IOC Olympians

Since the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was formed in 1894 at the Sorbonne Congress, there have been 536 IOC Members. How many of these have actually competed in the Olympics (and we’re not counting the Arts Competitions, which would add Pierre de Coubertin)?

Jacques Rogge
IOC President Jacques Rogge (2001-2013) – Olympian 1968-76

Well, the direct answer to that question is 112 IOC Members have also been Olympic sports competitors. Of these 23 of the IOC Olympians have been women, which is a fairly high percentage since there have only been 39 female members of the IOC all-time – the first women were only elected to the IOC in 1981 with Finland’s Pirjo Häggmann and Venezuelan Flor Isava-Fonseca.

How many of the IOC Olympians were successful, i.e., actually won Olympic medals? It’s a large percentage, as of the 112 IOC Olympians, 65 have won medals, and 47 actually won gold medals. This group is led by Norway’s Ole Einar Bjørndalen with 13 medals and 8 gold medals, while among the female IOC Olympians, Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic’s Věra Čáslavská leads with 11 medals and 7 gold medals. In all, 14 of the IOC Olympians won 5 or more medals, and 12 of them won 3 or more gold medals.

Avery Brundage
IOC President Avery Brundage (1952-1972) – Olympian 1912

The first IOC Member to have competed in the Olympics was Greek Alexandros Merkati, who became an IOC Member in 1897, and competed in the Olympic golf event in 1900. He is one of only four IOC Individual Members (see next paragraph) who competed in sports at the Olympics while they served on the IOC, the others being William, Lord Desborough, who served on the IOC from 1905-13, and competed in fencing at the 1906 Intercalated Olympics; Peter Tallberg, elected to the IOC in 1976, but an Olympic sailor for Finland from 1960-80; and Prince Albert II of Monaco, who became an IOC Member in 1985, and then competed in bobsledding at the Olympics five times between 1988 and 2002. Counting Athlete Members, four have competed in the Olympics while on the IOC: Russia’s Aleksandr Popov in swimming, the Czech Republic’s Jan Železný in athletics (javelin), Ukrainian Sergey Bubka in athletics (pole vault), and Great Britain’s Matthew Pinsent in rowing.

In 1999, in response to he Olympic Bribery Scandal, the IOC instituted a new category of IOC Membership termed the Athlete Member. Has this increased the number of IOC Olympians significantly? Certainly has. Since 2000, 38 former Olympians have become IOC Members, 35 of them in the Athlete Member Category. So that is only 3 IOC Individual Member Olympians in the period 2000-14, while there were 74 IOC Individual Member Olympians from 1894-2000, so the rate of former Olympians becoming a full IOC Individual Member has actually decreased significantly.

What about the current IOC Membership? There are currently 111 IOC Members, of which 39 competed at the Olympics at one time. The longest standing of these is Tallberg, as noted above, an Olympic sailor from 1960-80, who became an IOC Member in 1976, and was a long-term chairman of the Athlete’s Commission. The only other IOC Olympian Member who joined the IOC in the 1970s and is still a member is Dick Pound, a 1960 Canadian swimmer who was co-opted onto the IOC in 1978.

Thomas Bach
Current IOC President Thomas Bach – Olympian 1976

Here is the entire list of IOC Olympians, listing their NOCs while on the IOC, their sports, their Olympic span, their IOC tenures, and their medals won:

Name Gdr NOC Sport Olympics Tenure G S B TM
Alexandros Merkati M GRE GOL 1900 1897-1925 0 0 0 0
Henri Hébrard de Villeneuve M FRA FEN 1900 1900-1911 0 0 0 0
William Lord Desborough M GBR FEN 1906 1905-1913 0 1 0 1
Carlos de Candamo M PER FEN 1900 1905-1922 0 0 0 0
Gheorghe Plagino M ROM SHO 1900 1908-1949 0 0 0 0
Albert Glandaz M FRA SAI 1900 1913-1944 0 0 0 0
Justinien Count Clary M FRA SHO 1900 1919-1933 0 0 1 1
Ernst Krogius M FIN SAI 1912 1920-1948 0 0 0 0
Jacobo Duke de Alba M ESP POL 1920 1924-1927 0 0 0 0
Alberto Count Bonacossa M ITA TEN 1920 1925-1953 0 0 0 0
Karl Ritter von Halt M GER ATH 1912 1929-1964 0 0 0 0
Paolo Count Thaon Di Revel M ITA FEN 1920 1932-1964 1 0 0 1
David Lord Burghley M GBR ATH 1924-1932 1933-1981 1 1 0 2
Arthur Lord Porritt M NZL ATH 1924 1934-1967 0 0 1 1
Avery Brundage M USA ATH 1912 1936-1972 0 0 0 0
Gaston Baron de Trannoy M BEL EQU 1912-1920 1939-1957 0 0 0 0
Charles Pahud de Mortanges M NED EQU 1924-1936 1946-1964 5 2 0 7
Armand Massard M FRA FEN 1920-1928 1946-1970 1 1 1 3
Ioannis Ketseas M GRE TEN 1906 1946-1965 0 0 0 0
Josef Gruss M TCH TEN 1908 1946-1965 0 0 0 0
Olaf Ditlev-Simonsen M NOR SAI 1936 1948-1967 0 1 0 1
Bo Ekelund M SWE ATH 1920 1948-1965 0 0 1 1
Brooks Parker M USA FEN 1920-1924 1950-1951 0 0 0 0
Lewis Luxton M AUS ROW 1932 1951-1974 0 0 0 0
Jean Count de Beaumont M FRA SHO 1924 1951-1990 0 0 0 0
Gustaf Dyrssen M SWE FEN 1920-1936 1952-1970 1 2 0 1
Vladimir Stoychev M BUL EQU 1924-1928 1952-1987 0 0 0 0
Crown Prince Konstantinos II M GRE SAI 1960 1963-1974 1 0 0 1
João Havelange M BRA SWI/WAP 1936-1952 1963-2011 0 0 0 0
Sylvio Padilha M BRA ATH 1932-1936 1964-1995 0 0 0 0
Jim Worrall M CAN ATH 1936 1967-1989 0 0 0 0
Masaji Kiyokawa M JPN SWI 1932-1936 1969-1989 1 0 1 2
Sven Thofelt M SWE FEN 1928-1948 1970-1976 1 0 1 2
Tony Bridge M JAM SHO 1960-1964 1973-2000 0 0 0 0
Julie Roosevelt M USA SAI 1948-1952 1974-1986 1 0 0 1
David McKenzie M AUS FEN 1956-1964 1974-1981 0 0 0 0
Peter Tallberg M FIN SAI 1960-1980 1976-date 0 0 0 0
Kevan Gosper M AUS ATH 1956-1960 1977-2013 0 1 0 1
Roberto Peper M ARG SWI 1932 1977-1999 0 0 0 0
Niels Holst-Sørensen M DEN ATH 1948 1977-2002 0 0 0 0
Dick Pound M CAN SWI 1960 1978-date 0 0 0 0
Pirjo Wilmi-Häggman F FIN ATH 1972-1980 1981-1999 0 0 0 0
Chiharu Igaya M JPN ASK 1952-1960 1982-2012 0 1 0 1
Dame Mary Alison Glen Haig F GBR FEN 1948-1960 1982-1993 0 0 0 0
Phil Coles M AUS CAN 1960-1968 1982-2012 0 0 0 0
Pál Schmitt M HUN FEN 1968-1976 1983-date 1 0 0 2
Prince Albert II of Monaco M MON BOB 1988-2002 1985-date 0 0 0 0
Anita DeFrantz F USA ROW 1976 1986-date 0 0 1 1
Anton Geesink M NED JUD 1964 1987-2010 1 0 0 1
Anne HRH The Princess Royal F GBR EQU 1976 1988-date 0 0 0 0
Frank Nyangweso M UGA BOX 1960 1988-2011 0 0 0 0
Fernando Bello M POR SAI 1968-1972 1989-2009 0 0 0 0
Thomas Bach M GER FEN 1976 1991-date 1 0 0 1
Denis Oswald M SUI ROW 1968-1976 1991-date 0 0 1 1
Jacques Rogge M BEL SAI 1968-1976 1991-2013 0 0 0 0
Valery Borzov M UKR ATH 1972-1976 1994-date 2 1 2 5
Arne Ljungqvist M SWE ATH 1952 1994-2012 0 0 0 0
Věra Čáslavská F CZE GYM 1960-1968 1995-2001 7 4 0 11
Jean-Claude Killy M FRA ASK 1964-1968 1995-2014 3 0 0 3
Yury Titov M RUS GYM 1956-1964 1995-1996 1 5 3 9
Olegario Vázquez Raña M MEX SHO 1964-1976 1995-date 0 0 0 0
Guy Drut M FRA ATH 1972-1976 1996-date 1 1 0 2
Irena Kirszenstein-Szewińska F POL ATH 1964-1980 1998-date 3 2 2 7
Nawal El-Moutawakel F MAR ATH 1984 1998-date 1 0 0 1
Aleksandr Popov M RUS SWI 1992-2004 1999-date 4 5 0 9
Johann Olav Koss M NOR SSK 1992-1994 1999-2001 4 1 0 5
Jan Železný M CZE ATH 1988-2004 1999-2012 3 1 0 4
Manuela Di Centa F ITA CCS 1984-1998 1999-2010 2 2 3 7
Vladimir Smirnov M KAZ CCS 1988-1998 1999-2001 1 4 2 7
Bob Ctvrtlik M USA VOL 1988-1996 1999-2007 1 0 1 2
Sergey Bubka M UKR ATH 1988-2000 1999-date 1 0 0 1
Hassiba Boulmerka F ALG ATH 1988-1996 1999-2000 1 0 0 1
Roland Baar M GER ROW 1988-1996 1999-2004 0 1 1 2
Charmaine Crooks F CAN ATH 1984-1996 1999-2004 0 1 0 1
Susie O'Neill F AUS SWI 1992-2000 2000-2005 2 4 2 8
Kip Keino M KEN ATH 1964-1972 2000-2010 2 2 0 4
Manuel Estiarte M ESP WAP 1980-2000 2000-2004 1 1 0 2
Paul Henderson M CAN SAI 1964-1968 2000-2004 0 0 0 0
Carlos Arthur Nuzman M BRA VOL 1964 2000-2012 0 0 0 0
Alfredo Goyeneche M ESP EQU 1960 2000-2002 0 0 0 0
Randhir Singh M IND SHO 1968-1984 2001-date 0 0 0 0
Matthew Pinsent M GBR ROW 1992-2004 2002-2004 4 0 0 4
Pernilla Wiberg F SWE ASK 1992-2002 2002-2010 2 1 0 2
Ådne Søndrål M NOR SSK 1992-2002 2002-2006 1 1 1 3
Jari Kurri M FIN ICH 1980-1998 2002-2006 0 0 1 1
Hicham El Guerrouj M MAR ATH 1996-2004 2004-2012 2 1 0 3
Frank Fredericks M NAM ATH 1992-2004 2004-date 0 4 0 4
Rania El-Wani F EGY SWI 1992-2000 2004-2012 0 0 0 0
Barbara Anne Kendall F NZL SAI 1992-2004 2005-date 1 1 1 3
Beckie Scott F CAN CCS 1998-2006 2006-2014 1 1 0 2
Saku Koivu M FIN ICH 1994-2006 2006-2014 0 1 2 3
Nicole Hoevertsz F ARU SYF 1984 2006-date 0 0 0 0
Haya HRH Princess Bint Al-Hussein F UAE EQU 2000 2007-date 0 0 0 0
Yumilka Ruiz F CUB VOL 1996-2008 2008-date 2 0 1 3
Mun Dae-Seong M KOR TKW 2004 2008-date 1 0 0 1
Claudia Bokel F GER FEN 1996-2004 2008-date 0 1 0 1
Yang Yang (A) F CHN STK 1998-2006 2010-date 2 2 1 5
Angela Ruggiero F USA ICH 1998-2010 2010-date 1 2 1 4
Barry Maister M NZL HOK 1968-1976 2010-date 0 0 0 0
Adam Pengilly M GBR SKE 2006-2010 2010-date 0 0 0 0
José Perurena M ESP CAN 1968 2011-date 0 0 0 0
James Tomkins M AUS ROW 1988-2008 2012-date 3 0 1 4
Tony Estanguet M FRA CAN 2000-2012 2012-date 3 0 0 3
Kirsty Coventry M ZIM SWI 2000-2012 2012-date 2 4 1 7
Danka Barteková F SVK SHO 2008-2012 2012-date 0 0 1 1
Tsunekazu Takeda M JPN EQU 1972-1976 2012-date 0 0 0 0
Stefan Holm M SWE ATH 2000-2008 2013-date 1 0 0 1
Paul Tergat M KEN ATH 1996-2004 2013-date 0 2 0 2
Bernard M BRA VOL 1976-1984 2013-date 0 1 0 1
Ole Einar Bjørndalen M NOR BIA/CCS 1994-2014 2014-date 8 4 1 13
Hayley Wickenheiser F CAN ICH/SOF 1998-2014 2014-date 4 1 0 5
Poul-Erik Høyer Larsen M DEN BDM 1992-2000 2014-date 1 0 0 1

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