South Africa at the Olympics

South Africa first participated at the Olympic Games in 1904, and sent athletes to compete in every Summer Olympic Games until 1960. After the passage of United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1761 in 1962 in response to South Africa's policy of apartheid, the nation was barred from the Games.

South Africa at the
NOCSouth African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee
Summer appearances
Winter appearances

After the negotiations to end apartheid in South Africa commenced in 1990, the nation re-joined the Olympic movement. The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee was created in 1991, and South Africa returned to the Games at the 1992 Summer Olympics (and the 1992 Summer Paralympics). South Africa also participated in the Winter Olympic Games in 1960, and since 1994.

South African athletes have won a total of 86 medals, with athletics, boxing, and swimming as the top medal-producing sports.


South African athletes first participated in the 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis, when few foreign athletes arrived and the organizers invited participants of the adjacent 1904 World's Fair to compete.[1] General Piet Cronjé, Len Taunyane, and Jan Mashiani, all Boer War veterans who had been taken prisoner by the British at St. Helena after the Battle of Paardeberg and had reenacted battle scenes at the fair, participated in the men's marathon.[1] Taunyane and Mashiani were the first black Africans to participate in the Olympics, and the only blacks to represent South Africa in the Olympics until the end of apartheid.[1]

Although the four British colonies of Cape of Good Hope, Natal, Transvaal, and Orange River did not form the Union of South Africa until 1910, they fielded a combined South Africa team at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London, where Reggie Walker won its first gold medal.[1] The first South African woman in the Olympics was swimmer Barbara Nash in 1920, and the first women to win medals were the 1928 4 × 100 metre freestyle relay quartet, who came third.[1] The South African Olympic and Empire Games Association was awarded the 1934 British Empire Games in Johannesburg but backed out when it became evident that they would have to allow a team from India to compete.[1]

South Africa first entered the Winter Olympics in 1960, and that summer's games in Rome would be its last till the end of apartheid.[1] It was not invited to the 1964 Games, and its 1968 invitation was withdrawn when other teams threatened to withdraw. The South African Olympic and National Games Association was expelled from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1970.

The nonracial Interim National Olympic Committee of South Africa (now South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee) was founded in 1991 during the transition to multiracial equality and affiliated to the IOC months later. The country returned at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.[1]

Medal tables

Medals by Summer Games

1904 St. Louis0000
1908 London1102
1912 Stockholm4206
1920 Antwerp34310
1924 Paris1113
1928 Amsterdam1023
1932 Los Angeles2035
1936 Berlin0101
1948 London2114
1952 Helsinki24410
1956 Melbourne0044
1960 Rome0123
1992 Barcelona0202
1996 Atlanta3115
2000 Sydney0235
2004 Athens1326
2008 Beijing0101
2012 London4116
2016 Rio de Janeiro26210
Totals (19 games)26312986

Medals by sport

Totals (10 sports)26313087

List of medalists

Medal Name Games Sport Event
 GoldReggie Walker 1908 London AthleticsMen's 100 metres
 SilverCharles Hefferon 1908 London AthleticsMen's Marathon
 GoldKen McArthur 1912 Stockholm AthleticsMen's Marathon
 GoldRudolph Lewis 1912 Stockholm CyclingMen's Individual Time Trial
 GoldHarold Kitson
Charles Winslow
1912 Stockholm TennisMen's Doubles Outdoor
 GoldCharles Winslow 1912 Stockholm TennisMen's Singles Outdoor
 SilverChristian Gitsham 1912 Stockholm AthleticsMen's Marathon
 SilverHarold Kitson 1912 Stockholm TennisMen's Singles Outdoor
 GoldBevil Rudd 1920 Antwerp AthleticsMen's 400 Metres
 GoldClarence Walker 1920 Antwerp BoxingMen's Bantamweight
 GoldLouis Raymond 1920 Antwerp TennisMen's Singles
 SilverHenry Dafel
Jack Oosterlak
Clarence Oldfield
Bevil Rudd
1920 Antwerp AthleticsMen's 400 Metres Relay
 SilverHenry Kaltenbrunn 1920 Antwerp CyclingMen's Individual Time Trial
 SilverWilliam Smith
James Walker
1920 Antwerp CyclingMen's Tandem
 SilverDavid Smith
Robert Bodley
Ferdinand Buchanan
Frederick Morgan
1920 Antwerp ShootingMen's Team 600 Metres Military Rifle
 BronzeBevil Rudd 1920 Antwerp AthleticsMen's 800m
 BronzeJames Walker
William Smith
Henry Kaltenbrunn
Harry Goosen
1920 Antwerp CyclingTeam Pursuit
 BronzeCharles Winslow 1920 Antwerp TennisMen's Singles
 GoldWilliam Smith 1924 Paris BoxingMen's Bantamweight
 SilverSydney Atkinson 1924 Paris AthleticsMen's 110m Hurdles
 BronzeCecil McMaster 1924 Paris AthleticsMen's 10 Kilometer Walk
 GoldSydney Atkinson 1928 Amsterdam AthleticsMen's 110m Hurdles
 BronzeHarry Isaacs 1928 Amsterdam BoxingMen's Bantamweight
 BronzeRhoda Rennie
Frederica van der Goes
Mary Bedford
Kathleen Russell
1928 Amsterdam SwimmingWomen's 4 × 100 m Freestyle Relay
 GoldLawrence Stevens 1932 Los Angeles BoxingMen's lightweight
 GoldDavid Carstens 1932 Los Angeles BoxingMen's light-heavyweight
 BronzeMarjorie Clark 1932 Los Angeles AthleticsWomen's 80m hurdles
 BronzeErnest Peirce 1932 Los Angeles BoxingMen's middleweight
 BronzeJenny Maakal 1932 Los Angeles SwimmingWomen's 400m freestyle
 SilverCharles Catterall 1936 Berlin BoxingMen's featherweight
 GoldGerald Dreyer 1948 London BoxingMen's lightweight
 GoldGeorge Hunter 1948 London BoxingMen's light-heavyweight
 SilverDennis Shepherd 1948 London BoxingMen's featherweight
 BronzeJohn Arthur 1948 London BoxingMen's heavyweight
 GoldEsther Brand 1952 Helsinki AthleticsWomen's high jump
 GoldJoan Harrison 1952 Helsinki SwimmingWomen's 100m backstroke
 SilverDaphne Robb-Hasenjäger 1952 Helsinki AthleticsWomen's 100m
 SilverTheunis Van Schalkwyk 1952 Helsinki BoxingMen's light-middleweight
 SilverRaymond Robinson
Thomas Shardelow
1952 Helsinki Cycling (Track)Men's 2000m tandem
 SilverGeorge Estman
Robert Fowler
Thomas Shardelow
Alfred Swift
1952 Helsinki Cycling (Track)Men's team pursuit (4000m)
 BronzeWilliam Toweel 1952 Helsinki BoxingMen's flyweight
 BronzeLeonard Leisching 1952 Helsinki BoxingMen's featherweight
 BronzeAndries Nieman 1952 Helsinki BoxingMen's heavyweight
 BronzeRaymond Robinson 1952 Helsinki Cycling (Track)Men's 1 km time trial
 BronzeDaniel Bekker 1956 Melbourne/Stockholm BoxingMen's heavyweight
 BronzeHenry Loubscher 1956 Melbourne/Stockholm BoxingMen's light-welterweight
 BronzeAlfred Swift 1956 Melbourne/Stockholm Cycling (Track)Men's 1 km time trial
 BronzeMoira Abernethy
Jeanette Myburgh
Natalie Myburgh
Susan Elizabeth Roberts
1956 Melbourne/Stockholm SwimmingWomen's 4 × 100 m freestyle relay
 SilverDaniel Bekker 1960 Rome BoxingMen's heavyweight
 BronzeMalcolm Clive Spence 1960 Rome AthleticsMen's 400m
 BronzeWilliam Meyers 1960 Rome BoxingMen's featherweight
 SilverElana Meyer 1992 Barcelona AthleticsWomen's 10,000m
 SilverWayne Ferreira
Piet Norval
1992 Barcelona TennisMen's Doubles
 GoldJosia Thugwane 1996 Atlanta AthleticsMen's marathon
 GoldPenelope Heyns 1996 Atlanta SwimmingWomen's 100m breaststroke
 GoldPenelope Heyns 1996 Atlanta SwimmingWomen's 200m breaststroke
 SilverHezekiel Sepeng 1996 Atlanta AthleticsMen's 800m
 BronzeMarianne Kriel 1996 Atlanta SwimmingWomen's 100m backstroke
 SilverHestrie Cloete 2000 Sydney AthleticsWomen's high jump
 SilverTerence Parkin 2000 Sydney SwimmingMen's 200m breaststroke
 BronzeLlewellyn Herbert 2000 Sydney AthleticsMen's 400m hurdles
 BronzeFrantz Kruger 2000 Sydney AthleticsMen's discus throw
 BronzePenelope Heyns 2000 Sydney SwimmingWomen's 100m breaststroke
 GoldLyndon Ferns
Ryk Neethling
Roland Mark Schoeman
Darian Townsend
2004 Athens SwimmingMen's 4 × 100 m freestyle relay
 SilverMbulaeni Mulaudzi 2004 Athens AthleticsMen's 800m
 SilverHestrie Cloete 2004 Athens AthleticsWomen's high jump
 SilverRoland Mark Schoeman 2004 Athens SwimmingMen's 100m freestyle
 BronzeDonovan Cech
Ramon di Clemente
2004 Athens RowingMen's coxless pair
 BronzeRoland Mark Schoeman 2004 Athens SwimmingMen's 50m freestyle
 SilverKhotso Mokoena 2008 Beijing AthleticsMen's long jump
 GoldSizwe Ndlovu
Matthew Brittain
John Smith
James Thompson
2012 London RowingMen's Lightweight Four
 GoldCameron van der Burgh 2012 London SwimmingMen's 100m breaststroke
 GoldChad le Clos 2012 London SwimmingMen's 200m butterfly
 GoldCaster Semenya 2012 London AthleticsWomen's 800m
 SilverChad le Clos 2012 London SwimmingMen's 100m butterfly
 BronzeBridgitte Hartley 2012 London CanoeingWomen's K-1 500m
 GoldWayde Van Niekerk 2016 Rio de JaneiroAthleticsMen's 400m
 GoldCaster Semenya 2016 Rio de JaneiroAthleticsWomen's 800m
 SilverChad le Clos 2016 Rio de JaneiroSwimmingMen's 200m freestyle
 SilverShaun Keeling
Lawrence Brittain
2016 Rio de JaneiroRowingMen's coxless pair
 SilverChad le Clos 2016 Rio de JaneiroSwimmingMen's 100m butterfly
 SilverCameron van der Burgh 2016 Rio de JaneiroSwimmingMen's 100m breaststroke
 SilverLuvo Manyonga 2016 Rio de JaneiroAthleticsMen's long jump
 SilverSunette Viljoen 2016 Rio de JaneiroAthleticsWomen's javelin throw
 BronzeCheslin Kolbe
Juan de Jongh
Seabelo Senatla
Justin Geduld
Kyle Brown
Cecil Afrika
Kwagga Smith
Werner Kok
Rosko Specman
Philip Snyman
Dylan Sage
Francois Hougaard
Tim Agaba
2016 Rio de JaneiroRugby SevensMen's tournament
 Bronze Henri Schoeman 2016 Rio de Janeiro Triathlon Men's Triathlon

See also


  1. Laubscher, Lappe (23 August 2017). "South Africa and the Olympic Games". South African History Online. Retrieved 2019-02-11.