen NOCs missed out on an Olympic medal in London. I believe an acknowledgement of all 119 is appropriate:

Albania, American Samoa, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Austria.
Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi.
Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Comoros, Congo, DR Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire.
Djibouti, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equitorial Guinea, Eritrea, Fiji.
Gambia, Ghana, Guam, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Iraq, Israel, Jordan.
Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg.
Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Myanmar.
Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman.
Pakistan, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda.
St Kitts Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria.
Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay.
Vanuatu, Vietnam, Virgin Islands, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

To those you can add the four Independent Olympic Athletes who competed under the IOC flag: three from Curacao, left without a National Olympic Committee after the Netherlands Antilles was dissolved in 2010, and one from South Sudan, which has yet to form an NOC.

Of the 119 countries who left London without a empty-handed, 72 have yet to ever win an Olympic medal, summer or winter. Wikipedia has the list here. (Monaco avoids the list by virtue of a bronze in the 1924 Art competition.)

Nigeria's failure to score surprises me a little. Here's an editorial from The Punch. They took 52 athletes to London.

Bangladesh had no pretense of Olympic success when they sent five athletes, all in London as wildcard entrants. This preview from Global Voices describes their situation. Their NOC website tells of the nation's recent success at women's beach kabaddi.

Israel, whose Olympic legacy is scarred forever by the terrorist attack on their team at Munich 1972, scored its only gold medal at Athens 2004 in windsurfing, an event I documented at the time. They took 37 athletes to London. Amidst all the disappointment, former Olympic sailor Shani Kedmi-Zuckerman gives some perspective.

Meanwhile, Palestine, recognised as an Olympic entity since Atlanta 1996 but otherwise struggling for dignity let alone nationhood, sent five competitors to London with no ambitions other than to take part. Woroud Sawalha entered the women's 800 metres. She finished last in her heat, but her time (2:29.16) was still her personal best. Canada's Globe and Mail have a report on her race.

Finally, a video report (not embeddable) produced by the Reporters Academy for ABC's Australia Network, as athletes from various Pacific countries reflect on their experiences of the London Olympics.