There's plenty to wrap your head around at the Olympics in 2020 – firstly the fact that it's even called "Tokyo 2020" in 2021 – but country abbreviations are causing further confusion as the Games progress.


We've already covered the ROC controversy, with Russia officially being banned from competing at the Games, but more three-letter abbreviations may take some explaining, including TPE.

Six medals have been won by TPE athletes including gold in the women's 59kg weightlifting spectacle as well as silvers by the men's archery team and in the men's 60kg judo final.

But who are TPE and why have they been branded with that particular code? is here to help clear up the confusion surrounding TPE at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Which country is TPE at the Olympics?

TPE stands for Chinese Taipei at the Olympic Games for Tokyo 2020, though the athletes competing for TPE are actually from Taiwan.

Chinese Taipei have competed in every Summer Olympic Games since 1984 under that name and have won at least one gold medal in their last five appearances including this current Games.

Of course, the Chinese Taipei brand is far from widely accepted across the globe and is certainly not without controversy. Are you ready for a rapid fire Chinese history lesson? Of course you are.

Why is Taiwan competing as Chinese Taipei in the Olympics?

The Republic of China was the dominant force in mainland China until 1949 when, as a result of the Chinese Civil War, they were deposed and relocated to Taiwan.

The People's Republic of China, led by the infamous Chairman Mao of the Chinese Communist Party, began to rule the country that went on to become the China we know today with the new flag – red with five yellow stars in the top left corner.

The Republic of China, who were ousted from the mainland, took up residence in the island territory of Taiwan and kept their flag.

Since 1949, the island has been a disputed territory. The People's Republic of China contest the authorities on the island, claiming its government is illegitimate.

Anyway, back to sport, shall we? Pressure from the People's Republic of China forced Taiwan – who had been competing in the Olympics under the banner of Republic of China – to instead compete under the banner of Chinese Taipei.

Where is Chinese Taipei on a map?

Taiwan – or Chinese Taipei – lies just off the south east coast of mainland China, adrift from the Fujian region. It is also relatively close to Hong Kong in that corner of China.

The island sits north of Philippines and a north east trip from the capital, Kaohsiung City, across the east China sea would lead to the south west coast of Japan where the Games are being held.

Find out what else is on at the Games with our guide to the Olympics on TV today.


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