Rio 2016
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USSR
The Soviet Union has been the most successful nation at the games after the United States, having won at least one Olympic title in just about all the key sports ever since it first started taking part in 1952.Before that this great nation had remained apart for political reasons, and created their own, eastern block games, the Spartakiads, to enable their athletes to compete internationally.Soviet leaders saw sport as a means of demonstrating Soviet power just as convincingly as its nuclear power or space programme, and the USSR never let an opportunity to demonstrate this go by.Following the collapse of the Soviet block at the end of the end of the 1980s the various republics decided to attend the games under their own national flags, but there was a transition period during which these nations came to the Albertville and Barcelona games under a single flag representing a Community of Independent States, or CIS. After that various countries of the ex Soviet Union (Russia, Bielorussia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, etc.) have taken part in the games under their new national flags.
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