Cyprus has a long history in athletics with inscriptions recording the participation of Cypriot athletes in the Ancient Olympic Games. When the Olympic Games were revived in 1896, Cyprus participated with athletes competing under the Greek flag.
In 1969 legislation was passed establishing the Cyprus Sports Organisation as a semi-governmental organisation. Its basic aims are the development of out-of-school sports, the coordination of the sports life of the island, the cultivation of the Olympic ideal and the promotion of Cyprus in the field of international sports.
During the period between 1969 and 1974, efforts were made to organise the Cyprus Sports Organisation, with the basic aim of establishing National Federations and affiliating them to the corresponding World Federations. However, after 1974 and up to 1980, efforts were devoted to the revitilisation of Cypriot sports in the aftermath of the Turkish invasion and to creating the necessary infrastructure for sports despite the enormous economic and other problems the country was facing.
The years between 1980 until 1990 saw the presence of Cyprus in world sports with its participation in international events. The first participation of Cyprus as an independent state was at the Moscow Olympics in 1980. The rapid development of Cypriot sports that followed was unprecedented for Cyprus. It was during this decade that the foundations of the course of development of Cypriot sports were laid. The program “Sports for All” began operating and was geared to a great extent for children. However, the years that followed up to 2000 were marked by Cyprus’ intensified presence at international meetings, with important successes and distinctions. Sports in Cyprus followed the European course and at the same time responded fully to the European conventions and undertakings which the European Sports Charter of Rhodes and the Code of Ethics established. After 2000, there was a steady harmonisation with Europe with the most important goal of the Cyprus Sports Organisation being the gradual and substantial implementation of the resolutions of the Council of Europe and the European Union with the aim of “pure and beneficial sports”.