Somalia first participated at the Olympic Games in 1972, and has sent athletes to compete in most Summer Olympic Games since 1984. Somalia has not yet participated in any Winter Olympics. The nation boycotted the 1976 Games along with most other countries in Africa, and also joined the American-led boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics. Despite the ongoing Somali Civil War, the nation has been able to send small contingents to each Games since 1996. Somalia have also never won a medal, best placing is 6th place by men's 1500 meters world champion Abdi Bile in Atlanta 1996.
The Somali Olympic Committee was created in 1959, and recognized by the International Olympic Committee in 1972.