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29 Winter Olympics Facts About Nations That Didn't Compete In the Sochi Games

South African skier Sive Speelman qualified for the Olympics, but his country didn't feel that he was good enough to serve as its lone representative. (schoolsportsnews.co.za) South African skier Sive Speelman qualified for the Olympics, but his country didn't feel that he was good enough to serve as its lone representative. (schoolsportsnews.co.za)

In Sochi, the world gathered in a celebration of sport, competition, and the Olympic spirit. At least, some of the world. There were 88 nations competing in Sochi, leaving 111 United Nations full members without delegations to the 2014 Winter Olympiad. Now that the Sochi torch has been snuffed, EM shifts its focus to the nations that didn't participate in this year's winter games. We still love you, Mozambique.

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Continental participation in Sochi, sorted by percentage of countries attending:

100%: Europe

100%: North America (not including Central America and the Caribbean)

50%: South America

41%: Asia

15%: Australia / Pacific Islands

6%: Africa

5%: Central America and the Caribbean

0%: Antarctica

Combined population of Middle East, South America, Caribbean and Africa: Nearly 2 billion

Combined all-time Winter Olympics medal count for Middle East, South America, Caribbean and Africa: 0

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nkorea-ussr Hwang Ok-Sil, left, won a bronze for North Korea in Albertville, France, in 1992 // Raisa Smetanina, right, won a boatload of medals while competing in five Olympics—four for the USSR, and one for the Unified Team

Countries that have won a winter medal in the past but aren’t competing this year:

Existing countries: North Korea, 2: Silver in 1964, bronze in 1992, both in women's speed skating

Former countries: Soviet Union, 194 (plus another 23 as the Unified Team in 1992)


Most decorated winter Olympian from a country not competing in Sochi:

Existing countries: Pil Hwa Han, North Korea (Speed skating; 1 silver medal)

Former countries: Raisa SmetaninaSoviet Union / Unified Team (Cross-country skiing; 4 gold, 5 silver, 1 bronze)

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Ramón-Fonst600 Cuban fencer Ramón Fonst won a gold and a silver in the 1900 Paris Olympics, and two golds in the 1904 St. Louis Games. Cuba has never had a Winter Olympian.

Countries that have competed in the most Summer Olympics without ever having sent a Winter delegation:

Cuba (19 summer)

Guyana, Panama, Sri Lanka (16 summer)


Top three existing countries in Summer Olympics medal count that aren’t in Sochi:

Cuba (208 medals)

Kenya (86)

South Africa (76)

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Of the 57 African countries, the three competing in Sochi:

Morocco, Togo, Zimbabwe

African countries that have established ski resorts: 

Algeria, Lesotho, Morocco, South Africa

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A Saudi Arabia oil field, looking warm and oily A Saudi Arabia oil field, looking warm and oily

Wealthiest country (by GDP per capita) not competing in Sochi:

Qatar, $93,831 per capita GDP (in 2012, according to the United Nations)

Highest GDP for a country not participating in Sochi: 

Saudi Arabia, $576.8 billion

Most populous country not participating in Sochi: 

Indonesia, nearly 250M people

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Penguins in South Africa Penguins in South Africa

6.8%:

Percentage of countries competing in Sochi that have native penguin populations (not counting overseas territories): Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand, Peru

5.4%:

Percentage of UN full member states not competing in Sochi that have native penguin populations: Angola, Ecuador, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Uruguay,

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K2: Tall K2: Tall

Northernmost country not in the Olympics:

North Korea, 42nd parallel north

Southernmost country not in the Olympics:

Uruguay, 30th parallel south. The country stretches to nearly to the 35th parallel.

Tallest mountains located in countries not participating in Sochi:

1. K2 (28,251 feet; Pakistan/China border)

2. Nanga Parbat (26,660 feet; Pakistan)

3. Gasherbrum I (26,509 feet; Pakistan/China border)

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This 1922 expedition, which intended—but failed—to summit Mt. Everest, was awarded the Alpinism medal in 1924. Not pictured is Nepali mountaineer Tejbir Bura, who was part of the climbing group and earned Nepal's only Winter Olympics medal for his efforts. This 1922 expedition, which intended—but failed—to summit Mt. Everest, was awarded the Alpinism medal in 1924. Not pictured is Nepali mountaineer Tejbir Bura, who was part of the climbing group and earned Nepal's only Winter Olympics medal for his efforts.

Former Winter Olympic sports: 

Military Ski Patrol (1924 only; medals: Switzerland, Finland, France)

Special figures (1908; medals: Russia, Britain, Britain)

Alpinism (awarded during 1924, 1932 and 1936 Olympics for feats in mountaineering)

Countries whose only Winter Olympics medals were awarded for Alpinism: India, Nepal

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map

Non-Winter Olympic countries that sent the most tweets with the hashtag #Sochi2014 (sample size: Day 14 of the Olympics, based on Tweets per million population): 

1. United Arab Emirates (10th overall)

2. Jordan (13th)

3. Dominican Republic (19th)

Source: http://cf.datawrapper.de/YI8Ha/19/
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