25 Summer Olympic Stats 2024

This year, the 2024 Olympic Games are set to be hosted in Paris. Joining London, this will mark the French capital’s third time hosting – with Los Angeles gearing up to make this list, too, in 2028.

If, like us, you’re stoked to track the digital media fanfare that’ll be this year’s games, get your calendars ready.

When? Friday 26 July 2024 – Sunday 11 August 2024 will see tribes of the world’s finest athletes flocking to ‘the City of Light’ with their eyes firmly fixed on gold. As we, mere couch potatoes, eagerly await, here’s a tour of our favourite Olympic stats to get you pumped.

We’ll start with the host city.

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Road to Paris Olympics stats

Paris is abuzz, preparing to become the all-eyes-on sporting arena of the world this summer. The second city to ever host (following Athens) in 1900, here are some top Olympic stats of their time ushering in the torch.

Paris 1900, 1924

  • 1900: 1,226 athletes (22 women, 1,204 men) from 26 countries (many not even knowing that they were competing at an official Olympics – being so new – but the World’s Fair instead). (Olympedia)
  • 1900: There were a total of 22 sports and 95 events. (Wikipedia)
  • 1924: 3,089 athletes (135 women, 2,954 men) from 44 countries. (Olympics.com)
  • 1924: There were a total of 17 sports and 126 events – dropped were archery, field hockey, and tug-of-war from the Games that took place 4 years prior in Belgium. (Topend Sports)

Paris 2024

  • 10,500 athletes are expected to compete at Paris 2024, with equal numbers of women and men. (Olympics.com)
  • The Games will feature 32 sports and 329 medal events across 754 competition sessions. (Olympics.com)
  • 206 countries will be represented, and 194 at the Paralympics. (BBC)
  • 35 competition venues will be used, with 95% of them already existing before the Games. (BBC)
  • Four additional sports will be included: breakdancing – for the first time – and surfing, skateboarding, and sport climbing – which debuted at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. (Dogonews)

Now onto wider Olympic stats and trivia.

The Olympic flame stats

The famous Torch Relay is an Olympic tradition. A modern take on practices from Ancient Greece, the lighting and journey of the Olympic flame symbolise many things – from peace, friendship, tolerance, and hope to the spirit of continuity between the ancient and modern games.

Lit every 4-year cycle in Olympia, Greece, the Olympic flame makes its route around the competing nations, being passed from country to country as it makes its way to the Opening Ceremony to mark the official start of the Olympic Games.

Click to track the Torch Relay LIVE for Paris 2024 Olympics.

  • The tradition of lighting the Olympic torch (origins: controversial) first started at the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics. (Olympics.com)
  • The longest distance of an Olympic Torch Relay to date has been 137,000 km (85,000 miles) at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics. (Guinness World Record)
  • The Olympic flame has been all over the world – in 1996, 2000, and 2014 up in space (unlit, due the lack of oxygen and general safety protocols) and down underwater when down und-ah! at the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics. (Paste Magazine)

It is not uncommon for the Olympic torch to flame out en route. Officially, if the torch goes out – either accidentally or deliberately – it should be relit with the backup sources that are transported with it to retain the lineage of the Olympia lighting ceremony. However, there have been some notable instances of that particular memo being missed.

  • In the Montreal 1976 Summer Olympics, a rainstorm doused the Olympic flame a few days after the Games had officially begun. An official, with cigarette in mouth, re-lit the torch using his non-Olympic lighter and some scrunched-up newspapers. Organisers quickly doused it again and re-lit it using a backup of the original flame. (ara)
  • A similar incident occurred at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, with a cigarette lighter doing the honours before being extinguished. (BBC)

Most decorated Olympian stats

Now let’s take a look at the competition: the athletes at the top of their game that’ve smashed personal – and world – records to set the bar ever higher for what it means to be of Olympic level.

Here are some of the most notable champions of champions.

Holding the most Olympic medals

  • Michael Phelps (USA) holds the record for most Olympic medals won by an individual athlete. As of May 2024, the American swimmer has 28 medals (23 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze) in swimming across five Olympic Games from 2000 to 2016. (Topend Sports)
  • Gymnast Larisa Latynina (Soviet Union) is currently the most-decorated female Olympian with 18 medals (9 gold, 5 silver, 4 bronze) from 1956 to 1964. (Topend Sports)

Other notable mentions

  • Michael Phelps is also the first athlete to win the most gold medals at a single Olympics (8 at Beijing 2008). (AP News)
  • Swimmer Kristin Otto (Germany) leads the way for female athletes, having won six gold medals at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. (Britannica)
  • Marit Bjørgen (Norway) is currently the most decorated athlete of the Winter Olympics. She has won 15 medals in various cross-country skiing events. (Britannica)
  • Jesse Owens (USA) dominated, despite rising animosity, during the Berlin 1936 Olympics. The track and field athlete brought home a historic victory with four gold medals. (History.com)
  • Dimitrios Loundras is the youngest ever medallist. At the age of 10, he scooped up a bronze medal as part of the Greek gymnast team in Athens 1896 – the first-ever modern Olympics. (Indy100)

The show must (not?) go on

The Olympic Games, since they first began in Athens 1896, have been scheduled to gather the competing nations together once every 4 years.

And with this, the Games have gone ahead without too much interruption – but, of course, historic events and global calamities, on occasion, have understandably had to take precedence over its regularly scheduled programming.

  • The revival of the Olympic Games, as of 2024, has been running for 128 years – however, the Games do date back to Ancient Greece almost 3,000 years ago. (Britannica)
  • The Olympics have been cancelled on three occasions: 1916, 1940, and 1944 – due to the World Wars during those periods. (Europeana)
  • The 2020 Tokyo Olympics were the first to be delayed, being postponed by a year to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was the first time in Olympic history that the Games had been postponed rather than outright cancelled. (History Extra)
  • The 1964 Innsbruck Winter Olympics were threatened by a lack of snow until the Austrian Army delivered 50,000 cubic yards of snow. (Olympics.com)

Deeper insights

Here at Embryo, we love a good statistics round-up. If, like us, you enjoy staying up to date with current affairs and trends, you might also be interested in:

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