Sports Files for Rio

Over the next week, we will be providing lists of Olympic records and Olympic bests pertaining to the various Olympic sports, as well as overall Olympic lists. These will be PDF files attached as links to this blog ( These are intended as reference lists for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, and for use by the media, sports fans, and others interested in the Olympics. The information herein comes from a database maintained by myself and a group of 14 Olympic statistorians who call ourselves the “OlyMADMen” or OMM for short. The OMM have been creating, upgrading, and maintaining this database for about 20 years now on a private site entitled

The lists you will see differ slightly by sport. One finds, for every sport, records for most medals, gold medals, etc., as well as age records for youngest and oldest competitors, medalists, and gold medalists. Tables of medals won by nations are included in all cases. For age records, the depth of the lists differs by sports, with slightly more depth provided in the sports that have been on the Olympic Program the longest.

For team sports (basketball, football, handball, hockey, rugby, volleyball, water polo), there are no specific events, but special lists provide information such as most points scored, most goals, by teams and individuals, and other interesting lists. Team sports also have a table listing each nation’s complete Olympic record through 2012 and at the end, a list of all previous head-to-head matches among the qualified nations if provided for each team sport.

In the non-team sports, lists and records are given for the sport at the beginning, followed by lists and records for each of the events on the 2016 Olympic Program. The event lists are shorter and slightly less detail than the overall lists.

For the two main measurable sports, athletics and swimming, we provide information on performance/performer lists, margins of victory, and the complete list of Olympic record progressions. This is not provided for cycling, where the events have changed greatly on the track recently; nor for shooting, where the targets and events change frequently; nor for weightlifting, where the weight classes change, seemingly at each Olympic Games. Of note, in athletics (track & field), for the field events, the performance lists only include the final mark by each competitor, and do not include intermediate marks. For canoeing and rowing, Olympic best progressions are given, although these cannot be considered Olympic records, because of differences in the various courses.

Each list starts with an overall, all-nation list. At the bottom of this list, there is an underline, and below that is found the list for @TeamUSA athletes only. This is provided as I will be working with and for the US Olympic Committee in Rio, and it is pertinent to USA media. All USA athletes in the record lists are also noted in bold font. Some athletes have records included which include marks or medals from the 1906 Olympics. While not recognized by the IOC, the International Society of Olympic Historians (ISOH) does consider these Olympic Games, and feels they should be recognized as such. All these marks are highlighted in red font. For overall records, some athletes are on the lists who competed in the Winter Olympics, and these are highlighted in blue font.

For weight class sports (combative sports), these are difficult because the weight classes have changed frequently over the years. We have attempted to bring some semblance of cohesion to these with a new designation. Basically the heaviest weight class is always called Heavyweight, the lightest weight class is always called Lightweight, and the middle weight class, or the one above the median if an even number of classes, is always called Middleweight. The other weight classes are then designated as Sub- or Supra-, as in Sub-Middleweight, or Supra-Lightweight, with the Sub- classification always given out first. This brings some sense of similarity to the classes, but for 2016, we have not listed event records for weightlifting and wrestling, because the classes have changed so much that it is difficult for anything to make sense.

Any errors are my own and I would like to be notified of these, which you can do via e-mail at [email protected]. Hope you enjoy and these prove useful to you. We will be starting today with the athletics (track & field) and swimming lists.


Bill Mallon MD

29 July 2016

One thought on “Sports Files for Rio”

  1. Hi, just adding my email address for notifications – love the stats and learned a new word – “statistorian”!

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