More African flags will fly at the opening ceremony of this year’s Winter Olympics than ever before.
Since the first appearance by an African nation in 1960 when South Africa, still under apartheid rule at the time, sent a whites-only team to participate, a total of 13 African countries have been represented at the games with at least one African country participating every year since 1984. This year, that total will increase to 15 as Eritrea and Nigeria make their debuts.
But more significantly, this year will see the highest number of African countries—eight in total—participating at a single Winter Olympics event. Eritrea and Nigeria will make their debuts with Kenya, Morocco, Ghana, Madagascar, South Africa, Togo completing the African party. In total, 13 athletes from African countries are scheduled to compete—a record high since 1994 when tougher qualifying standards were imposed.