National participation changes


Athletes from the Republic of China (Taiwan) competed at the 2008 Games as Chinese Taipei (TPE) under the Chinese Taipei Olympic flag and using the National Banner Song as their official anthem. The participation of Taiwan was briefly in doubt because of disagreements over the name of their team in the Chinese language and concerns about Taiwan marching in the Opening Ceremony next to the special administrative region of Hong Kong. A compromise on the naming was reached, and Taiwan was referred to during the games as "Chinese Taipei," rather than "China's Taipei," as the mainland China government had proposed. In addition, the Central African Republic was placed between Chinese Taipei and the Special Administrative Regions during the march of nations.[95] Starting in 2005, North Korea and South Korea held meetings to discuss the possibility of sending a united team to the 2008 Olympics.[96][97] The proposal failed, because of disagreements about how athletes would be chosen; North Korea was demanding a certain percentage representation for its athletes. A subsequent attempt to broker an agreement for the two nations to walk together during the March of Nations failed as well, despite their having done so during the 2000 and 2004 Games.[98] On July 24, 2008, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) banned Iraq from competing in the 2008 Olympic Summer Games because of "political interference by the government in sports."[99][100] The IOC reversed its decision five days later and allowed the nation to compete after a pledge by Iraq to ensure "the independence of its national Olympics panel" by instituting fair elections before the end of November. In the meantime, Iraq's Olympic Organisation was run by "an int

rim committee proposed by its national sports federations and approved by the IOC."[101] Brunei Darussalam was due to take part in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. However, they were disqualified on August 8, having failed to register either of their two athletes.[102] The IOC spokeswoman Emmanuelle Moreau said in a statement that "it is a great shame and very sad for the athletes who lose out because of the decision by their team not to register them. The IOC tried up until the last minute, midday Friday August 8, 2008, the day of the official opening, to have them register, but to no avail."[103] Brunei's Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports issued a press release stating that their decision not to participate was due to an injury to one of their athletes.[104] Georgia announced on August 9, 2008 that it was considering withdrawing from the Beijing Olympic Games because of the 2008 South Ossetia war, but it went on to compete while the conflict was still ongoing. The Chinese Taipei Olympic flag is used by Republic of China (ROC) team commonly known as Taiwan which competes under the title "Chinese Taipei," during the Olympic Games instead of the flag of the Republic of China. This is a result of the complex Cross-Strait relations between the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China. The Olympic flag has been in use since 1980, following a decision by the International Olympic Committee that the ROC could not compete under the ROC name or flag. The flag shows the Blue Sky with a White Sun (the emblem of the Republic of China and the Kuomintang) and the Olympic rings, encircled by a five-petaled Prunus mei (the ROC's national flower) drawn in red, white, and blue (the colors of the ROC flag).