Nauru Olympic Committee History


Nauru Olympic Committee History

The movement to establish a Nauru Olympic Committee began the day after Nauru’s Weightlifting sensation, Marcus Stephen, won gold at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland.

Mr Ruben Kun, Mr Lawrence Stephen (Nauru), Seiuli Paul Wallwork (IOC Member), Dr Tamas Ajan (IWF General Secretary) and Mr Paul Coffa (Australia) held preliminary discussions on the establishment of a National Olympic Committee in Nauru.

After 12 months of work under the guidance of the Ministry of Sport, the Hon. Vinson Detenamo, an Olympic Committee was established in March 1991 and the first proposal was put forward to the IOC in late 1991.

In order to support the application to gain entry into the IOC, it was necessary for more of the Sporting federations on Nauru to be affiliated to their respective International bodies. Also a strong suggestion was made that having Marcus Stephen compete for Western Samoa in Barcelona would strengthen further the submission showing how far Nauru would go to allow its greatest athlete to compete for another country so that Nauru indirectly was still associated with the Olympics.

Two more submissions were made after the 1992 Olympics and we believe the final bid was clinched when H.E.Bernard Dowiyogo MP then President of Nauru, accompanied the Nauru delegation to Apia in Western Samoa in May 1994 to present the final bid personally to H.E. Juan Antonio Samaranch, President of the International Olympic Committee. The rest is history.

H.E. Juan Antonio Samaranch assured H.E. Bernard Dowiyogo that Nauru would become a member of the IOC by the end of the year. Sure enough on September 4th, 1994 during the IOC meeting in Paris, Nauru was officially accepted.

It was the only new country admitted in that year by the IOC and it was also very significant as 1994 was the YEAR OF SPORT AND OLYMPIC IDEAL.

Atlanta Olympic Games became Nauru’s first Olympians with 3 Weightlifters


Members of the Nauru Weightlifting Federation Creating Sporting History:


Weightlifting Coach               Mr. Paul Coffa MBE

Weightlifting Male 62kg         Mr. Marcus Stephen

Weightlifting Male 76kg         Mr. Quincy Detenamo

Weightlifting Male 91kg         Mr. Gerard Garabwan




The Nauru Olympic Committee is committed to:

  • the Development and Promotion of Olympism and the Olympic Movement in Nauru;
  • The establishment of training and competition facilities to enable Nauruan athletes to prepare for sporting events.
  • The organization and coordination of programs to ensure the strategic development of athletes from Junior levels to Elite standards.

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