By age, sport, country, and sex
Explore a Washington Post breakdown of all Summer Olympics athletes who have competed since the first modern Games in 1896. See the expansive range in age of the competitors, and when men and women first competed in each sport.
400 or higher
Arthur von Pongracz of Austria, competed in individual and team dressage. At 72, Pongracz placed fourth in team and 16th in individual.
At age 10, Dimitrios Loundras of Greece, won bronze in the 1896 men's team parallel bars. Jan de Boer of Netherlands, then 49 years old, competed in the 1908 men's team all-around.
Oscar Swahn of Sweden, set the first Olympic record in men's single shot running target in 1908, at age 60. He is also the oldest gold medalist in an individual Olympic event.
Athlete participation by sex
Roll over the chart to compare male and female participation by sport.
Participation plummeted during the worldwide economic depression, and many countries could not transport their athletes to Los Angeles to compete.
More than 20 African countries withdrew in boycott of the New Zealand rugby team touring apartheid South Africa.
Roll over any line
SOURCE: Staff reports; Data courtesy Sports-Reference.com/Olympics/; Olympic.org. GRAPHIC: Ted Mellnik, Sisi Wei and Todd Lindeman - The Washington Post. Published Aug. 10, 2012.
More Olympics graphics
An olympic gymnast's score is composed of two parts, difficulty and execution. A 10 is no longer perfect -- gymnasts are now looking for high-15s and 16s.
In the past three Summer Olympics, 64 of the U.S. team’s 1,707 athletes have been age 40 and older — and they won 23 medals. Here, we take a look at which sports skew young and which have more longevity. In which events might you still have a chance this summer?
More Olympics news