Athletics at the Summer Olympics

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Athletics at the Summer Olympics
Athletics pictogram.svg
Governing body IAAF
Events 47 (men: 24; women: 23)
Games
1896 1900 1904 1908 1912 1920
1924 1928 1932 1936 1948 1952
1956 1960 1964 1968 1972 1976
1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000
2004 2008 2012 2016
Medalists (men • women) • Records

Athletics has been contested at every Summer Olympics since the birth of the modern Olympic movement at the 1896 Summer Olympics. The athletics program traces its earliest roots to events used in the ancient Greek Olympics. The modern program includes track and field events, road running events, and racewalking events. Cross country running was also on the program in earlier editions but it was dropped after the 1924 Summer Olympics.

Events[edit]

The events contested have varied widely. From 1900 to 1920, tug of war was considered to be part of the Olympic athletics programme, although the sports of tug of war and athletics are now considered distinct.[1]

Men's events[edit]

No new events have been added to the men's athletics programme since the 1952 addition of the short racewalk. The roster of events has not changed since then, with the exception of the omission of the long racewalk in 1976 (the IAAF held a 50 km walk World Championships that year instead and as a result the event was restored in 1980). The long racewalk is the only event currently held for men but not included on the women's programme, with the exception of women taking part in the heptathlon rather than the decathlon and the 100 metres hurdles rather than the 110 metres hurdles.

A total of 52 different events have been held in the men's competition. The current list comprises 24 events. Many of the discontinued events were similar to modern ones but at different lengths, especially in the steeplechasing, hurdling, and racewalking disciplines. Team racing events have been eliminated after appearing in six early editions of the Games. The athletic triathlon (an unusual event, held only once and featuring gymnasts competing in the long jump, shot put, and 100 metre dash) and pentathlon multi-discipline events were phased out in favor of the decathlon, and the medley relay replaced with even-leg relays. Standing jump competitions are no longer held, nor are the various modified throwing events which were experimented with in 1908 and 1912. Cross country running was on the program from 1912 to 1924 and is the most prominent form of athletics not to feature at the Olympics.

Event 96 00 04 08 12 20 24 28 32 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 12 Games
Current program
100 metres (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 27
200 metres (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 26
400 metres (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 27
800 metres (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 27
1500 metres (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 27
5000 metres (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 23
10,000 metres (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 23
Marathon (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 27
110 metres hurdles (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 27
400 metres hurdles (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 25
3000 metres steeplechase (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 22
4 × 100 metres relay (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 23
4 × 400 metres relay (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 23
20 kilometres race walk (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 15
50 kilometres race walk (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 18
High jump (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 27
Pole vault (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 27
Long jump (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 27
Triple jump (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 27
Shot put (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 27
Discus throw (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 27
Hammer throw (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 26
Javelin throw (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 24
Decathlon (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 24
Past events
60 metres (details) X X 2
200 metres hurdles (details) X X 2
2500 metres steeplechase (details) X 1
2590 metres steeplechase (details) X 1
3200 metres steeplechase (details) X 1
4000 metres steeplechase (details) X 1
Medley relay (details) X 1
3000 metres team race (details) X X X 3
5000 metres team race (details) X 1
3-mile team race (details) X 1
4-mile team race (details) X 1
5 miles (details) X 1
3000 metres race walk (details) X 1
3500 metres race walk (details) X 1
10 kilometres race walk (details) X X X X X 5
10 miles race walk (details) X 1
Triathlon (details) X 1
Pentathlon (details) X X X 1
Standing long jump (details) X X X X 4
Standing triple jump (details) X X 2
Standing high jump (details) X X X X 4
56 pound weight throw (details) X X 2
Shot put, two hands (details) X 1
Discus throw, Greek style (details) X 1
Discus throw, two hands (details) X 1
Javelin throw, freestyle (details) X 1
Javelin throw, two hands (details) X 1
Individual cross country (details) X X X 3
Team cross country (details) X X X 3
Events 12 23 25 26 30 29 27 22 23 23 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 23 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24

Women's events[edit]

Women's competition in athletics began at the 1928 Summer Olympics

Event 28 32 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 12 Games
100 metres (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 20
200 metres (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 17
400 metres (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X 13
800 metres (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 15
1500 metres (details) X X X X X X X X X X X 11
5000 metres (details) X X X X X 5
10,000 metres (details) X X X X X X X 7
Marathon (details) X X X X X X X X 8
100 metres hurdles (details) X X X X X X X X X X X 11
400 metres hurdles (details) X X X X X X X X 8
3000 metres steeplechase (details) X X 2
4×100 metres relay (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 20
4 × 400 metres relay (details) X X X X X X X X X X X 11
20 kilometres race walk (details) X X X X 4
High jump (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 20
Pole vault (details) X X X X 4
Long jump (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 17
Triple jump (details) X X X X X 5
Shot put (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 17
Discus throw (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 20
Hammer throw (details) X X X X 4
Javelin throw (details) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 19
Heptathlon (details) X X X X X X X X 8
Past events
80 metres hurdles (details) X X X X X X X X 8
Pentathlon (details) X X X X X 5
3000 metres (details) X X X 3
10 kilometres race walk (details) X X 2
Events 5 6 6 9 9 9 10 12 12 14 14 14 17 18 19 20 22 22 23 23

Nations[edit]

Nearly every nation that has competed at the Olympics has entered the athletics competition. The number in each box represents the number of athletes the nation sent.


Nation 96 00 04 08 12 20 24 28 32 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 12 Years
 Afghanistan (AFG) 2 5 2 2 2 2 6
 Albania (ALB) 1 2 2 2 2 1 6
 Algeria (ALG) 4 9 9 12 9 8 21 20 12 6 10
 American Samoa (ASA) 1 2 2 2 1 1 6
 Andorra (AND) 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 7
 Argentina (ARG) 10 7 11 8 24 16 2 4 6 6 9 2 7 2 4 8 11 8 11 9 20
 Armenia (ARM) 2 3 2 2 4 5
 Aruba (ARU) 2 2 1 2 1 5
 Australasia (ANZ) 9 5 2
 Australia (AUS) 1 1 2 4 9 7 4 5 18 17 76 28 35 24 22 27 21 30 28 35 60 82 42 40 50 25
 Austria (AUT) 1 2 12 7 4 2 29 15 15 3 9 8 12 15 6 11 6 10 16 11 12 6 3 7 24
 Azerbaijan (AZE) 4 4 4 2 3 5
 Bahamas (BAH) 1 2 3 8 8 8 14 11 8 20 19 16 18 20 14
 Bahrain (BRN) 1 3 6 1 2 6 11 9 8
 Bangladesh (BAN) 1 4 4 2 2 1 2 1 8
 Barbados (BAR) 2 7 9 9 6 8 4 11 3 3 4 11
 Belarus (BLR) 34 31 41 47 44 5
 Belgium (BEL) 6 2 42 17 32 13 18 21 6 12 10 15 15 25 19 15 13 7 12 9 9 17 14 23
 Belize (BIZ) 2 2 4 5 5 4 2 2 3 2 10
 Benin (BEN) 1 9 6 4 5 2 2 2 2 9
 Bermuda (BER) 6 2 2 8 4 5 4 3 1 1 2 2 12
 Bohemia (BOH) 4 3 11 3
 Bolivia (BOL) 4 1 3 2 6 3 2 2 2 2 10
 Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH) 4 2 4 2 2 2 6
 Botswana (BOT) 7 6 6 5 6 6 9 7 3 9
 Brazil (BRA) 8 19 10 12 10 6 5 1 3 2 8 11 20 20 24 40 18 34 41 30 20
 Bulgaria (BUL) 4
 Canada (CAN) 4 6 27 18 14 27 32 29 28 27 22 18 16 16 27 32 55 61 63 48 39 36 21 29 42 25
 Chile (CHI) 6 2 3 8 10 15 15 6 4 3 8 2 1 6 5 3 4 7 3 6 8 21
 China (CHN) X X X X X X 6
 Croatia (CRO) X X X X 4
 Cuba (CUB) 1 1 3 5 2 3 3 18 19 26 17 34 46 33 33 43 46 17
 Czechoslovakia (TCH) 16 17 11 5 31 13 25 18 30 12 14 32 15 24 22 18 16
 Denmark (DEN) 3 4 8 14 18 9 10 2 10 16 11 2 9 4 6 13 3 2 3 5 3 7 4 5 3 6 26
 Ecuador (ECU) 3
 Egypt (EGY) 2 1
 Estonia (EST) 7 11 4 1 7 5 13 5 15 14 10
 Finland (FIN) 15 23 26 52 35 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 22
 France (FRA) 5 21 (1) 19 25 59 70 50 12 40 65 54 29 36 38 40 49 44 31 43 55 57 49 53 55 48 47 26
 Germany (GER) 5 6 2 20 24 62 27 77 39 43 90 97 79 85 64 71 53 71 18
 Great Britain (GBR) 5 9 3 126 61 41 65 55 24 52 79 66 55 61 62 68 70 52 61 85 102 91 77 72 54 58 69 27
 Greece (GRE) 30 2 10 12 5 9 12 13 7 14 15 11 6 19 5 7 12 12 8 10 6 11 25 43 56 32 23 27
 Haiti (HAI) 3 2
 Hungary (HUN) 3 9 2 19 27 16 25 5 25 12 35 19 26 31 31 33 16 27 15 24 22 37 35 20 18 25
 Iceland (ISL) 1
 India (IND) 1 3 7 7 4 4 8 8 8 11 13 2 8 4 11 8 5 2 6 24 17 14 14 23
 Indonesia (INA) - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3 - 1 6 2 2 2
 Iran (IRI) 1 2 1 8 1 3 4 1 2 1 1 2 6 6 13
 Ireland (IRL) 11 10 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 19
 Israel (ISR) 7 1 8 5 2 2 6 4 4 8 5 4 3 13
 Italy (ITA) 2 12 12 24 36 24 21 32 25 33 21 47 22 26 40 32 26 51 38 39 50 47 35 45 33 25
 Japan (JPN) 2 11 8 16 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 16
 South Korea (KOR) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 12
 Latvia (LAT) 10 6 X X 7 9 17 15 18 8
 Lithuania (LTU) 5 8 14 18 12 18 20 7
 Luxembourg (LUX) 2 6 3 4 6 6 7 3 6 3 1 1 3 1 1 3 1 1 18
 Mexico (MEX) 11 11
 Monaco (MON) 2 1 1
 Netherlands (NED) 20 1 11 19 50 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 22
 New Zealand (NZL) 2 1 3
 Norway (NOR) 2 11 21 16 10 13 3 11 20 19 5 11 6 5 13 10 13 12 9 13 12 9 9 11 24
 Paraguay (PAR) 3 1 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 9
 Philippines (PHI) 1 2
 Poland (POL) 14 15
 Portugal (POR) 4 3 3 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 19
 Russia (RUS) 1 35 X X X X 6
 Romania (ROU) 13
 Serbia (SRB) 3
 South Africa (RSA) 3 9 7 13 12 9 X X X X X X X X X X X 16
 Spain (ESP) 14 13 10
 Sweden (SWE) 1 8 31 106 64 33 29 9 37 50 45 17 26 16 18 26 19 16 24 11 19 17 14 12 12 9 26
 Switzerland (SUI) 1 1 1 13 17 9 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 23
 Soviet Union (URS) X X X X X X X X X 9
 Turkey (TUR) 2 4 5
 United States (USA) 10 41 86 84 109 90 96 98 82 77 76 71 81 81 86 91 95 92 110 114 117 121 116 116 121 123 26
 Yugoslavia (YUG) 5 4
No. of nations 10 15 10 20 27 25 40 40
No. of athletes 64 117 233 446 556 509 657 706

Medal table[edit]

Updated after the 2012 Summer Olympics

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States (USA) 320 251 196 767
2  Soviet Union (URS) 64 55 74 193
3  Great Britain (GBR) 53 79 62 194
4  Finland (FIN) 48 35 31 114
5  East Germany (GDR) 38 36 35 109
6  Russia (RUS) 26 27 25 78
7  Kenya (KEN) 24 31 24 79
8  Poland (POL) 23 18 13 54
9  Ethiopia (ETH) 21 7 17 45
10  Australia (AUS) 20 26 25 71
11  Sweden (SWE) 19 21 41 81
12  Italy (ITA) 19 15 26 60
13  Jamaica (JAM) 18 29 20 67
14  Germany (GER) 16 24 37 77
15  France (FRA) 14 22 25 61
16  Canada (CAN) 13 14 26 53
17  West Germany (FRG) 12 14 17 43
18  Romania (ROU) 11 14 10 35
19  Czechoslovakia (TCH) 11 8 5 24
20  Cuba (CUB) 10 14 15 39
21  Hungary (HUN) 10 13 17 40
22  New Zealand (NZL) 10 2 8 20
23  Unified Team (EUN) 7 11 3 21
24  Japan (JPN) 7 7 9 23
25  Norway (NOR) 7 5 8 20
26  Greece (GRE) 6 12 11 29
27  South Africa (RSA) 6 12 6 24
28  Morocco (MAR) 6 5 8 19
29  China (CHN) 6 3 12 21
30  Netherlands (NED) 6 3 6 15
31  Bulgaria (BUL) 5 7 6 18
32  Czech Republic (CZE) 5 1 4 10
33  Unified Team of Germany (EUA) 4 18 8 30
34  Belarus (BLR) 4 5 8 17
35  Brazil (BRA) 4 3 7 14
36  Portugal (POR) 4 2 4 10
37  Ireland (IRL) 4 2 0 6
38  Bahamas (BAH) 4 2 4 10
39  Algeria (ALG) 4 1 2 7
40  Belgium (BEL) 3 6 2 11
41  Mexico (MEX) 3 5 2 10
42  Ukraine (UKR) 3 3 12 18
43  Lithuania (LTU) 3 1 1 5
44  Trinidad and Tobago (TRI) 2 4 8 14
45  Spain (ESP) 2 4 5 11
46  Argentina (ARG) 2 3 0 5
47  Estonia (EST) 2 1 3 6
48  Dominican Republic (DOM) 2 1 0 3
49  Kazakhstan (KAZ) 2 0 1 3
 Uganda (UGA) 2 0 1 3
51  Cameroon (CMR) 2 0 0 2
52  Nigeria (NGR) 1 4 8 13
53  Turkey (TUR) 1 3 2 6
54  Tunisia (TUN) 1 3 1 5
55  Austria (AUT) 1 2 4 7
56  Slovenia (SLO) 1 2 1 4
57  Croatia (CRO) 1 1 0 2
 Ecuador (ECU) 1 1 0 2
 South Korea (KOR) 1 1 0 2
 Mixed team (ZZX) 1 1 0 2
61  Panama (PAN) 1 0 2 3
62  Mozambique (MOZ) 1 0 1 2
63  Burundi (BDI) 1 0 0 1
 Grenada (GRN) 1 0 0 1
 Luxembourg (LUX) 1 0 0 1
 Syria (SYR) 1 0 0 1
67  Switzerland (SUI) 0 6 2 8
68  Latvia (LAT) 0 4 1 5
69  Namibia (NAM) 0 4 0 4
70  Denmark (DEN) 0 2 4 6
71  Chile (CHI) 0 2 0 2
 India (IND) 0 2 0 2
 Sri Lanka (SRI) 0 2 0 2
 Tanzania (TAN) 0 2 0 2
 Yugoslavia (YUG) 0 2 0 2
76  Colombia (COL) 0 1 1 2
 Iceland (ISL) 0 1 1 2
 Chinese Taipei (TPE) 0 1 1 2
79  Bohemia (BOH) 0 1 0 1
 Botswana (BOT) 0 1 0 1
 Ivory Coast (CIV) 0 1 0 1
 Guatemala (GUA) 0 1 0 1
 Haiti (HAI) 0 1 0 1
 Iran (IRI) 0 1 0 1
 Saudi Arabia (KSA) 0 1 0 1
 Senegal (SEN) 0 1 0 1
 Sudan (SUD) 0 1 0 1
 Zambia (ZAM) 0 1 0 1
89  British West Indies (BWI) 0 0 2 2
 Philippines (PHI) 0 0 2 2
 Qatar (QAT) 0 0 2 2
92  Australasia (ANZ) 0 0 1 1
 Barbados (BAR) 0 0 1 1
 Djibouti (DJI) 0 0 1 1
 Eritrea (ERI) 0 0 1 1
 Puerto Rico (PUR) 0 0 1 1
 Venezuela (VEN) 0 0 1 1
Total 931 939 932 2802

References[edit]

  1. ^ Past Olympic Sports. Olympics/IOC. Retrieved on 2010-08-30.

External links[edit]