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Yugoslavia in the Olympics

Yugoslavia joined all the other countries in their love for basketball.

Yugoslavia started participating in the Olympic Games ever since the game basketball was first introduced as an official game in the Olympics.

The USA national team, the Soviet national team, the Canadian national team, the French national team were just few of the first countries, together with Yugoslavian national team, to participate in the Olympic Games. Yugoslavia in the Olympics, showed that they can compete with these strong basketball teams.

What is Olympics?

The Olympic Games are a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which different countries with their respective athletes participate in a variety of competitions.

The games are currently held every two years, with Summer and Winter Olympic Games alternating, although they occur every four years within their respective seasonal games. Basketball became an official Olympic sport in the year 1932.

The FIBA organized the first Olympic Basketball Tournament in the 1932 Summer Olympics at Berlin as an outdoor tournament, but the FIBA introduced basketball as an indoor game in 1948 Summer Olympics. The players then were all amateurs because the FIBA would not allow professional basketball players participating in the Olympic Games. However, in 1992, the FIBA finally decided to allow the professional basketball players to participate in the Olympic Games.

Yugoslavia’s Achievements

The Yugoslavia in the Olympics proved that they can match the strong teams, even the strongest team then, which was the USA team. In the 1968 Summer Olympics, the Yugoslavia and the United States met in the basketball finals; however, the Yugoslavia lost gaining the second position and a silver medal.

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The same thing happened in the 1976 Summer Olympics: the Yugoslavian national team played against the USA national team for the gold medal, again losing to the USA team and won the silver medal. In the ninth year of Yugoslavia in the Olympics, the Yugoslavian national team finally won the gold medal. In the 1980 Summer Olympics boycott, the Yugoslavia national basketball team became the first team to win the gold medal aside from the USA team and the Soviet team.

However, in the 1984 Summer Olympics, they lost their gold medal, again to the USA team, but still winning the bronze medal for their country. In the 1988 Summer Olympics that took place in Seoul, the Yugoslavia defeated the USA team, eventually the Soviet team defeated them gaining their fifth medal in the Summer Olympics and their third silver medal. The last medal that the Yugoslavia national team had was in the 1996 Summer Olympics held in Atlanta.

They played against the USA national team again for the Olympic finals and were defeated, winning their fourth silver medal in the Olympics.


Though they have only won one gold medal in the past Olympic Games, it doesn’t mean that their team is weak. The Yugoslavia in the Olympics won a total of six medals, one gold medal, four silver medals and one bronze medal. Other countries who participated didn’t win even one bronze medal. Thus, the Yugoslavians should be proud of the achievements of the Yugoslavia in the Olympics.


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