Tue 17 August 2021 | 15:30

Best Independent Olympians at the Olympic Games

The Olympics committee has done their best to find a way for all athletes to compete in the Olympics, that's why we also have independent athletes who don't represent a country but come to shine under the independence flag. We welcome you to the best Independent Olympians at the Olympic Games.

For a variety of reasons, including political transition, international penalties, suspensions of National Olympic Committees, and compassion, athletes have participated as Independent Olympians in the Olympic Games.

Independent athletes have arrived from Macedonia, Cambodia, East Timor, South Sudan, and Curaçao as a result of geopolitical changes in the years leading up to the Olympics, from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (now Montenegro and Serbia) as a result of international sanctions, from India and Kuwait as a result of suspensions of their National Olympic Committees, and from Russia as a result of mass anti-doping violations.

Independent Olympians won medals in both the 1992 and 2016 Olympics, both in shooting. For these independent Olympians, the nomenclature and country code standards have been inconsistent. For the same reasons as Independent Olympians, Independent Paralympians have competed in Paralympic Games.

It is very nice to see that these athletes also have a chance of competing in the Olympics and win something by their amazing performance. Many people don’t have a clue about this “Independent athlete” concept in the Olympics thus we first will go over this concept and will cover the necessary points and then we will move on to the

Best Independent Olympians at the Olympic Games


An all-in-one article about Independent Olympians at the Olympic Games

During the Cold War, several athletes who emigrated from Communist European nations were unable to compete in the Olympics because their home country's Olympic Committee (NOC) did not want them on its team or allow them to switch nationality. In 1952 and 1956, some people applied to compete as individuals but were turned down.

In preparation for the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, the IOC created arrangements for competitors to participate under the Olympic flag for the first time. Despite their governments' backing for the American-led boycott in protest of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, several NOCs, especially from Western Europe, wanted to compete.

Because the NOCs were hesitant to use national emblems without government consent, the IOC eased the requirement: 14 NOCs competed under the Olympic flag, while three others, New Zealand,


, and Portugal, competed under their individual NOC flags.

Now that you know the full story let us move to the list of

Best Independent Olympic participants


Yusra Mardini (flag bearer)

It's a necessity to bring the flag bearer of the current year's Olympics first because it's a great honor to be the one holding your country's or in this case organization's flag. Thus, here she is on the first spot of our best Independent Olympians at the Olympic games list.

Yusra Mardini is a Syrian


now living in Hamburg. She was a member of the Refugee Olympic Athletes Team (ROT), who participated in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro under the Olympic flag. Mardini was named a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador on April 27, 2017. She also represented the Refugee Olympic Team in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo (EOR).

Mardini was the most recent addition to a worldwide squad of players that represent the Under Armour sports brand as of October 2017. "We are impressed by her passion and accomplishments, both as a person and as an athlete," said Chris Bate, Under Armour managing director for Europe.

Mardini will compete in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games. In the opening ceremony, she carried the banner of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team in the athletes' march. She swam a 1:06.78 in the heats of the women's 100m butterfly and was eliminated from the following rounds, as only the top 16 women qualified.

Yusra Mardini has led their Olympic group in the opening ceremony and she also has to lead our best Independent Olympians at the Olympic games article to the next athlete on the list.

Vladislav Gavrikov

Another athlete from Russia. Vladislav Gavrikov was a member of the Olympic athletes from the Russia team in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Vladislav Andreyevich Gavrikov is a Russian professional ice hockey defender who currently plays for the National Hockey League's Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL).

The Blue Jackets selected him 159th overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

On November 15, 2019, Gavrikov scored his first NHL goal. The goal was scored against St. Louis Blues goalkeeper Jake Allen. Gavrikov scored 18 points in 69 games during his first season.

Gavrikov would score his first NHL playoff goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He'd score three points in ten games in the playoffs. But that was his domestic career, and we are here for the international or Olympics.

Gavrikov has competed for Russia at the World Under-17 Challenge, World Under-18 Championships, World Junior Championships, and World Championships on an international level. As said before, at the 2018 Winter Olympics, he was a member of the Russian Olympic Athletes team.

Jasna Šekarić

Let's meet someone new in this part of the

Best Independent Olympians at the Olympic games

. Jasna Sekaric is probably one of the best Serbian athletes who was once competing for Independent Olympic participants.

She has five Olympic medals to her credit: one gold, three silvers, and one bronze. She has also won three gold medals at the World Championships in the 10-meter air pistol. Despite having an identical score, she lost the Olympic gold medal to Marina Logvinenko in 1992. She is one of only six shooters who have participated in at least seven Olympic Games (as of 2012).

She was named greatest sportswoman and shot in the SFR Yugoslavia, Croatia, the FR Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro, and Serbia on many occasions. She won the Golden Badge of Sport award for best athlete in Yugoslavia in 1988 and 1994.

She was the country's flag bearer at the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympics. Jasna is the first shooter to compete in five Olympic Games and be a finalist in each of them, according to the golden book of sport shooting. According to these facts we have decided to put her on our best Independent Olympians at the Olympic games.

Despite never changing her country, Sekaric has competed in six Olympics under four different flags. She participated in the 1988 Olympics for Yugoslavia. She (together with fifty other Serbians, Montenegrins, and Macedonians) competed as Independent Olympic Participants in 1992 since Yugoslavia was under UN sanctions.

Her next two Olympic appearances were under the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's flag. She first participated for Serbia and Montenegro, which had the same flag as FR Yugoslavia, in 2004, and then for Serbia in 2008.

Alexander Bolshunov

You might wonder that why most of our candidates of Olympics Independent athletes are from Russia. Here is the reason: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) declared on December 5, 2017, that Russia will be banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics due to its state-sponsored doping program.

Russian competitors were permitted to compete under the Olympic banner as "Olympic Athletes from Russia" (OAR) if they were cleared by a panel that included officials from the IOC, the World Anti-Doping Agency, and the Global Association of International Sports Federations' Doping Free Sport Unit.

With that being said let us meet the next athlete on the list.

Alexander Aleksandrovich Bolshunov is a Russian cross-country skier who has won the 14th and 15th Tour de Ski on two occasions. Bolshunov competed in the FIS U23 World Ski Championships in Soldier Hollow, Utah, United States, in 2017, the same location that hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics.

He finished second in the sprint and won the 15 km solo freestyle event a few days later. Bolshunov, Alexey Chervotkin, and Denis Spitsov, who approached the finish line hand in hand, gave a remarkable performance in the skiathlon event. The winner was Bolshunov.

Bolshunov skipped a few World Cup stages after the 2017–18 Tour de Ski, when he finished third in the 15 km pursuit stage, to train for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

He bounced back at the Olympics, winning three silver and one bronze medal. Only Johannes Hsflot Klbo and Federico Pellegrino beat him to his first Olympic medal in sprint classical. Bolshunov went on to win gold medals in the team sprint freestyle, the 4 x 10 km relay, and the 50 km classical.

Abdullah Al-Rashidi

Let’s travel to Kuwait to meet our next candidate on the list. Maybe the best athlete on the list, Abdullah Al-Rashidi is a three-time world champion and Kuwaiti sport shooter. In 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2020, he competed in the Summer Olympics, winning bronze medals in men's skeet in both 2016 and 2020.

In 1995, 1997, and 1998, Abdullah Al-Rashidi earned three gold medals in the World Shooting Championships, and in 2011, he won a bronze medal. He has been competing since 1989 and has won four World Cup events. He has six gold, three silver, and two gold and one silver medals from Asian Shooting Championships and two gold and one silver medal from Asian Games.

Because Kuwait was barred from the Olympics due to government meddling in sport, Al-Rashidi participated as an "independent Olympic athlete" in the 2016 Summer Olympics. He won the qualifying, placed fourth in the semifinals, and won the bronze medal match against Ukraine's Mikola Milchev, the 2000 Olympic champion.

Because his status as an independent Olympian did not allow him to compete in his national team's uniform, he received media attention for competing in the Arsenal F.C. training shirt despite not being a fan, prompting social media users to make comparisons between him and the team's performance in the Premier League.

Al-Rashidi earned his second Olympic bronze medal, this time representing Kuwait, at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Fehaid Al-Deehani

Let us stay in Kuwait for one more section to present the next athlete of our best

Olympics Independent athletes

list. At the 2000 Summer Olympics, Al-Deehani earned a bronze medal in the men's double trap shooting event, and he won another bronze in the men's Olympic trap shooting event at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Because Kuwait was barred from the Olympics by the IOC, Al-Deehani competed as an "independent Olympic athlete" at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Al-Deehani demanded that Kuwaiti authorities responsible for the IOC ban resign, but he declined to carry the Olympic flag at the 2016 Olympic opening ceremonies. In the men's double trap gold medal match, Al-Deehani defeated Italian Marco Innocenti, becoming the first independent athlete to win a gold medal.

Can he be the

top contestant

on the list or do you think someone else deserves to be called the best independent athlete of the Olympics?

Alina Zagitova

Time to go back to Russia to meet a gorgeous athlete. Maybe the most beautiful one of the best Olympics Independent athletes. Let’s not keep you waiting and move into this section.

Alina Ilnazovna Zagitova is a figure skater from Russia. Zagitova began official skating lessons with Damira Pichugina when she was four years old in Almetyevsk, Tatarstan, where her father was a hockey coach for the Neftyanik team.

She began training with instructor Natalia Antipina when her family relocated to Izhevsk in 2008. She came to Moscow in 2015 to train under Eteri Tutberidze and Sergei Dudakov.

After finishing 12th in the short program and 8th in the free skate, Zagitova placed 9th at the 2016 Russian Junior Championships.

She is the Olympic champion in 2018, the World champion in 2019, the European champion in 2018, the Grand Prix Final champion in 2017–18, and the Russian national champion in 2018.

Zagitova also represented the Olympic Athletes from Russia team in the 2018 Winter Olympics, winning a silver medal in the team event. Following the 2020-21 figure skating season, Zagitova is the tenth best female singles skater in the world, according to the International Skating Union.

Zagitova is the only female figure skater from Russia to have won gold at the Olympic Games, the World Figure Skating Championships, the European Figure Skating Championships, and the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final.

She is the first Muslim woman to win an Olympic gold medal, a world championship, and the Grand Slam.

After Yuna Kim, she is the youngest and second female singles skater to win gold at all major ISU championships, including the Junior Grand Prix Series and Final, World Junior Championships, Grand Prix Series and Final, European Championships, World Championships, and Winter Olympic Games.

She earned gold in the 2017 World Junior Championships and the 2016–17 Junior Grand Prix Final earlier in her career. Under the previous method, Zagitova broke the world record once, while under the new system, she broke it four times.

Kimia Alizadeh

And here we are on the top of the list of Independent Olympians at the Olympic games or rather below if you are scrolling down, but you get the idea. And who is the athlete on the top of the list?

Kimia was born in the city of Karaj. Her ancestors are Azerbaijani Iranians. Her mother is from Ardabil, while her father is from Zonuz, near Tabriz. Her last name was mistakenly listed as Zenoorin till after the 2016 Olympics.

Kimia Alizadeh Zonouzi is a Taekwondo athlete from Iran. Alizadeh defeated Swedish athlete Nikita Glasnovi to win a bronze medal in the taekwondo 57 kg weight class at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

She became the first Iranian woman to win a medal at a Summer Olympics with her achievement. At the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, she also earned a gold medal in the women's 63-kg division.

She won a bronze medal at the 2015 World Championships, defeating London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016 gold medalist Jade Jones. She went on to win a silver medal in the 2017 World Taekwondo Championships two years later.

Alizadeh declared her permanent departure from Iran for Europe in January 2020. "I am one of the millions of downtrodden women in Iran who they have been playing with for years," she explained her departure.

She has said that she would not participate for Iran in the 2020 Summer Olympics, but rather for Germany, where she now resides. She was eventually represented by the Refugee Olympic Team after being granted permission to compete in the Tokyo Olympics.

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Independent Olympians at the Olympic Games

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