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List of countries to host Summer Olympic Games multiple times

Published at :October 18, 2023 at 3:26 PM
Modified at :December 13, 2023 at 1:01 PM
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The US is set to host the Olympics for the fifth time in 2028.

India is, as announced by the Prime Minister of the country, going to bid to host the Summer Olympics of 2036. As surprising as it may sound, the seventh-largest country by geographical area and the largest democracy in the world has never had the privilege of welcoming the best of the best athletes from across the world for the modern version of the Games in their 76 years of independence or even during the British Raj, for that matter.

The first Games were hosted by the country where it all started, in Athens, Greece, in 1896. After 60 years, 12 editions and three cancelled ones, the Games finally was hosted by a country that wasn't in North America or Europe when Melbourne was the centre of all the action in the sporting world in 1956. The first Asian nation to host the Games was Japan, when they bagged the rights to host the 1964 Games in Tokyo. Africa and Antarctica are the two continents to have never hosted the quadrennial extravaganza.

In this article, we look at the nations that have hosted the Olympic Games multiple times. We are only going to consider the Games that have happened. So the list will not consider the three Games cancelled due to the world wars and the Games scheduled to happen next year in Paris, or the one in 2028 in Los Angeles or the one in 2032 in Brisbane.

Countries to have hosted the Summer Olympic Games multiple times:

Australia - 2 times

As mentioned earlier, Australia, by hosting the Games in 1956 in Melbourne, became the first nation not from the continents of North America or Europe to host the Olympic Games. They hosted the 2000 edition of the Games once again. This time in Sydney. Brisbane, in 2028, will become the third Australian city to host the Summer Games.

Sweden - 2 times

Co-hosts of the 1956 Summer Games for the equestrian events, Sweden has hosted the Games twice. Before jointly hosting it with Australia, Sweden hosted the 1912 edition in Stockholm, the fifth-ever modern version of the Games.

France - 2 times

Another country to have hosted the mega event twice already and soon to do it for the third time is the European nation of France. Paris hosted the 1900 and the 1924 editions of the Games and now will host the Games after a gap of 100 years, in 2024, again in Paris.

Greece - 2 times

Greece hosted the first-ever modern Summer Olympic Games in Athens in 1896 under the stewardship of King George I. The Olympics returned to its birthplace in 2004, after a gap of 108 years when it was again hosted in Athens.

Japan - 2 times

As mentioned earlier, Japan became the first Asian nation to host the Summer Olympic Games, when they achieved the feat in 1964. The most recent Summer Games of 2020 took place in Tokyo to push the Land of the Rising Sun into the list of the countries to have hosted the mega event multiple times. Japan also was initially awarded the eventually cancelled 1940 edition of the Games.

United Kingdom - 3 times

The UK is one of the only two countries to have hosted the Summer Olympics three times or more to date. They first hosted the fourth edition in 1908. The Summer Games returned to Great Britain in 1948. The most recent edition of the Summer Games in London happened in 2012. UK was also awarded the 1944 edition, which had to be cancelled because of World War II.

US - 4 times

The US are the only country to have hosted the mega event more than three times. And in 2028, they will become the only country to have hosted the event five times. The first time the US hosted the Games was in 1904 in St. Louis. The next two Summer Games in the USA (1932 and 1984 editions) happened in Los Angeles, also the destination for the 2028 edition of the mega event. The most recent Summer Games hosted by the US was in 1996 in Atlanta.

Interestingly, Germany (hosted in Berlin in 1936) could have also been on the list were the country not been partitioned into two sovereign states when they hosted the mega event the second time (in Munich in 1972). They were also awarded the hosting rights for the 1916 edition of the Olympics. Finland, having hosted the mega event in 1952, was finally awarded the 1940 edition of the Games, which later had to be cancelled because of World War II.