Mother and Son Shooters to Compete in Rio

The Georgian Olympic Committee announced recently that Nino Salukvadze would compete in shooting at the 2016 Rio Olympics (http://agenda.ge/news/53091/eng). No surprise there, as Ms. Salukvadze is one of the great female shooters of the last 30 years. A pistol shooter, this will be her 8th Olympic Games. She first competed in 1988 for the Soviet Union, and has since competed for the Unified Team in 1992, and since 1996, for Georgia. Salukvadze has won 3 Olympic medals, including a gold medal in the 1988 sport pistol.

So what’s noteworthy here? When she competes in her 8th Olympics, that will make Ms. Salukvadze only the second woman to compete in 8 Olympic Games, after German-Italian canoeist Josefa Idem-Guerrini. But far more significant is that the news release listed above also noted that Salukvadze will be competing alongside her son, Tsotne Machavariani, who has made his first Olympic team.

Salukkvadze and Machavariani will be a mother/son combo competing at the same Olympic Games and that has never before happened in Olympic history. Our database reveals 70 cases of parent/child competing at the same Olympic Games, but never a mother/son.

The most common combination is father/son, which has occurred 56 times. Father/daughters have competed at the same Olympics 12 times. And there are 2 cases of mothers/daughters competing at the same Olympics, but no mother/son prior to 2016.

The 2 mother/daughters were Mary Abbott and her daughter, Margaret Abbott, in 1900 golf; and Jessie Wadworth and her daughter, Brenda Wadworth, in 1908 archery. Those are the only 2 examples of a mother competing with their child at the same Olympic Games.

There are 2 examples of father/sons doing this 3 separate times. The first was the Swedish shooters, Oscar Swahn and his son, Alfred, who competed together at the 1912, 1920, and 1924 Olympics. In 1984-88-92, the Fijian sailors, Colin Philp, Sr., and his son, Tony competed together. Colin also competed alongside his 2 other sons, Colin, Jr., in 1988, and David, in 1992.

Of the father/daughters, Paul Elvstrøm and his daughter, Trine Elvstrøm-Myralf, uniquely did this twice, in 1984 and 1988. Four father/sons competed together at 2 Olympics. Of these, most notable is the father, Carlos de Cárdenas Culmell, a Cuban sailor, who did it with 2 different sons. In 1948-52 he competed with Carlos de Cárdenas Plá, while in 1952-56, he sailed alongside Jorge de Cárdenas.

So when Salukvadze and Machavariani compete in Rio, it will mark a first in Olympic history.

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