Olympians 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.

Total athletes in each age group:
1-5 athletes
< 30
< 60
< 90
< 120
< 150
< 400
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.

First appearance of male or female athletes for each 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.

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