With 2021 having arrived, we wanted to share some fast facts about the oldest Olympians in the world, partially to continue our commitment to transparency in our research but mostly just for fun and to share some statistics – after all, this is the Olympstats blog!
(The oldest living Olympian, Félix Sienra, born January 21, 1916, pictured with the cane in 2019 at the website of Yacht Club Uruguayo)
As of today, our full list contains the names of 2453 participants, non-starters, demonstration athletes, and art competitors born between 1911 and 1930 that could be living, 641 of whom we believe to be living for certain. The former number is down from 2647, while the former is up from and 595, around roughly the same time last year.
We also have 422 Olympians (down from 460 last year) who competed in the 1928, 1932, or 1936 Games, Winter and Summer, who have no date of birth but could be still living. It is worth reminding everyone that the vast majority of athletes that could be living are likely deceased.
We had nine living Olympic centenarians at the end of 2020, despite seven who died over the course of the year. We also know of three survivors from the oldest editions of the Olympics with living participants, the 1936 Berlin Games, with two survivors of this edition having died in 2020.
We will try to post a small update like this at the beginning of every year and, if you have any suggestions of statistics or information that you would like to see added, please send us a message and we will be happy to include it in the next round! Happy New Year to all!