Water polo at the Summer Olympics


Water polo has been part of the Summer Olympics program since the second games, in 1900. A women's water polo tournament was introduced for the 2000 Summer Olympics. Hungary has been the most successful country in men's tournament, while the United States is the only team to win multiple times at the women's tournament since its introduction. Italy is the first and only country to win both the men's and women's water polo tournaments.

Water polo at the Summer Olympics
Governing bodyFINA
Events2 (men: 1; women: 1)
Games
Note: demonstration or exhibition sport years indicated in italics

Overall statistics (menwomen)
Champions (menwomen)
Team appearances (menwomen)
Player appearances (menwomen)
Top goalscorers (menwomen)
Goalkeepers (menwomen)
Venues
Water polo at the 2004 Summer Olympics

History


The history of water polo as a team sport began in mid 19th century England and Scotland, where water sports were a feature of county fairs and festivals.[1][2] Water polo has been included in every Summer Olympic Games as a men's competition sport, except 1896. Women's water polo made its debut in the Summer Olympics in 2000.

Beginnings

Water polo final at the 1908 London Olympics

Men's water polo was among the first team sports introduced at the modern Olympic Games in 1900. Seven European teams from four countries, including four from the host nation France, took part in the competition. The British team was the inaugural champion.

At the 1904 Summer Olympics, a water polo tournament was contested, but only American contestants participated. A German team tried to enter, but its entry was refused.[3] Currently the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Swimming Federation (FINA) consider water polo event as part of unofficial program in 1904.

From 1908 to 1920, the Great Britain men's national water polo team won three consecutive gold medals at the Olympics, becoming the first water polo team to have an Olympic winning streak (winning three or more Olympic titles in a row).

Hungary dominance

Hungary men's national water polo team has participated in 22 of 27 Olympic tournaments, with fifteen Olympic medals (nine gold, three silver and three bronze). From 1928 to 1980, the Hungarians won twelve consecutive medals in water polo. Twenty years later, the team won three gold in a row between 2000 and 2008, becoming the second team to have an Olympic winning streak in water polo.

Blood in the Water match

The most famous water polo match in Olympic history often referred to as the Blood in the Water match, was a 1956 Summer Olympics semi-final match between Hungary and the Soviet Union, played in Melbourne on 6 December 1956. As the athletes left for the games, the Hungarian revolution began, and the Soviet army crushed the uprising. The match was bloody and violent. The Hungarians defeated the Soviets 4–0 before the game was called off in the final minute to prevent angry Hungarians in the crowd reacting to Soviet player Valentin Prokopov punching Hungarian player Ervin Zador. Pictures of Zádor's injuries were published around the world, leading to the "Blood in the Water" moniker.[4]

The Hungarians went on to win the Olympic gold medal by defeating Yugoslavia 2–1 in the final.

Addition of women's program

Women's water polo became an Olympic sport at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Six nations competed in the women's tournament with home team Australia winning the gold medal over the United States.

From 2000 to 2016, the United States women's team won five consecutive medals in water polo.

Geography


Water polo is now popular in many countries around the world, notably Europe (particularly in Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Spain), Australia, Brazil, Canada and the United States.

As of the 2020 Summer Olympics, 51 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) from six continents have sent their water polo teams to the Summer Olympics. Men's water polo teams of ten European NOCs won all 26 official tournaments, while women's teams from Europe, North America and Oceania won all five gold medals. Water polo teams from Africa, Asia and South America have not won an Olympic medal yet.

Venues


Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center will be used at the 2020 Olympics in water polo.

For the Summer Olympics, there are 34 venues that have been or will be used for water polo.

The Seine in Paris hosted the first water polo competitions at the 1900 Olympics. The Forest Park in St. Louis hosted the water polo events for the 1904 Summer Olympics.

The first water polo venue not located on a river or a lake took place at the 1908 London Olympics. It was not until the 1920 Olympics that a separate venue was created for the aquatic venues. The 1948 Games was the first Olympics in water polo took place both indoor and in more than one venue. The first separate water polo venue that was not connected to other aquatic venues was at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

The Water Polo Arena of the 2012 London Olympics was the first dedicated water polo venue to be built for an Olympics, the structure was taken down after the games.

  1. Paris 1900: Seine, Paris
  2. St. Louis 1904: Forest Park, St. Louis
  3. London 1908: White City Stadium, White City
  4. Stockholm 1912: Djurgårdsbrunnsviken, Stockholm
  5. Antwerp 1920: Stade Nautique d'Antwerp, Antwerp
  6. Paris 1924: Piscine des Tourelles, Paris
  7. Amsterdam 1928: Olympic Sports Park Swim Stadium, Amsterdam
  8. Los Angeles 1932: Swimming Stadium, Los Angeles
  9. Berlin 1936: Olympic Swimming Stadium, Berlin
  10. London 1948: Empire Pool (final), Wembley; and Finchley Lido, North Finchley
  11. Helsinki 1952: Swimming Stadium, Helsinki
  12. Melbourne 1956: Swimming/Diving Stadium, Melbourne
  13. Rome 1960: Piscina delle Rose and Stadio Olimpico del Nuoto (final), both in Rome
  14. Tokyo 1964: Tokyo Metropolitan Indoor Swimming Pool, Tokyo
  15. Mexico City 1968: Francisco Márquez Olympic Pool (final) and University City Swimming Pool, both in Mexico City
  16. Munich 1972: Dantebad and Schwimmhalle (final), both in Munich
  17. Montreal 1976: Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard and Olympic Pool (final), both in Montreal
  18. Moscow 1980: Swimming Pool - Moscow and Swimming Pool - Olimpiysky (final), both in Moscow
  19. Los Angeles 1984: Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool, Malibu, California
  20. Seoul 1988: Jamsil Indoor Swimming Pool, Seoul
  21. Barcelona 1992: Piscina Municipal de Montjuïc and Piscines Bernat Picornell (final), both in Badalona
  22. Atlanta 1996: Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, Atlanta
  23. Sydney 2000: Ryde Aquatic Leisure Centre, Ryde; and Sydney International Aquatic Centre, Sydney
  24. Athens 2004: Athens Olympic Aquatic Centre, Athens
  25. Beijing 2008: Ying Tung Natatorium, Beijing
  26. London 2012: Water Polo Arena, London
  27. Rio de Janeiro 2016: Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre and Olympic Aquatics Stadium, Rio de Janeiro
  28. Tokyo 2020: Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center, Tokyo

Sources:

Events


Notes
The X indicates that the tournament was held as a full Olympic medal sport.
The bullet () denotes that it was contested as an unofficial sport.
Event9600040812202428323648525660646872768084889296000408121620Games
Men's tournament X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 28
Women's tournament X X X X X X 6
Total01111111111111111111111222222

Rules


Qualification

Since 2012, the qualifying process consists of five stages:

  1. The team of the host nation qualifies automatically.
  2. No more than one team qualifies as the top team in the FINA World League.
  3. No more than three teams qualify as the top teams in the World Aquatics Championships.
  4. No more than five teams qualify as the continental Olympic qualification tournament champions.
  5. No more than four teams qualify through a world qualifying tournament, in which the best teams which did not qualify directly from each continent compete for the remaining berths.
Men's qualification
StageZoneTournamentBerths
201220162020
1Host nation1 (from
Europe)
1 (from
Americas)
1 (from
Asia)
2World – FINAFINA Water Polo World League11 1
3World – FINAWorld Aquatics Championships32 2
4Africa – CANAAfrican Continental Selection00 1
Americas – UANAPan American Games11 1
Asia – AASFAsian Water Polo Championship11 1
Europe – LENEuropean Water Polo Championship01 1
Oceania – OSAOceanian Continental Selection11 1
5World – FINAWorld Qualification Tournament44 3
Total12 12 12
Women's qualification
StageZoneTournamentBerths
201220162020
1Host nation1 (from
Europe)
1 (from
Americas)
1 (from
Asia)
2World – FINAFINA Water Polo World League00 1
3World – FINAWorld Aquatics Championships00 1
4Africa – CANAAfrican Continental Selection00 1
Americas – UANAPan American Games10 1
Asia – AASFAsian Water Polo Championship11 1
Europe – LENEuropean Water Polo Championship01 1
Oceania – OSAOceanian Continental Selection11 1
5World – FINAWorld Qualification Tournament44 2
Total88 10

Players

Eligibility

According to the FINA General Rules,[5] the list below shows the requirements for a player to be eligible to play in international tournaments:

  • "GR 1.1: All competitors shall be registered with their National Federation to be eligible to compete."
  • "GR 2.5: When a competitor or competition official represents his/her country in a competition, he/she shall be a citizen, whether by birth or naturalisation, of the nation he/she represents, provided that a naturalised citizen shall have lived in that country for at least one year prior to that competition. Competitors, who have more than one nationality according to the laws of the respective nations must choose one 'Sport Nationality'. This choice shall be exercised by the first representation of the competitor for one of the countries."
  • "GR 2.6: Any competitor or competition official changing his sport nationality from one national governing body to another must have resided in the territory of and been under the jurisdiction of the latter for at least twelve months prior to his first representation for the country."

Competition format

For both the men's and women's tournaments at the 2020 Olympics (which was postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic),[6] the competition consists of a round-robin group stage followed by a knockout stage. Teams are placed into two groups, with each team playing each other team in its group once. Teams earn 2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, and 0 points for a loss. The top four teams in each group advance to the knockout rounds. The knockout rounds are a single-elimination tournament consisting of quarterfinals, semifinals, and the gold and bronze medal matches.

Matches consist of four quarters of eight minutes each. During the knockout rounds, if the score is tied after four quarters (32 minutes), penalty shootouts, which is 5 rounds, plus extra rounds if tied, are used to determine the winner.

Men's tournament
#YearDatesNumber ofCompetition format
TeamsMatches
1190011–12 August7 teams6 matchesSingle-elimination tournament
219045–6 September3 teams 2 matches
3190815–22 July4 teams 4 matches
419127–16 July6 teams 10 matches
5192022–29 August12 teams 19 matches Single-elimination tournament; Bergvall system for second- and third-place
6192413–20 July13 teams 19 matches
719284–11 August14 teams 18 matches Single-elimination tournament; Bergvall system for third-place
819324–13 August5 teams 8 matches[lower-alpha 1] Round-robin tournament
919368–15 August16 teams 40 matches Round-robin pools advanced teams to the round-robin semi-final pool; round-robin semi-final pools advanced teams to the round-robin final pool
10194828 July – 7 August18 teams 40 matches[lower-alpha 2] Series of round-robin elimination pools, followed by round-robin semi-final pools, and then round-robin final pools
11195225 July – 2 August21 teams 56 matches[lower-alpha 3] Single-elimination tournament qualifying; round-robin pools advanced teams to the round-robin semi-final pool; round-robin semi-final pools advanced teams to the round-robin final pool
12195628 November – 7 December10 teams 29 matches Round-robin pools advanced teams to the round-robin final pool
13196025 August – 3 September16 teams 40 matches Round-robin pools advanced teams to the round-robin semi-final pool; round-robin semi-final pools advanced teams to the round-robin final pool
14196411–18 October13 teams 31 matches
15196814–26 October15 teams 63 matches Round-robin pools advanced teams to classification matches
16197227 August – 4 September16 teams 59 matches Round-robin pools advanced teams to the round-robin final pool
17197618–27 July12 teams 48 matches
18198020–29 July12 teams 48 matches
1919841–10 August12 teams 42 matches
20198821 September – 1 October12 teams 42 matches Round-robin pools advanced teams to classification matches
2119921–9 August12 teams 42 matches
22199620–28 July12 teams 48 matches
23200023 September – 1 October12 teams 48 matches
24200415–29 August12 teams 44 matches
25200810–24 August12 teams 44 matches
26201229 July – 12 August12 teams 42 matches
2720166–20 August12 teams 42 matches
28202025 July – 8 August 2021[6]12 teams 42 matches
#YearDatesTeamsMatchesCompetition format
Number of
Women's tournament
#YearDatesNumber ofCompetition format
TeamsMatches
1200016–23 September6 teams20 matchesRound-robin pools advanced teams to classification matches
2200416–26 August8 teams 20 matches
3200811–21 August8 teams 20 matches
4201230 July – 9 August8 teams 24 matches
520169–19 August8 teams 24 matches
6202024 July – 7 August 2021[6]10 teams 32 matches

Sources:

Game rules

Maximum number of players per team
Men's tournament
Maximum number of players
1900–19041908–19801984–20162020–
In the playing area of the pool during an Olympic match77 7 7
During an Olympic match1111 13 12[7]
During an Olympic tournament1111 13 13[7]
per clubper nationper nationper nation
Women's tournament
Maximum number of players
2000–20162020–
In the playing area of the pool during an Olympic match77
During an Olympic match1312[7]
During an Olympic tournament1313[7]
per nationper nation

Sources:

Anti-doping

The FINA follows the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) regulations on performance-enhancing drugs. According to the WADA, a positive in-competition test results in disqualification of the player and a suspension that varies based on the number of offences. When a player tests positive, the rest of their team is subjected to testing; another positive test can result in a disqualification of the entire team.[8][9][10][11]

Men's tournament


Results summary

# Year[12] Hosts Gold medal game Bronze medal game Number of teams
Gold Score Silver Bronze Score 4th place
1 1900
Details

Paris

Great Britain

(Osborne Swimming Club)
7–2
Belgium
(Brussels Swimming and Water Polo Club)

France
(Libellule de Paris)

France
(Pupilles de Neptune de Lille #2)
[lower-alpha 4] 7
2 1904
Details

St. Louis
Water polo was an unofficial sport Water polo was an unofficial sport
3 1908
Details

London

Great Britain
9–2[lower-alpha 5]
Belgium

Sweden
[lower-alpha 6]
Netherlands
4
4 1912
Details

Stockholm

Great Britain
8–0
Sweden

Belgium
5–4
Austria
6
5 1920
Details

Antwerp

Great Britain
3–2
Belgium

Sweden
5–0
United States
12
6 1924
Details

Paris

France
3–0
Belgium

United States
3–2
Sweden
13
7 1928
Details

Amsterdam

Germany
5–2
Hungary

France
8–1
Great Britain
14
8 1932
Details

Los Angeles

Hungary
Round-robin
Germany

United States
Round-robin
Japan
5
9 1936
Details

Berlin

Hungary
Round-robin
Germany

Belgium
Round-robin
France
16
10 1948
Details

London

Italy
Round-robin
Hungary

Netherlands
Round-robin
Belgium
18
11 1952
Details

Helsinki

Hungary
Round-robin
Yugoslavia

Italy
Round-robin
United States
21
12 1956
Details

Melbourne

Hungary
Round-robin
Yugoslavia

Soviet Union
Round-robin
Italy
10
13 1960
Details

Rome

Italy
Round-robin
Soviet Union

Hungary
Round-robin
Yugoslavia
16
14 1964
Details

Tokyo

Hungary
Round-robin
Yugoslavia

Soviet Union
Round-robin
Italy
13
15 1968
Details

Mexico City

Yugoslavia
13–11 (aet)
Soviet Union

Hungary
9–4
Italy
15
16 1972
Details

Munich

Soviet Union
Round-robin
Hungary

United States
Round-robin
West Germany
16
17 1976
Details

Montreal

Hungary
Round-robin
Italy

Netherlands
Round-robin
Romania
12
18 1980
Details

Moscow

Soviet Union
Round-robin
Yugoslavia

Hungary
Round-robin
Spain
12
19 1984
Details

Los Angeles

Yugoslavia
Round-robin
United States

West Germany
Round-robin
Spain
12
20 1988
Details

Seoul

Yugoslavia
9–7 (aet)
United States

Soviet Union
14–13
West Germany
12
21 1992
Details

Barcelona

Italy
9–8 (aet)
Spain

Unified Team[lower-alpha 7]
8–4
United States
12
22 1996
Details

Atlanta

Spain
7–5
Croatia

Italy
20–18 (aet)
Hungary
12
23 2000
Details

Sydney

Hungary
13–6
Russia

FR Yugoslavia[lower-alpha 8]
8–3
Spain
12
24 2004
Details

Athens

Hungary
8–7
Serbia and Montenegro

Russia
6–5
Greece
12
25 2008
Details

Beijing

Hungary
14–10
United States

Serbia
6–4
Montenegro
12
26 2012
Details

London

Croatia
8–6
Italy

Serbia
12–11
Montenegro
12
27 2016
Details

Rio

Serbia
11–7
Croatia

Italy
12–10
Montenegro
12
28 2020
Details

Tokyo
12

Sources:

Confederation statistics

Best performances by tournament

This is a summary of the best performances of each confederation in each tournament.[12] Last updated: 15 January 2021.

Note: italic number in header means unofficial tournament was held.

Legend
  •  1st  – Champions
  •  2nd  – Runners-up
  •  3rd  – Third place
  •  4th  – Fourth place
  •  Q  – Qualified for forthcoming tournament
Confederation 00 04 08 12 20 24 28 32 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 12 16 20
Africa – CANA7th10th9th12th15th12th12th
Americas – UANA4th3rd7th3rd9th10th4th5th7th9th5th3rd7th5th2nd2nd4th7th6th7th2nd8th10thQ
Asia – AASF4th14th12th21st10th14th11th12th15th12th9th11th9th11th12th11th12thQ
Europe – LEN1st1st1st1st1st1st1st1st1st1st1st1st1st1st1st1st1st1st1st1st1st1st1st1st1st1stQ
Oceania – OSA18th19th9th15th10th12th11th7th5th8th5th8th9th8th7th9th9th
Total teams74612131451618211016131516121212121212121212121212

Team statistics

Rk Rank Ref Reference p. page pp. pages
Comprehensive team results by tournament

Note: Results of Olympic qualification tournaments are not included. Numbers refer to the final placing of each team at the respective Games; italic number in header means unofficial tournament was held. Last updated: 5 May 2021.

Legend
  •  1  – Champions
  •  2  – Runners-up
  •  3  – Third place
  •  4  – Fourth place
  •   – Qualified but were not allowed to compete
  •   – Disqualified
  •    – The nation did not participate in the Games
  •  Q  – Qualified for forthcoming tournament
  •     – Hosts
  • = – More than one team tied for that rank
  • Team – Defunct team
Abbreviation
  • stats – Olympic water polo team statistics
  • EUA – United Team of Germany
  • FRG – West Germany
  • FRY – FR Yugoslavia
  • GDR – East Germany
  • SCG – Serbia and Montenegro
Africa – CANA (2 teams)
Men's team[12] 00 04 08 12 20 24 28 32 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 12 16 20 Years
 Egypt (stats) 710131215126
 South Africa 149123
Americas – UANA (8 teams)
Men's team[12] 00040812202428323648525660646872768084889296000408121620Years
 Argentina 131016114
 Brazil (stats) 6[lower-alpha 1]91213131288
 Canada (stats) 16910114
 Chile 171
 Cuba 897585
 Mexico 181113104
 United States (stats) 43739114579532247672810Q22
 Uruguay 13162
Asia – AASF (7 teams)
Men's team[12] 00040812202428323648525660646872768084889296000408121620Years
 PR China 911123
 India 12212
 Iran 121
 Japan (stats) 414141112151112109
 Kazakhstan (stats) Part of Soviet Union[lower-alpha 7]91111114
 Singapore 101
 South Korea 121
Europe – LEN (34 teams)
Men's team[12] 00 04 08 12 20 24 28 32 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 12 16 20 Years
 Austria 47133
 Belgium (stats) 22322634616711
 Bulgaria 11122
 Croatia (stats) Part of Yugoslavia2710612Q7
 Czechoslovakia 126101112Defunct5
 East Germany Part of GermanyP. of EUA6Part of Germany1
 France (stats) 3[lower-alpha 4]6913461010111111
 Germany (stats) =512215See EUASee FRG and GDR795109
 Great Britain (stats) 1111848131271211
Men's team 00040812202428323648525660646872768084889296000408121620Years
 Greece (stats) 8131514141089106104796Q16
 Hungary (stats) 5521121131321356411155Q23
 Iceland 151
 Ireland 9142
 Italy (stats) 1011134144628771358923Q21
 Luxembourg 111
 Malta 8162
 Montenegro (stats) Part of YugoslaviaP. of FRY / SCG444Q4
Men's team 00040812202428323648525660646872768084889296000408121620Years
 Netherlands (stats) 457553588773669101117
 Portugal 201
 Romania (stats) 1785584911109
 Russian Federation (stats) Part of Soviet Union[lower-alpha 7]5233
 Serbia (stats) Part of YugoslaviaP. of FRY / SCG331Q4
 Serbia and Montenegro (stats) Part of YugoslaviaSee FRY2Defunct1
 Slovakia Part of Czechoslovakia121
 Soviet Union[lower-alpha 9] (stats) 732321813Defunct9
 Spain (stats) 7109889104462146567Q18
Men's team 00 04 08 12 20 24 28 32 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 12 16 20 Years
 Sweden (stats) 32346511118
  Switzerland 11121212145
 Ukraine Part of Soviet Union[lower-alpha 7]121
Unified Team[lower-alpha 7] (stats) Part of Soviet Union3Defunct1
United Team of Germany (stats) See Germany666See FRG and GDRSee Germany3
 West Germany (stats) Part of GermanyP. of EUA104634Part of Germany5
 Yugoslavia (stats) 1092242155211Defunct12
 FR Yugoslavia[lower-alpha 8] (stats) Part of Yugoslavia83Defunct2
Oceania – OSA (1 team)
Men's team[12] 00040812202428323648525660646872768084889296000408121620Years
 Australia (stats) 181991510[lower-alpha 10]12117585898799th17
Total teams 74612131451618211016131516121212121212121212121212
Finishes in the top four

The following table is pre-sorted by total finishes in the top four (in descending order), number of Olympic gold medals (in descending order), number of Olympic silver medals (in descending order), number of Olympic bronze medals (in descending order), name of the team (in ascending order), respectively. Last updated: 18 January 2021.

Legend
  • Year* – As host team
  • Team – Defunct team
RkMen's team[12]TotalChampionsRunners-upThird placeFourth placeFirstLast
1 Hungary169 (1932, 1936, 1952, 1956, 1964, 1976, 2000, 2004, 2008)3 (1928, 1948, 1972)3 (1960, 1968, 1980)1 (1996)19282008
2 Italy133 (1948, 1960*, 1992)2 (1976, 2012)3 (1952, 1996, 2016)3 (1956, 1964, 1968)19482016
3 United States93 (1984*, 1988, 2008)3 (1924, 1932*, 1972)3 (1920, 1952, 1992)19202008
4 Yugoslavia83 (1968, 1984, 1988)4 (1952, 1956, 1964, 1980)1 (1960)19521988
5 Soviet Union72 (1972, 1980*)2 (1960, 1968)3 (1956, 1964, 1988)19561988
6 Belgium74 (1900, 1908, 1920*, 1924)2 (1912, 1936)1 (1948)19001948
7 Great Britain54 (1900, 1908*, 1912, 1920)1 (1928)19001928
8 Spain51 (1996)1 (1992*)3 (1980, 1984, 2000)19802000
9 France51 (1924*)3 (1900*×2[lower-alpha 4], 1928)1 (1936)19001936
10 Sweden41 (1912*)2 (1908, 1920)1 (1924)19081924
11 Croatia31 (2012)2 (1996, 2016)19962016
 Germany1 (1928)2 (1932, 1936*)19281936
13 Serbia31 (2016)2 (2008, 2012)20082016
14 Netherlands32 (1948, 1976)1 (1908)19081976
15 West Germany31 (1984)2 (1972*, 1988)19721988
16 Montenegro33 (2008, 2012, 2016)20082016
17 Russia21 (2000)1 (2004)20002004
18 Serbia and Montenegro11 (2004)20042004
19 FR Yugoslavia[lower-alpha 8]11 (2000)20002000
Unified Team[lower-alpha 7]1 (1992)19921992
21 Austria11 (1912)19121912
 Greece1 (2004*)20042004
 Japan1 (1932)19321932
 Romania1 (1976)19761976
RkMen's teamTotalChampionsRunners-upThird placeFourth placeFirstLast
Medal table

The following table is pre-sorted by number of Olympic gold medals (in descending order), number of Olympic silver medals (in descending order), number of Olympic bronze medals (in descending order), name of the team (in ascending order), respectively. Last updated: 12 December 2020.

Hungary is the most successful country in the men's Olympic water polo tournament, with nine gold, three silver and three bronze.[12]

Legend
  • Team – Defunct team
RankMen's teamGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1 Hungary (HUN)93315
2 Great Britain (GBR)4004
3 Yugoslavia (YUG)3407
4 Italy (ITA)3238
5 Soviet Union (URS)2237
6 Croatia (CRO)1203
 Germany (GER)1203
8 Spain (ESP)1102
9 France (FRA)[lower-alpha 4]1034
10 Serbia (SRB)1023
11 Belgium (BEL)0426
12 United States (USA)0336
13 Sweden (SWE)0123
14 Russia (RUS)0112
15 Serbia and Montenegro (SCG)0101
16 Netherlands (NED)0022
17 FR Yugoslavia (FRY)[lower-alpha 8]0011
 Unified Team (EUN)[lower-alpha 7]0011
 West Germany (FRG)0011
Totals (19 men's teams)26262779
Champions (results, squads)

Champions (results}

Serbia men's national water polo team celebrated after the gold medal match of the 2016 Summer Olympics.

The following table shows results of Olympic champions in men's water polo by tournament. Last updated: 1 April 2021.

Legend
  •  6  – Winning 6 matches during the tournament
  •  4  – Drawing 4 matches during the tournament
  •  2  – Losing 2 matches during the tournament
  •  100.0%  – Winning all matches during the tournament
  •  Team  – Olympic winning streak (winning three or more Olympic titles in a row)
  •  Team  – Host team
  • Team – Defunct team
Abbreviation
  • MP – Matches played
  • W – Won
  • D – Drawn
  • L – Lost
  • GF – Goals for
  • GA – Goals against
  • GD – Goals difference
  • GF/MP – Goals for per match
  • GA/MP – Goals against per match
  • GD/MP – Goals difference per match
Results of champions by tournament
#Men's tournamentChampionsMPWDLWin %GFGAGDGF/MPGA/MPGD/MP
1 Paris 1900 Great Britain (1st title)3300100.0%293269.6671.0008.667
2 St. Louis 1904Water polo was an unofficial sport
3 London 1908 Great Britain (2nd title)1[lower-alpha 5]100100.0%9279.0002.0007.000
4 Stockholm 1912 Great Britain (3rd title)3300100.0%218137.0002.6674.333
5 Antwerp 1920 Great Britain (4th title)3300100.0%194156.3331.3335.000
6 Paris 1924 France (1st title)4400100.0%166104.0001.5002.500
7 Amsterdam 1928 Germany (1st title)3300100.0%181086.0003.3332.667
8 Los Angeles 1932 Hungary (1st title)3[lower-alpha 1]300100.0%3022810.0000.6679.333
9 Berlin 1936 Hungary (2nd title)761085.7%444406.2860.5715.714
10 London 1948 Italy (1st title)7[lower-alpha 2]61085.7%3514215.0002.0003.000
11 Helsinki 1952 Hungary (3rd title)862075.0%5316376.6252.0004.625
12 Melbourne 1956 Hungary (4th title)6600100.0%264224.3330.6673.667
13 Rome 1960 Italy (2nd title)761085.7%3112194.4291.7142.714
14 Tokyo 1964 Hungary (5th title)651083.3%3413215.6672.1673.500
15 Mexico City 1968 Yugoslavia (1st title)971177.8%8635519.5563.8895.667
16 Munich 1972 Soviet Union (1st title)862075.0%4824246.0003.0003.000
17 Montreal 1976 Hungary (6th title)871087.5%4532135.6254.0001.625
18 Moscow 1980 Soviet Union (2nd title)8800100.0%5831277.2503.8753.375
19 Los Angeles 1984 Yugoslavia (2nd title)761085.7%72442810.2866.2864.000
20 Seoul 1988 Yugoslavia (3rd title)760185.7%83552811.8577.8574.000
21 Barcelona 1992 Italy (3rd title)752071.4%595098.4297.1431.286
22 Atlanta 1996 Spain (1st title)860275.0%5848107.2506.0001.250
23 Sydney 2000 Hungary (7th title)860275.0%7857219.7507.1252.625
24 Athens 2004 Hungary (8th title)7700100.0%5939208.4295.5712.857
25 Beijing 2008 Hungary (9th title)761085.7%85553012.1437.8574.286
26 London 2012 Croatia (1st title)8800100.0%7342319.1255.2503.875
27 Rio 2016 Serbia (1st title)852162.5%80661410.0008.2501.750
#Men's tournamentTotal16113816785.7%12496765737.7584.1993.559
ChampionsMPWDLWin %GFGAGDGF/MPGA/MPGD/MP

Sources:

Champions (squads)

The following table shows number of players and average age, height and weight of Olympic champions in men's water polo by tournament. Last updated: 1 April 2021.

Legend
  •  Team  – Olympic winning streak
  •  Team  – Winning all matches during the tournament
  •  Team  – Host team
  • Team – Defunct team
Winning squads by tournament
#Men's tournamentChampionsPlayersReturning OlympiansAverage
NumberNumber %AgeHeightWeight
1 Paris 1900 Great Britain (1st title)700.0%
2 St. Louis 1904Water polo was an unofficial sport
3 London 1908 Great Britain (2nd title)700.0%26 years, 111 days
4 Stockholm 1912 Great Britain (3rd title)7457.1%29 years, 16 days
5 Antwerp 1920 Great Britain (4th title)7342.9%33 years, 279 days
6 Paris 1924 France (1st title)7342.9%26 years, 303 days
7 Amsterdam 1928 Germany (1st title)800.0%24 years, 329 days
8 Los Angeles 1932 Hungary (1st title)10770.0%27 years, 291 days
9 Berlin 1936 Hungary (2nd title)11545.5%26 years, 66 days
10 London 1948 Italy (1st title)900.0%30 years, 203 days
11 Helsinki 1952 Hungary (3rd title)13646.2%26 years, 337 days
12 Melbourne 1956 Hungary (4th title)12758.3%26 years, 148 days1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)[lower-alpha 11]80 kg (176 lb)[lower-alpha 12]
13 Rome 1960 Italy (2nd title)12325.0%22 years, 363 days1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)81 kg (179 lb)
14 Tokyo 1964 Hungary (5th title)121083.3%28 years, 208 days1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)82 kg (181 lb)
15 Mexico City 1968 Yugoslavia (1st title)11545.5%26 years, 151 days1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)94 kg (207 lb)
16 Munich 1972 Soviet Union (1st title)11545.5%26 years, 351 days1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)87 kg (192 lb)
17 Montreal 1976 Hungary (6th title)11654.5%25 years, 333 days1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)88 kg (194 lb)
18 Moscow 1980 Soviet Union (2nd title)11436.4%25 years, 117 days1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)87 kg (192 lb)
19 Los Angeles 1984 Yugoslavia (2nd title)13323.1%23 years, 362 days1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)92 kg (203 lb)
20 Seoul 1988 Yugoslavia (3rd title)13646.2%23 years, 341 days1.95 m (6 ft 5 in)94 kg (207 lb)
21 Barcelona 1992 Italy (3rd title)13753.8%26 years, 224 days1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)[lower-alpha 13]81 kg (179 lb)[lower-alpha 14]
22 Atlanta 1996 Spain (1st title)13969.2%26 years, 279 days1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)81 kg (179 lb)
23 Sydney 2000 Hungary (7th title)13538.5%25 years, 254 days1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)93 kg (205 lb)
24 Athens 2004 Hungary (8th title)131076.9%27 years, 344 days1.96 m (6 ft 5 in)96 kg (212 lb)
25 Beijing 2008 Hungary (9th title)13969.2%29 years, 248 days1.96 m (6 ft 5 in)100 kg (220 lb)
26 London 2012 Croatia (1st title)13861.5%29 years, 85 days1.97 m (6 ft 6 in)102 kg (225 lb)
27 Rio 2016 Serbia (1st title)13969.2%28 years, 205 days1.95 m (6 ft 5 in)96 kg (212 lb)
#Men's tournamentChampionsNumberNumber %AgeHeightWeight
PlayersReturning OlympiansAverage

Sources:

Player statistics

Rk Rank Ref Reference (C) Captain
Pos Playing position FP Field player GK Goalkeeper
L/R Handedness L Left-handed R Right-handed
p. page pp. pages
Multiple appearances (five-time Olympians)
Manuel Estiarte of Spain is the only water polo player to compete at six Olympic Games (1980–2000).

The following table is pre-sorted by number of Olympic appearances (in descending order), year of the last Olympic appearance (in ascending order), year of the first Olympic appearance (in ascending order), date of birth (in ascending order), name of the player (in ascending order), respectively. Last updated: 26 July 2021.

Seventeen athletes competed in water polo at five or more Olympic Games between 1900 and 2020 inclusive. Paul Radmilovic, representing Great Britain, is the first water polo player to compete at five Olympics (1908–1928).[13]

Four players (Manuel Estiarte, Salvador Gómez, Jesús Rollán and Jordi Sans) were all members of the Spain men's national water polo team (1988–2000). Manuel Estiarte is the first and only water polo player (man or woman) to compete at six Olympics (1980–2000).[14] Jesús Rollán is the first water polo goalkeeper of either gender to compete at five Olympics (1984–2004).[15]

Tony Azevedo of the United States is the first non-European water polo player to compete at five Olympic Games (2000–2016).[16]

Italian goalkeeper Stefano Tempesti competed at five Olympics between 2000 and 2016.[17]

Legend and abbreviation
  •     – Hosts
  • Apps – Appearances
Male athletes who competed in water polo at five or more Olympics
AppsPlayerBirthHeightMen's teamPosWater polo tournamentsPeriod
(age of
first/last)
MedalsRef
123456GSBT
6Manuel Estiarte19611.78 m
(5 ft 10 in)
 SpainFP19801984198819921996200020 years
(18/38)
1102[14]
5Paul Radmilovic18861.80 m
(5 ft 11 in)
 Great BritainFP1908191219201924192820 years
(22/42)
3003[13]
Dezső Gyarmati19271.86 m
(6 ft 1 in)
 HungaryFP1948195219561960196416 years
(20/36)
3115[18]
Gianni De Magistris19501.85 m
(6 ft 1 in)
 ItalyFP1968197219761980198416 years
(17/33)
0101[19]
Jordi Sans19651.80 m
(5 ft 11 in)
 SpainFP1984198819921996200016 years
(18/35)
1102[20]
George Mavrotas19671.75 m
(5 ft 9 in)
 GreeceFP1984198819921996200016 years
(17/33)
0000[21]
Salvador Gómez19681.94 m
(6 ft 4 in)
 SpainFP1988199219962000200416 years
(20/36)
1102[22]
Jesús Rollán19681.87 m
(6 ft 2 in)
 SpainGK1988199219962000200416 years
(20/36)
1102[15]
Tibor Benedek19721.90 m
(6 ft 3 in)
 HungaryFP1992199620002004200816 years
(20/36)
3003[23]
Igor Hinić19752.02 m
(6 ft 8 in)
 CroatiaFP1996200020042008201216 years
(20/36)
1102[24]
Tamás Kásás19762.00 m
(6 ft 7 in)
 HungaryFP1996200020042008201216 years
(20/36)
3003[25]
Georgios Afroudakis19761.94 m
(6 ft 4 in)
 GreeceFP1996200020042008201216 years
(19/35)
0000[26]
Stefano Tempesti19792.05 m
(6 ft 9 in)
 ItalyGK2000200420082012201616 years
(21/37)
0112[17]
Tony Azevedo19811.85 m
(6 ft 1 in)
 United StatesFP2000200420082012201616 years
(18/34)
0101[16]
Jesse Smith19831.93 m
(6 ft 4 in)
 United StatesFP2004200820122016202017 years
(21/38)
0101[27]
Xavier García19841.98 m
(6 ft 6 in)
 SpainFP20042008201217 years
(20/37)
0101[28]
 CroatiaFP20162020
Pietro Figlioli19841.91 m
(6 ft 3 in)
 AustraliaFP2004200817 years
(20/37)
0112[29]
 ItalyFP201220162020
AppsPlayerBirthHeightMen's teamPos123456Period
(age of
first/last)
GSBTRef
Water polo tournamentsMedals
Multiple medalists

The following table is pre-sorted by total number of Olympic medals (in descending order), number of Olympic gold medals (in descending order), number of Olympic silver medals (in descending order), year of receiving the last Olympic medal (in ascending order), year of receiving the first Olympic medal (in ascending order), name of the player (in ascending order), respectively. Last updated: 18 January 2021.

Eight male athletes won four or more Olympic medals in water polo. Aside from Belgian player Joseph Pletincx who won medals before World War II,[30] all were members of the Hungary men's national water polo team. Dezső Gyarmati is the first and only athlete (man or woman) to win five Olympic medals in water polo (three gold, one silver and one bronze).[18]

Legend
  •     – Hosts
Male athletes who won four or more Olympic medals in water polo
RkPlayerBirthHeightMen's teamPosWater polo tournamentsPeriod
(age of
first/last)
MedalsRef
12345GSBT
1Dezső Gyarmati19271.86 m
(6 ft 1 in)
 HungaryFP1948195219561960196416 years
(20/36)
3115[18]
2György Kárpáti19351.67 m
(5 ft 6 in)
 HungaryFP195219561960196412 years
(17/29)
3014[31]
3László Jeney19231.81 m
(5 ft 11 in)
 HungaryGK194819521956196012 years
(25/37)
2114[32]
4Mihály Mayer19331.85 m
(6 ft 1 in)
 HungaryFP195619601964196812 years
(22/34)
2024[33]
5András Bodnár19421.80 m
(5 ft 11 in)
 HungaryFP196019641968197212 years
(18/30)
1124[34]
Endre Molnár19451.85 m
(6 ft 1 in)
 HungaryGK196819721976198012 years
(23/35)
1124[35]
István Szívós Jr.19482.02 m
(6 ft 8 in)
 HungaryFP196819721976198012 years
(20/32)
1124[36]
8Joseph Pletincx1888 BelgiumFP190819121920192416 years
(20/36)
0314[30]
RkPlayerBirthHeightMen's teamPos12345Period
(age of
first/last)
GSBTRef
Water polo tournamentsMedals

Source:

Multiple gold medalists
Paul Radmilovic, representing Great Britain, won three gold medals in water polo at the 1908, 1912 and 1920 Olympics.

The following table is pre-sorted by number of Olympic gold medals (in descending order), number of Olympic silver medals (in descending order), number of Olympic bronze medals (in descending order), year of receiving the last Olympic gold medal (in ascending order), year of receiving the first Olympic gold medal (in ascending order), name of the player (in ascending order), respectively. Last updated: 31 March 2021.

Ten athletes won three or more Olympic gold medals in water polo. Six players (Tibor Benedek, Péter Biros, Tamás Kásás, Gergely Kiss, Tamás Molnár and Zoltán Szécsi) were all members of the Hungary men's national water polo team that won three consecutive Olympic gold medals in 2000, 2004 and 2008.[23][37][25][38][39][40]

There are thirty-one male athletes who won two Olympic gold medals in water polo.

Legend
  •     – Hosts
Male athletes who won three or more Olympic gold medals in water polo
RkPlayerBirthHeightMen's teamPosWater polo tournamentsPeriod
(age of
first/last)
MedalsRef
12345GSBT
1Dezső Gyarmati19271.86 m
(6 ft 1 in)
 HungaryFP1948195219561960196416 years
(20/36)
3115[18]
2György Kárpáti19351.67 m
(5 ft 6 in)
 HungaryFP195219561960196412 years
(17/29)
3014[31]
3Paul Radmilovic18861.80 m
(5 ft 11 in)
 Great BritainFP1908191219201924192820 years
(22/42)
3003[13]
Charles Smith18791.86 m
(6 ft 1 in)
 Great BritainGK190819121920192416 years
(29/45)
3003[41]
Tibor Benedek19721.90 m
(6 ft 3 in)
 HungaryFP1992199620002004200816 years
(20/36)
3003[23]
Péter Biros19761.96 m
(6 ft 5 in)
 HungaryFP200020042008201212 years
(24/36)
3003[37]
Tamás Kásás19762.00 m
(6 ft 7 in)
 HungaryFP1996200020042008201216 years
(20/36)
3003[25]
Gergely Kiss19771.98 m
(6 ft 6 in)
 HungaryFP200020042008201212 years
(22/34)
3003[38]
Tamás Molnár19751.93 m
(6 ft 4 in)
 HungaryFP2000200420088 years
(25/33)
3003[39]
Zoltán Szécsi19771.98 m
(6 ft 6 in)
 HungaryGK200020042008201212 years
(22/34)
3003[40]
RkPlayerBirthHeightMen's teamPos12345Period
(age of
first/last)
GSBTRef
Water polo tournamentsMedals
Top goalscorers (one match, one tournament, all-time)

Top goalscorers (one match)

Top goalscorers (one tournament)

Eraldo Pizzo of Italy scored 29 goals at the 1968 Olympics.

The following table is pre-sorted by number of goals (in descending order), edition of the Olympics (in ascending order), number of matches played (in ascending order), name of the player (in ascending order), respectively. Last updated: 1 April 2021.

Five male players have scored 25 or more goals in an Olympic water polo tournament.

Spaniard Manuel Estiarte is the first and only water polo player to achieve this feat twice. At the 1984 Summer Olympics, Estiarte netted 34 goals, setting the record for the most goals scored by a water polo player in a single Olympic tournament. Four years later, he scored 27 goals in Seoul.[42]

The most recent player to scoring 25 or more goals in a tournament was Alessandro Calcaterra, with Italy men's national team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.[43]

Legend
  •  Team  – Host team
  • Player – Player who won the tournament with his team
Male players with 25 or more goals in an Olympic tournament
RkYearPlayerBirthAgeHeightL/RGoalsMatches
played
Goals
per
match
Men's teamFinishRef
11984Manuel Estiarte1961221.78 m
(5 ft 10 in)
Right3474.857 Spain4th of 12
teams
[42]
21968Nico van der Voet1944241.86 m
(6 ft 1 in)
3393.667 Netherlands7th of 15
teams
[44]
31968Eraldo Pizzo1938301.87 m
(6 ft 2 in)
Right2993.222 Italy4th of 15
teams
[45]
41988Manuel Estiarte (2)1961261.78 m
(5 ft 10 in)
Right2773.857 Spain6th of 12
teams
[42]
2008Alessandro Calcaterra1975331.87 m
(6 ft 2 in)
Right2783.375 Italy9th of 12
teams
[43]
61968Rubén Junco1950181.54 m
(5 ft 1 in)
2683.250 Cuba8th of 15
teams
[46]
RkYearPlayerBirthAgeHeightL/RGoalsMatches
played
Goals
per
match
Men's teamFinishRef

Sources:

Filip Filipović scored 19 goals at the 2016 Olympics, helping Serbia win gold. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the men's water polo tournament.

The following table is pre-sorted by edition of the Olympics (in ascending order), number of matches played (in ascending order), name of the player (in ascending order), respectively. Last updated: 1 April 2021.

Hans Schneider of Germany scored 22 goals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics,[47] which stood as an Olympic water polo record for one Games until 1968, when the Dutch player Nico van der Voet netted 33 goals in Mexico City.[44]

At 18 years old, Manuel Estiarte of Spain made his Olympic debut at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, where he was the youngest-ever male top goalscorer with 21 goals. He was also the top goalscorer at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and the 1988 Seoul Olympics, with 34 and 27 goals, respectively. He was the joint top goalscorer at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics with 22 goals.[42]

Hungarian left-handed player Tibor Benedek was the joint top goalscorer at the 1992 Games with 22 goals, and the top goalscorer at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics with 19 goals.[48]

Aleksandar Šapić, representing FR Yugoslavia, was the top goalscorer at the 2000 Sydney Olympics with 18 goals. Four years later, he netted 18 goals for Serbia and Montenegro, becoming the top goalscorer at the 2004 Athens Olympics.[49]

31-year-old István Szívós Sr. scored 16 goals for Hungary at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics,[50] which stood as an age record for the oldest top goalscorer in a single Olympic water polo tournament until 2008, when 33-year-old Alessandro Calcaterra of Italy netted 27 goals in Beijing.[43]

Left-hander Filip Filipović of Serbia was the joint top goalscorer at the 2016 Olympics, with 19 goals. He netted two goals in the gold medal match, helping the Serbian team win the Olympics.[51]

Legend
  •  Team  – Host team
  • Player – Player who won the tournament with his team
Male players with the most goals in each Olympic tournament
YearPlayerBirthAgeHeightL/RGoalsMatches
played
Goals
per
match
Men's teamFinishRef
1900John Jarvis187228616.000 Great Britain1st of 7
teams
[52]
1908Fernand Feyaerts188027–28832.667 Belgium2nd of 4
teams
[53]
1912Robert Andersson188625942.250 Sweden2nd of 6
teams
[54]
1920Erik Andersson1896241042.500 Sweden3rd of 12
teams
[55]
1924Pierre Dewin189429–301452.800 Belgium2nd of 13
teams
[56]
1928Ferenc Keserű1903241.55 m
(5 ft 1 in)
1042.500 Hungary2nd of 14
teams
[57]
1932Philip Daubenspeck1905261443.500 United States3rd of 5
teams
[58]
1936Hans Schneider1909262273.143 Germany2nd of 16
teams
[47]
1948Aldo Ghira19202818[lower-alpha 2]7[lower-alpha 2]2.571 Italy1st of 18
teams
[59]
1952Ruud van Feggelen19242816[lower-alpha 3]8[lower-alpha 3]2.000 Netherlands5th of 21
teams
[60]
István Szívós Sr.1920311.85 m
(6 ft 1 in)
Right1682.000 Hungary1st of 21
teams
[50]
1956Petre Mshvenieradze1929271.86 m
(6 ft 1 in)
1171.571 Soviet Union3rd of 10
teams
[61]
1960Fred Tisue1938211.75 m
(5 ft 9 in)
1271.714 United States7th of 16
teams
[62]
Aurel Zahan1938221.83 m
(6 ft 0 in)
1271.714 Romania5th of 16
teams
[63]
1964Nico van der Voet1944201.86 m
(6 ft 1 in)
1071.429 Netherlands8ht of 13
teams
[44]
1968Nico van der Voet (2)1944241.86 m
(6 ft 1 in)
3393.667 Netherlands7th of 15
teams
[44]
1972Carlos Sánchez1952201.71 m
(5 ft 7 in)
1892.000 Cuba9th of 16
teams
[64]
1976Tamás Faragó1952231.94 m
(6 ft 4 in)
Right2282.750 Hungary1st of 12
teams
[65]
1980Manuel Estiarte1961181.78 m
(5 ft 10 in)
Right2182.625 Spain4th of 12
teams
[42]
1984Manuel Estiarte (2)1961221.78 m
(5 ft 10 in)
Right3474.857 Spain4th of 12
teams
[42]
1988Manuel Estiarte (3)1961261.78 m
(5 ft 10 in)
Right2773.857 Spain6th of 12
teams
[42]
1992Tibor Benedek1972201.90 m
(6 ft 3 in)
Left2273.143 Hungary6th of 12
teams
[48]
Manuel Estiarte (4)1961301.78 m
(5 ft 10 in)
Right2273.143 Spain2nd of 12
teams
[42]
1996Tibor Benedek (2)1972241.90 m
(6 ft 3 in)
Left1982.375 Hungary4th of 12
teams
[48]
2000Aleksandar Šapić1978221.88 m
(6 ft 2 in)
Right1882.250 FR Yugoslavia3rd of 12
teams
[49]
2004Aleksandar Šapić (2)1978261.88 m
(6 ft 2 in)
Right1882.250 Serbia and Montenegro2nd of 12
teams
[49]
2008Alessandro Calcaterra1975331.87 m
(6 ft 2 in)
Right2783.375 Italy9th of 12
teams
[43]
2012Andrija Prlainović1987251.87 m
(6 ft 2 in)
Right2282.750 Serbia3rd of 12
teams
[66]
2016Filip Filipović1987291.96 m
(6 ft 5 in)
Left1982.375 Serbia1st of 12
teams
[51]
Guillermo Molina1984321.95 m
(6 ft 5 in)
Right1982.375 Spain7th of 12
teams
[67]
YearPlayerBirthAgeHeightL/RGoalsMatches
played
Goals
per
match
Men's teamFinishRef

Sources:

Top goalscorers (all-time)

Aleksandar Šapić scored 64 goals at four Olympics (1996–2008).

The following table is pre-sorted by number of total goals (in descending order), number of total Olympic matches played (in ascending order), date of the last Olympic match played (in ascending order), date of the first Olympic match played (in ascending order), name of the player (in ascending order), respectively. Last updated: 1 April 2021.

Six-time Olympian Manuel Estiarte holds the record for the most goals scored by a water polo player in Olympic history, with 127 goals, far more than any other player. At his first three Olympics (1980–1988), Estiarte netted 82 goals.[42]

Hungarian left-hander Tibor Benedek scored 65 goals at five Olympics (1992–2008),[48] and his teammate Tamás Kásás netted 56 goals between 1996 and 2012.[68]

Aleksandar Šapić, representing FR Yugoslavia in 1996 and 2000, Serbia and Montenegro in 2004, and Serbia in 2008, scored 64 goals in 32 matches.[49]

Tony Azevedo of the United States holds the record for the most goals scored by a non-European water polo player in Olympic history, with 61 goals at five Olympics (2000–2016).[69]

Gianni De Magistris is the top scorer for the Italy men's Olympic water polo team, with 59 goals (1968–1984).[70] His compatriot Eraldo Pizzo netted 53 goals at four Olympics between 1960 and 1972.[45]

Charles Turner, representing Australia between 1976 and 1984, scored 50 goals in 23 matches.[71]

Legend
  •     – Hosts
All-time male players with 50 or more goals at the Olympics
RkPlayerBirthHeightL/RMen's teamTotal
goals
Total
matches
played
Goals
per
match
Tournaments
(goals)
Period
(age of
first/last)
MedalsRef
123456GSBT
1Manuel Estiarte19611.78 m
(5 ft 10 in)
Right Spain127452.8221980
(21)
1984
(34)
1988
(27)
1992
(22)
1996
(13)
2000
(10)
20 years
(18/38)
1102[42]
2Tibor Benedek19721.90 m
(6 ft 3 in)
Left Hungary65371.7571992
(22)
1996
(19)
2000
(9)
2004
(5)
2008
(10)
16 years
(20/36)
3003[48]
3Aleksandar Šapić19781.88 m
(6 ft 2 in)
Right FR Yugoslavia64322.0001996
(8)
2000
(18)
12 years
(18/30)
0123[49]
 Serbia and Montenegro2004
(18)
 Serbia2008
(20)
4Tony Azevedo19811.85 m
(6 ft 1 in)
Right United States61351.7432000
(13)
2004
(15)
2008
(17)
2012
(11)
2016
(5)
16 years
(18/34)
0101[69]
5Gianni De Magistris19501.85 m
(6 ft 1 in)
Right Italy59401.4751968
(6)
1972
(11)
1976
(11)
1980
(20)
1984
(11)
16 years
(17/33)
0101[70]
6Tamás Kásás19762.00 m
(6 ft 7 in)
Right Hungary56381.4741996
(13)
2000
(12)
2004
(14)
2008
(8)
2012
(9)
16 years
(20/36)
3003[68]
7Eraldo Pizzo19381.87 m
(6 ft 2 in)
Right Italy53291.8281960
(7)
1964
(5)
1968
(29)
1972
(12)
12 years
(22/34)
1001[45]
8Charles Turner19521.86 m
(6 ft 1 in)
Right Australia50232.1741976
(15)
1980
(17)
1984
(18)
8 years
(23/31)
0000[71]

Sources:

Top goalkeepers (one match, one tournament, all-time)

Top goalkeepers (one match)

Top goalkeepers (one tournament)

Josip Pavić saved 85 shots at the 2012 Games, helping Croatia win the Olympic title. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the men's water polo tournament.

The following table is pre-sorted by number of saves (in descending order), edition of the Olympics (in ascending order), number of matches played (in ascending order), name of the goalkeeper (in ascending order), respectively. Last updated: 1 April 2021.

Since 1996, six male goalkeepers have saved 75 or more shots in an Olympic water polo tournament.

Stefano Tempesti of Italy is the first water polo goalkeeper to achieve this feat twice. At the 2008 Olympics, Tempesti saved 83 shots. Four years later in London, he blocked 87 shots, setting the record for the most saves by a water polo goalkeeper in a single Olympic tournament.

Slobodan Soro is the second goalkeeper to achieve this feat twice. At the 2012 London Olympics, Soro saved 75 shots for Serbia. In Rio de Janeiro, he saved 81 shots for Brazil.

At the 2012 Summer Games, Josip Pavić saved 85 shots, including nine in the gold medal match, helping the Croatia team win the Olympics. He is the most efficient one among these six goalkeepers.

Legend and abbreviation
  •  Team  – Host team
  • Player – Player who won the tournament with his team
  • MP – Matches played
  • Eff % – Save efficiency (Saves / Shots)
  • 70.2% – Highest save efficiency
Male goalkeepers with 75 or more saves in an Olympic tournament (statistics since 1996)
RkYearGoalkeeperBirthAgeHeightSavesShotsEff %MPSaves
per
match
Men's teamFinishRef
12012Stefano Tempesti1979332.05 m
(6 ft 9 in)
8714759.2%810.875 Italy2nd of 12
teams
[17]
22012Josip Pavić1982301.95 m
(6 ft 5 in)
8512170.2%810.625 Croatia1st of 12
teams
[72]
32008Stefano Tempesti (2)1979292.05 m
(6 ft 9 in)
8316949.1%810.375 Italy9th of 12
teams
[17]
41996Arie van de Bunt1969271.85 m
(6 ft 1 in)
8115452.6%810.125 Netherlands10th of 12
teams
[73]
2016Slobodan Soro1978371.96 m
(6 ft 5 in)
8115253.3%810.125 Brazil8th of 12
teams
[74]
61996Christopher Duplanty1965301.90 m
(6 ft 3 in)
7713258.3%89.625 United States7th of 12
teams
[75]
1996Siniša Školneković1968281.94 m
(6 ft 4 in)
7713557.0%89.625 Croatia2nd of 12
teams
[76]
82012Slobodan Soro (2)1978331.96 m
(6 ft 5 in)
7513555.6%89.375 Serbia3rd of 12
teams
[74]
RkYearGoalkeeperBirthAgeHeightSavesShotsEff %MPSaves
per
match
Men's teamFinishRef

Sources:

Stefano Tempesti of Italy saved 83 and 87 shots at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, respectively.

The following table is pre-sorted by edition of the Olympics (in ascending order), number of matches played (in ascending order), name of the goalkeeper (in ascending order), respectively. Last updated: 1 April 2021.

At the 2004 Summer Games, Nikolay Maksimov saved 62 shots, including seven in the bronze medal match, helping Russia win the match.

Stefano Tempesti of Italy blocked 83 shots at the 2008 Olympics. In the 2012 edition, he saved 87 shots, helping the Italian team win the Olympic silver medal.

Slobodan Soro, representing Brazil, saved 81 shots at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Legend and abbreviation
  •  Team  – Host team
  • Player – Player who won the tournament with his team
  • MP – Matches played
  • Eff % – Save efficiency (Saves / Shots)
Male goalkeepers with the most saves in each Olympic tournament (statistics since 1996)
YearGoalkeeperBirthAgeHeightSavesShotsEff %MPSaves
per
match
Men's teamFinishRef
1996Arie van de Bunt1969271.85 m
(6 ft 1 in)
8115452.6%810.125 Netherlands10th of 12
teams
[73]
2000Dan Hackett1970301.98 m
(6 ft 6 in)
7013551.9%88.750 United States6th of 12
teams
[77]
2004Nikolay Maksimov1972311.90 m
(6 ft 3 in)
6210459.6%87.750 Russia3rd of 12
teams
[78]
2008Stefano Tempesti1979292.05 m
(6 ft 9 in)
8316949.1%810.375 Italy9th of 12
teams
[17]
2012Stefano Tempesti (2)1979332.05 m
(6 ft 9 in)
8714759.2%810.875 Italy2nd of 12
teams
[17]
2016Slobodan Soro1978371.96 m
(6 ft 5 in)
8115253.3%810.125 Brazil8th of 12
teams
[74]

Sources:

Top goalkeepers (all-time)

Coach statistics

Rk Rank Ref Reference p. page pp. pages
Most successful coaches
Ratko Rudić coached three men's national teams to four Olympic gold medals (Yugoslavia in 1984 and 1988, Italy in 1992 and Croatia in 2012).

The following table is pre-sorted by total number of Olympic medals (in descending order), number of Olympic gold medals (in descending order), number of Olympic silver medals (in descending order), year of winning the last Olympic medal (in ascending order), year of winning the first Olympic medal (in ascending order), name of the coach (in ascending order), respectively. Last updated: 31 March 2021.

There are four coaches who led men's national water polo teams to win three or more Olympic medals.

Ratko Rudić is the most successful water polo coach in Olympic history. As a head coach, he led three men's national water polo teams to win four Olympic gold medals and one Olympic bronze medal. He guided Yugoslavia men's national team to two consecutive gold medals in 1984 and 1988, Italy men's national team to a gold medal in 1992 and a bronze medal in 1996, and Croatia men's national team to a gold medal in 2012, making him the first and only coach to lead three different men's national water polo teams to the Olympic titles.[79][80]

Dénes Kemény of Hungary is another coach who led men's national water polo team(s) to win three Olympic gold medals. Under his leadership, the Hungary men's national team won three gold in a row between 2000 and 2008, becoming the second water polo team to have an Olympic winning streak.[81]

Dezső Gyarmati coached the Hungary men's national team to three consecutive Olympic medals, a silver in 1972, a gold in 1976, and a bronze in 1980.[82]

Boris Popov led the Soviet Union men's national team to win an Olympic gold medal in 1980 and a bronze medal in 1988. Four years later, he coached the Unified Team to another bronze medal.[83]

Legend
  •     – Hosts
Head coaches who led men's national teams to win three or more Olympic medals
RkHead coachNationalityBirthAgeMen's teamTournaments
(finish)
PeriodMedalsRef
123456789GSBT
1Ratko Rudić Yugoslavia194836–40 Yugoslavia1984
(1st)
1988
(1st)
32
years
4015[84]
[79]
[80]
 Croatia44–52 Italy1992
(1st)
1996
(3rd)
2000
(5th)
56 United States2004
(7th)
60–64 Croatia2008
(6th)
2012
(1st)
68 Brazil2016
(8th)
2Dénes Kemény Hungary195446–58 Hungary2000
(1st)
2004
(1st)
2008
(1st)
2012
(5th)
12
years
3003[81]
3Dezső Gyarmati Hungary192744–52 Hungary1972
(2nd)
1976
(1st)
1980
(3rd)
8
years
1113[18]
[82]
4Boris Popov Soviet Union194139, 47 Soviet Union1980
(1st)
1988
(3rd)
12
years
1023[85]
[83]
 Russia51 Unified Team1992
(3rd)
Medals as coach and player
Terry Schroeder of the United States won two Olympic medals in 1984 and 1988, and then coached the United States men's national team to the podium in 2008.

The following table is pre-sorted by total number of Olympic medals (in descending order), number of Olympic gold medals (in descending order), number of Olympic silver medals (in descending order), year of winning the last Olympic medal (in ascending order), year of winning the first Olympic medal (in ascending order), name of the person (in ascending order), respectively. Last updated: 7 May 2021.

Twelve water polo players won Olympic medals and then guided men's national water polo teams to the Olympic podium as head coaches.

Dezső Gyarmati of Hungary won five Olympic medals in a row between 1948 and 1964. He coached the Hungary men's national team to three consecutive Olympic medals, including a gold in 1976,[18][82] making him the only man to win Olympic gold in water polo as player and head coach in the last 100 years.

Ivo Trumbić won the silver medal in 1964 and Yugoslavia's first Olympic gold medal in water polo in 1968. He moved to the Netherlands in 1973, hired as the head coach of the Netherlands men's national team. At the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, he led the Dutch team to win a bronze medal.[86][87]

Vladimir Semyonov, representing the Soviet Union, won three Olympic medals in a row between 1960 and 1968. As a head coach, he led the Soviet Union men's national water polo team to win an Olympic gold medal in 1972.[88]

Soviet Boris Popov won a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. He guided the Soviet Union men's national team to two Olympic medals in 1980 and 1988, and the Unified Team to a bronze medal in 1992.[83]

Aleksandr Kabanov of the Soviet Union won a gold at the Munich Olympics in 1972, coached by Vladimir Semyonov. Eight years later, he won the second gold medal at the Moscow Olympics in 1980, coached by Boris Popov. As a head coach, he led Russia men's national team to win two consecutive medals in 2000 and 2004.[89][90]

Ratko Rudić won a silver medal for Yugoslavia at the Moscow Olympics in 1980. Upon retirement as an athlete, he immediately entered the coaching ranks. During his career, Rudić guided three different men's national teams to five Olympic medals, more than any other coaches.[84][79][80]

Terry Schroeder of the United States won two consecutive silver medals at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics. Twenty years later, he coached the United States men's national team to a silver in 2008, becoming the first and only non-European to achieve this feat.[91][92]

Italian Alessandro Campagna won a gold medal at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, coached by Ratko Rudić. As a head coach, he led Italy men's national team to win two medals in 2012 and 2016.[93][94]

Dejan Savić won three consecutive Olympic medals between 2000 and 2008. At the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, he coached Serbia men's national team to the Olympic title.[95]

Legend
  • Year* – As host team
RkPersonBirthHeightPlayerHead coachTotal medalsRef
AgeMen's teamPosMedalAgeMen's teamMedalGSBT
1Dezső Gyarmati19271.86 m
(6 ft 1 in)
20–36 HungaryFP1948 , 1952 ,
1956 , 1960 ,
1964
44–52 Hungary1972 , 1976 ,
1980
4228[18]
[82]
2Ratko Rudić19481.88 m
(6 ft 2 in)
32 YugoslaviaFP1980 36–40 Yugoslavia1984 , 1988 4116[84]
[79]
[80]
44–48 Italy1992 , 1996
64 Croatia2012
3Aleksandr Kabanov19481.81 m
(5 ft 11 in)
24, 32 Soviet UnionFP1972 , 1980* 52–56 Russia2000 , 2004 2114[89]
[90]
4Vladimir Semyonov19381.84 m
(6 ft 0 in)
22–30 Soviet UnionFP1960 , 1964 ,
1968
34 Soviet Union1972 1214[88]
5Dejan Savić19751.90 m
(6 ft 3 in)
25 FR YugoslaviaFP2000 41 Serbia2016 1124[95]
29 Serbia and MontenegroFP2004
33 SerbiaFP2008
6Boris Popov19411.81 m
(5 ft 11 in)
23 Soviet UnionFP1964 39, 47 Soviet Union1980* , 1988 1034[85]
[83]
51 Unified Team1992
7Dezső Lemhényi191730–34 HungaryFP1948 , 1952 42 Hungary1960 1113[96]
[97]
Ivo Trumbić19351.97 m
(6 ft 6 in)
29–33 YugoslaviaFP1964 , 1968 41 Netherlands1976 1113[86]
[87]
Alessandro Campagna19631.82 m
(6 ft 0 in)
29 ItalyFP1992 49–53 Italy2012 , 2016 1113[93]
[94]
10Terry Schroeder19581.90 m
(6 ft 3 in)
25–29 United StatesFP1984* , 1988 49 United States2008 0303[91]
[92]
11Gianni Lonzi19381.82 m
(6 ft 0 in)
22 ItalyFP1960* 37 Italy1976 1102[98]
[99]
12Mario Majoni191038 ItalyFP1948* 42 Italy1952 1012[100]
[101]
RkPersonBirthHeightAgeMen's teamPosMedalAgeMen's teamMedalGSBTRef
PlayerHead coachTotal medals

Women's tournament


Results summary

# Year[12] Hosts Gold medal game Bronze medal game Number of teams
Gold Score Silver Bronze Score 4th place
1 2000
Details

Sydney

Australia
4–3
United States

Russia
4–3
Netherlands
6
2 2004
Details

Athens

Italy
10–9 (aet)
Greece

United States
6–5
Australia
8
3 2008
Details

Beijing

Netherlands
9–8
United States

Australia
9–9 (aet)
(3–2) (ps)

Hungary
8
4 2012
Details

London

United States
8–5
Spain

Australia
13–11 (aet)
Hungary
8
5 2016
Details

Rio

United States
12–5
Italy

Russia
12–12
(7–6) (ps)

Hungary
8
6 2020
Details

Tokyo
10

Sources:

Confederation statistics

Best performances by tournament

This is a summary of the best performances of each confederation in each tournament.[12] Last updated: 15 January 2021.

Legend
  •  1st  – Champions
  •  2nd  – Runners-up
  •  3rd  – Third place
  •  4th  – Fourth place
  •  Q  – Qualified for forthcoming tournament
Confederation 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016 2020
Africa – CANA10th
Americas – UANA2nd3rd2nd1st1stQ
Asia – AASF6th8th5th5th7thQ
Europe – LEN3rd1st1st2nd2ndQ
Oceania – OSA1st4th3rd3rd6thQ
Total teams6888810

Team statistics

Rk Rank Ref Reference p. page pp. pages
Comprehensive team results by tournament

Note: Results of Olympic qualification tournaments are not included. Last updated: 5 May 2021.

Legend
  •  1st  – Champions
  •  2nd  – Runners-up
  •  3rd  – Third place
  •  4th  – Fourth place
  •  Q  – Qualified for forthcoming tournament
  •     – Hosts
Abbreviation
  • stats – Olympic water polo team statistics
Africa – CANA (1 team)
Women's team[12] 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016 2020 Years
 South Africa 10th1
Americas – UANA (3 teams)
Women's team[12] 200020042008201220162020Years
 Brazil 8th1
 Canada (stats) 5th7thQ3
 United States (stats) 2nd3rd2nd1st1stQ6
Asia – AASF (3 teams)
Women's team[12] 200020042008201220162020Years
 China (stats) 5th5th7thQ4
 Japan 9th1
 Kazakhstan 6th8th2
Europe – LEN (7 teams)
Women's team[12] 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016 2020 Years
 Great Britain 8th1
 Greece (stats) 2nd8th2
 Hungary (stats) 6th4th4th4thQ5
 Italy (stats) 1st6th7th2nd4
 Netherlands (stats) 4th1stQ3
 Russia (stats) 3rd5th7th6th3rdQ6
 Spain (stats) 2nd5thQ3
Oceania – OSA (1 team)
Women's team[12] 200020042008201220162020Years
 Australia (stats) 1st4th3rd3rd6thQ6
Total teams 6888810
Finishes in the top four

The following table is pre-sorted by total finishes in the top four (in descending order), number of Olympic gold medals (in descending order), number of Olympic silver medals (in descending order), number of Olympic bronze medals (in descending order), name of the team (in ascending order), respectively. Last updated: 12 December 2020.

Legend
  • Year* – As host team
RkWomen's team[12]TotalChampionsRunners-upThird placeFourth placeFirstLast
1 United States52 (2012, 2016)2 (2000, 2008)1 (2004)20002016
2 Australia41 (2000*)2 (2008, 2012)1 (2004)20002012
3 Hungary33 (2008, 2012, 2016)20082016
4 Italy21 (2004)1 (2016)20042016
5 Netherlands21 (2008)1 (2000)20002008
6 Russia22 (2000, 2016)20002016
7 Greece11 (2004*)20042004
 Spain1 (2012)20122012
RkWomen's teamTotalChampionsRunners-upThird placeFourth placeFirstLast
Medal table

The following table is pre-sorted by number of Olympic gold medals (in descending order), number of Olympic silver medals (in descending order), number of Olympic bronze medals (in descending order), name of the team (in ascending order), respectively. Last updated: 12 December 2020.

The United States is the most successful country in the women's Olympic water polo tournament, with two gold, two silver and one bronze.[12]

RankWomen's teamGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1 United States (USA)2215
2 Italy (ITA)1102
3 Australia (AUS)1023
4 Netherlands (NED)1001
5 Greece (GRE)0101
 Spain (ESP)0101
7 Russia (RUS)0022
Totals (7 women's teams)55515
Champions (results, squads)

Champions (results}

The following table shows results of Olympic champions in women's water polo by tournament. Last updated: 31 March 2021.

Legend
  •  6  – Winning 6 matches during the tournament
  •  4  – Drawing 4 matches during the tournament
  •  2  – Losing 2 matches during the tournament
  •  100.0%  – Winning all matches during the tournament
  •  Team  – Olympic winning streak (winning three or more Olympic titles in a row)
  •  Team  – Host team
Abbreviation
  • MP – Matches played
  • W – Won
  • D – Drawn
  • L – Lost
  • GF – Goals for
  • GA – Goals against
  • GD – Goals difference
  • GF/MP – Goals for per match
  • GA/MP – Goals against per match
  • GD/MP – Goals difference per match
Results of champions by tournament
#Women's tournamentChampionsMPWDLWin %GFGAGDGF/MPGA/MPGD/MP
1 Sydney 2000 Australia (1st title)760185.7%4629176.5714.1432.429
2 Athens 2004 Italy (1st title)650183.3%4433117.3335.5001.833
3 Beijing 2008 Netherlands (1st title)640266.7%575349.5008.8330.667
4 London 2012 United States (1st title)651083.3%5848109.6678.0001.667
5 Rio 2016 United States (2nd title)6600100.0%73324112.1675.3336.833
#Women's tournamentTotal31261483.9%278195838.9686.2902.677
ChampionsMPWDLWin %GFGAGDGF/MPGA/MPGD/MP

Sources:

Champions (squads)

The following table shows number of players and average age, height and weight of Olympic champions in women's water polo by tournament. Last updated: 31 March 2021.

Legend
  •  Team  – Olympic winning streak
  •  Team  – Winning all matches during the tournament
  •  Team  – Host team
Winning squads by tournament
#Women's tournamentChampionsPlayersReturning OlympiansAverage
NumberNumber %AgeHeightWeight
1 Sydney 2000 Australia (1st title)1300.0%26 years, 215 days1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)71 kg (157 lb)
2 Athens 2004 Italy (1st title)1300.0%28 years, 301 days1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)67 kg (148 lb)
3 Beijing 2008 Netherlands (1st title)13215.4%25 years, 248 days1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)70 kg (154 lb)
4 London 2012 United States (1st title)13861.5%26 years, 96 days1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)77 kg (170 lb)
5 Rio 2016 United States (2nd title)13430.8%23 years, 200 days1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)77 kg (170 lb)
#Women's tournamentChampionsNumberNumber %AgeHeightWeight
PlayersReturning OlympiansAverage

Sources:

  • Official Results Books (PDF): 2000 (pp. 96–101), 2004 (p. 73), 2008 (p. 72), 2012 (p. 369), 2016 (p. 219);
  • Olympedia: 2000–2016 (women's tournaments).

Player statistics

Rk Rank Ref Reference (C) Captain
Pos Playing position FP Field player GK Goalkeeper
L/R Handedness L Left-handed R Right-handed
p. page pp. pages
Multiple appearances (four-time Olympians)
American water polo player Heather Petri competed at four Olympics (2000–2012).

The following table is pre-sorted by number of Olympic appearances (in descending order), year of the last Olympic appearance (in ascending order), year of the first Olympic appearance (in ascending order), date of birth (in ascending order), name of the player (in ascending order), respectively. Last updated: 1 April 2021.

Four female athletes competed in water polo at four or more Olympic Games between 2000 and 2016 inclusive.

Legend
  •     – Hosts
  • Apps – Appearances
Female athletes who competed in water polo at four or more Olympics
AppsPlayerBirthHeightWomen's teamPosWater polo tournamentsPeriod
(age of
first/last)
MedalsRef
1234GSBT
4Heather Petri19781.80 m
(5 ft 11 in)
 United StatesFP200020042008201212 years
(22/34)
1214[102]
Sofia Konukh19801.73 m
(5 ft 8 in)
 RussiaFP200020042008201212 years
(20/32)
0011[103]
Brenda Villa19801.63 m
(5 ft 4 in)
 United StatesFP200020042008201212 years
(20/32)
1214[104]
Tania Di Mario19791.68 m
(5 ft 6 in)
 ItalyFP200420082012201612 years
(25/37)
1102[105]
Multiple medalists
Brenda Villa of the United States won four Olympic medals in water polo between 2000 and 2012.

The following table is pre-sorted by total number of Olympic medals (in descending order), number of Olympic gold medals (in descending order), number of Olympic silver medals (in descending order), year of receiving the last Olympic medal (in ascending order), year of receiving the first Olympic medal (in ascending order), name of the player (in ascending order), respectively. Last updated: 18 January 2021.

Three female athletes won three or more Olympic medals in water polo. Heather Petri and Brenda Villa, both representing the United States, are the only two female athletes to win four Olympic medals in water polo.[102][104]

Legend
  •     – Hosts
Female athletes who won three or more Olympic medals in water polo
RkPlayerBirthHeightWomen's teamPosWater polo tournamentsPeriod
(age of
first/last)
MedalsRef
1234GSBT
1Heather Petri19781.80 m
(5 ft 11 in)
 United StatesFP200020042008201212 years
(22/34)
1214[102]
Brenda Villa19801.63 m
(5 ft 4 in)
 United StatesFP200020042008201212 years
(20/32)
1214[104]
3Kami Craig19871.81 m
(5 ft 11 in)
 United StatesFP2008201220168 years
(21/29)
2103[106]

Source:

Multiple gold medalists

The following table is pre-sorted by number of Olympic gold medals (in descending order), number of Olympic silver medals (in descending order), number of Olympic bronze medals (in descending order), year of receiving the last Olympic gold medal (in ascending order), year of receiving the first Olympic gold medal (in ascending order), name of the player (in ascending order), respectively. Last updated: 31 March 2021.

Four female athletes won two or more Olympic gold medals in water polo. They were all members of the United States women's national water polo team that won two consecutive Olympic gold medals in 2012 and 2016.

Legend
  •     – Hosts
Female athletes who won two or more Olympic gold medals in water polo
RkPlayerBirthHeightWomen's teamPosWater polo tournamentsPeriod
(age of
first/last)
MedalsRef
123GSBT
1Kami Craig19871.81 m
(5 ft 11 in)
 United StatesFP2008201220168 years
(21/29)
2103[106]
2Courtney Mathewson19861.71 m
(5 ft 7 in)
 United StatesFP201220164 years
(25/29)
2002[107]
Melissa Seidemann19901.83 m
(6 ft 0 in)
 United StatesFP201220164 years
(22/26)
2002[108]
Maggie Steffens19931.73 m
(5 ft 8 in)
 United StatesFP201220164 years
(19/23)
2002[109]
Top goalscorers (one match, one tournament, all-time)

Top goalscorers (one match)

Top goalscorers (one tournament)

Anni Espar of Spain scored 15 goals at the 2012 Olympics.

The following table is pre-sorted by number of goals (in descending order), edition of the Olympics (in ascending order), number of matches played (in ascending order), name of the player (in ascending order), respectively. Last updated: 1 April 2021.

Seven female players have scored 15 or more goals in an Olympic water polo tournament.

The first woman to do so was Daniëlle de Bruijn, with the Netherlands women's national team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She scored 17 goals in six matches.[110]

Maggie Steffens of the United States is the first and only female water polo player to achieve this feat twice. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, Steffens netted 21 goals, setting the record for the most goals scored by a female water polo player in a single Olympic tournament. Four years later, she scored 17 goals in Rio de Janeiro.[111]

Legend
  •  Team  – Host team
  • Player – Player who won the tournament with her team
Female players with 15 or more goals in an Olympic tournament
RkYearPlayerBirthAgeHeightL/RGoalsMatches
played
Goals
per
match
Women's teamFinishRef
12012Maggie Steffens1993191.73 m
(5 ft 8 in)
Right2163.500 United States1st of 8
teams
[111]
22012Ma Huanhuan1990221.78 m
(5 ft 10 in)
Right1963.167 China5th of 8
teams
[112]
32012Tania Di Mario1979331.68 m
(5 ft 6 in)
Right1863.000 Italy7th of 8
teams
[113]
42008Daniëlle de Bruijn1978301.72 m
(5 ft 8 in)
Left1762.833 Netherlands1st of 8
teams
[110]
2016Maggie Steffens (2)1993231.73 m
(5 ft 8 in)
Right1762.833 United States1st of 8
teams
[111]
62012Anni Espar1993191.80 m
(5 ft 11 in)
Right1562.500 Spain2nd of 8
teams
[114]
2016Barbara Bujka1986291.72 m
(5 ft 8 in)
Left1562.500 Hungary4th of 8
teams
[115]
2016Roser Tarragó1993231.71 m
(5 ft 7 in)
Right1562.500 Spain5th of 8
teams
[116]
RkYearPlayerBirthAgeHeightL/RGoalsMatches
played
Goals
per
match
Women's teamFinishRef

Source:

  • Official Results Books (PDF): 2000 (pp. 96–101), 2004 (p. 53), 2008 (p. 54), 2012 (p. 345), 2016 (p. 193).
Daniëlle de Bruijn of the Netherlands scored 11 and 17 goals at the 2000 and 2008 Olympics, respectively.

The following table is pre-sorted by edition of the Olympics (in ascending order), number of matches played (in ascending order), name of the player (in ascending order), respectively. Last updated: 1 April 2021.

At 19 years old, Maggie Steffens of the United States made her Olympic debut at the 2012 London Olympics, where she was the youngest-ever female top goalscorer with 21 goals. She was also the top goalscorer at the 2016 Rio Olympics, with 17 goals.[111]

Dutch left-hander Daniëlle de Bruijn was the joint top goalscorer at the 2000 Olympics, with 11 goals. Eight years later she netted 17 goals, including seven goals in the gold medal match, becoming the top goalscorer at the 2008 Olympics.[110]

Legend
  •  Team  – Host team
  • Player – Player who won the tournament with her team
Female players with the most goals in each Olympic tournament
YearPlayerBirthAgeHeightL/RGoalsMatches
played
Goals
per
match
Women's teamFinishRef
2000Daniëlle de Bruijn1978221.72 m
(5 ft 8 in)
Left1171.571 Netherlands4th of 6
teams
[110]
Bridgette Gusterson1973271.80 m
(5 ft 11 in)
Right71.571 Australia1st of 6
teams
[117]
Sofia Konukh1980201.73 m
(5 ft 8 in)
Right71.571 Russia3rd of 6
teams
[118]
2004Tania Di Mario1979251.68 m
(5 ft 6 in)
Right1462.333 Italy1st of 8
teams
[113]
2008Daniëlle de Bruijn (2)1978301.72 m
(5 ft 8 in)
Left1762.833 Netherlands1st of 8
teams
[110]
2012Maggie Steffens1993191.73 m
(5 ft 8 in)
Right2163.500 United States1st of 8
teams
[111]
2016Maggie Steffens (2)1993231.73 m
(5 ft 8 in)
Right1762.833 United States1st of 8
teams
[111]

Source:

  • Official Results Books (PDF): 2000 (pp. 96–101), 2004 (p. 53), 2008 (p. 54), 2012 (p. 345), 2016 (p. 193).

Top goalscorers (all-time)

Kate Gynther of Australia scored 30 goals at three Olympics (2004–2012).

The following table is pre-sorted by number of total goals (in descending order), number of total Olympic matches played (in ascending order), date of the last Olympic match played (in ascending order), date of the first Olympic match played (in ascending order), name of the player (in ascending order), respectively. Last updated: 1 April 2021.

Four-time Olympian Tania Di Mario holds the record for the most goals scored by a female water polo player in Olympic history, with 47 goals.[113]

Maggie Steffens of the United States netted 38 goals at two Olympics (2012–2016).[111]

Ma Huanhuan, representing China, holds the record for the most goals scored by an Asian female water polo player in Olympic history, with 37 goals at three Olympics (2008–2016).[112]

Kate Gynther of Australia netted 30 goals in 32 matches between 2004 and 2012.[119]

Legend
  •     – Hosts
All-time female players with 30 or more goals at the Olympics
RkPlayerBirthHeightL/RWomen's teamTotal
goals
Total
matches
played
Goals
per
match
Tournaments
(goals)
Period
(age of
first/last)
MedalsRef
1234GSBT
1Tania Di Mario19791.68 m
(5 ft 6 in)
Right Italy47232.0432004
(14)
2008
(10)
2012
(18)
2016
(5)
12 years
(25/37)
1102[113]
2Maggie Steffens19931.73 m
(5 ft 8 in)
Right United States38123.1672012
(21)
2016
(17)
4 years
(19/23)
2002[111]
3Ma Huanhuan19901.78 m
(5 ft 10 in)
Right China37172.1762008
(7)
2012
(19)
2016
(11)
8 years
(18/26)
0000[112]
4Sofia Konukh19801.73 m
(5 ft 8 in)
Right Russia31221.4092000
(11)
2004
(9)
2008
(7)
2012
(4)
12 years
(20/32)
0011[118]
5Brenda Villa19801.63 m
(5 ft 4 in)
Right United States31231.3482000
(9)
2004
(7)
2008
(9)
2012
(6)
12 years
(20/32)
1214[120]
6Kate Gynther19821.75 m
(5 ft 9 in)
Right Australia30171.7652004
(7)
2008
(13)
2012
(10)
8 years
(22/30)
0022[119]

Source:

  • Official Results Books (PDF): 2000 (pp. 96–101), 2004 (p. 53), 2008 (p. 54), 2012 (p. 345), 2016 (p. 193).
Top goalkeepers (one match, one tournament, all-time)

Top goalkeepers (one match)

Top goalkeepers (one tournament)

The following table is pre-sorted by number of saves (in descending order), edition of the Olympics (in ascending order), number of matches played (in ascending order), name of the goalkeeper (in ascending order), respectively. Last updated: 1 April 2021.

Six female goalkeepers have saved 50 or more shots in an Olympic water polo tournament.

Giulia Gorlero of Italy holds the record for the most saves by a female water polo goalkeeper in a single Olympic tournament, blocking 65 shots in the 2016 edition.

At the 2016 Summer Games, Ashleigh Johnson saved 51 shots, including nine in the gold medal match, helping the American team win the Olympics. She is the most efficient one among these six goalkeepers.

Legend and abbreviation
  •  Team  – Host team
  • Player – Player who won the tournament with her team
  • MP – Matches played
  • Eff % – Save efficiency (Saves / Shots)
  • 64.6% – Highest save efficiency
Female goalkeepers with 50 or more saves in an Olympic tournament
RkYearGoalkeeperBirthAgeHeightSavesShotsEff %MPSaves
per
match
Women's teamFinishRef
12016Giulia Gorlero1990251.80 m
(5 ft 11 in)
6510661.3%610.833 Italy2nd of 8
teams
[121]
22012Elena Gigli1985271.92 m
(6 ft 4 in)
5610553.3%69.333 Italy7th of 8
teams
[122]
32016Yang Jun1988281.80 m
(5 ft 11 in)
5511846.6%69.167 China7th of 8
teams
[123]
42012Rosemary Morris1986261.80 m
(5 ft 11 in)
5411347.8%69.000 Great Britain8th of 8
teams
[124]
52012Elizabeth Armstrong1983291.92 m
(6 ft 4 in)
5310152.5%68.833 United States1st of 8
teams
[125]
62016Ashleigh Johnson1994211.86 m
(6 ft 1 in)
517964.6%68.500 United States1st of 8
teams
[126]

Source:

  • Official Results Books (PDF): 2000 (pp. 96–101), 2004 (p. 49), 2008 (p. 50), 2012 (p. 341), 2016 (p. 195).

The following table is pre-sorted by edition of the Olympics (in ascending order), number of matches played (in ascending order), name of the goalkeeper (in ascending order), respectively. Last updated: 1 April 2021.

At the 2004 Summer Games, Jacqueline Frank saved 41 shots, including seven in the bronze medal match, helping the United States win the match.

Giulia Gorlero of Italy blocked 65 shots at the 2016 Olympics, helping the Italian team win the Olympic silver medal.

Legend and abbreviation
  •  Team  – Host team
  • Player – Player who won the tournament with her team
  • MP – Matches played
  • Eff % – Save efficiency (Saves / Shots)
Female goalkeepers with the most saves in each Olympic tournament
YearGoalkeeperBirthAgeHeightSavesShotsEff %MPSaves
per
match
Women's teamFinishRef
2000Karla Plugge1968311.81 m
(5 ft 11 in)
458155.6%76.429 Netherlands4th of 6
teams
[127]
2004Jacqueline Frank1980241.80 m
(5 ft 11 in)
416860.3%58.200 United States3rd of 8
teams
[128]
2008Elizabeth Armstrong1983251.88 m
(6 ft 2 in)
499253.3%59.800 United States2nd of 8
teams
[125]
2012Elena Gigli1985271.92 m
(6 ft 4 in)
5610553.3%69.333 Italy7th of 8
teams
[122]
2016Giulia Gorlero1990251.80 m
(5 ft 11 in)
6510661.3%610.833 Italy2nd of 8
teams
[121]

Source:

  • Official Results Books (PDF): 2000 (pp. 96–101), 2004 (p. 49), 2008 (p. 50), 2012 (p. 341), 2016 (p. 195).

Top goalkeepers (all-time)

Coach statistics

Rk Rank Ref Reference p. page pp. pages
Most successful coaches

The following table is pre-sorted by total number of Olympic medals (in descending order), number of Olympic gold medals (in descending order), number of Olympic silver medals (in descending order), year of winning the last Olympic medal (in ascending order), year of winning the first Olympic medal (in ascending order), name of the coach (in ascending order), respectively. Last updated: 31 March 2021.

There are three coaches who led women's national water polo teams to win two or more Olympic medals.

Guy Baker guided the United States women's national team to three Olympic medals in a row between 2000 and 2008.[129][130]

Adam Krikorian coached the United States women's national team to two consecutive Olympic gold medals in 2012 and 2016.[131][130]

Greg McFadden led Australia women's national team to win two consecutive Olympic bronze medals in 2008 and 2012.[132]

Legend
  •     – Hosts
Head coaches who led women's national teams to win two or more Olympic medals
RkHead coachNationalityBirthAgeWomen's teamTournaments
(finish)
PeriodMedalsRef
123GSBT
1Guy Baker United States United States2000
(2nd)
2004
(3rd)
2008
(2nd)
8
years
0213[129]
[130]
2Adam Krikorian United States197438–42 United States2012
(1st)
2016
(1st)
4
years
2002[131]
[130]
3Greg McFadden Australia196443–51 Australia2008
(3rd)
2012
(3rd)
2016
(6th)
8
years
0022[133]
[132]
Medals as coach and player
István Görgényi of Hungary won an Olympic medal in 1972, and then coached the Australia women's team to gold in 2000.

The following table is pre-sorted by total number of Olympic medals (in descending order), number of Olympic gold medals (in descending order), number of Olympic silver medals (in descending order), year of winning the last Olympic medal (in ascending order), year of winning the first Olympic medal (in ascending order), name of the person (in ascending order), respectively. Last updated: 31 March 2021.

As of 2016, two water polo players won Olympic medals and then guided women's national water polo teams to the Olympic podium as head coaches.

With the Hungary men's national water polo team, István Görgényi won a silver medal at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. He was appointed head coach of the Australia women's national team in 1998. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, he led the team to win the inaugural women's water polo gold medal.[134][135]

Spanish water polo player Miki Oca won a silver medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. Four years later, he won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. As a head coach, he guided Spain women's national water polo team to a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics.[136]

Legend
  • Year* – As host team
RkPersonBirthHeightPlayerHead coachTotal medalsRef
AgeMen's teamPosMedalAgeWomen's teamMedalGSBT
1Miki Oca19701.87 m
(6 ft 2 in)
22–26 SpainFP1992* , 1996 42 Spain2012 1203[136]
2István Görgényi19461.87 m
(6 ft 2 in)
25 HungaryFP1972 53 Australia2000* 1102[134]
[135]

Overall medal table


The following table is pre-sorted by number of Olympic gold medals (in descending order), number of Olympic silver medals (in descending order), number of Olympic bronze medals (in descending order), name of the NOC (in ascending order), respectively. Last updated: 12 December 2020.

Italy is the only country to win both the men's and women's water polo tournaments at the Summer Olympics. Italy men's national team won gold medals at the 1948, 1960 and 1992 Olympics, while the women's team was Olympic champions in 2004.

Legend
  • NOC – NOC that won medals in both the men's and women's tournaments
  • NOC – Defunct NOC
RankNOCGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1 Hungary (HUN)93315
2 Italy (ITA)43310
3 Great Britain (GBR)4004
4 Yugoslavia (YUG)[lower-alpha 8]3418
5 United States (USA)25411
6 Soviet Union (URS)2237
7 Croatia (CRO)1203
 Germany (GER)1203
 Spain (ESP)1203
10 France (FRA)[lower-alpha 4]1034
11 Australia (AUS)1023
 Netherlands (NED)1023
 Serbia (SRB)1023
14 Belgium (BEL)0426
15 Russia (RUS)0134
16 Sweden (SWE)0123
17 Greece (GRE)0101
 Serbia and Montenegro (SCG)0101
19 Unified Team (EUN)[lower-alpha 7]0011
 West Germany (FRG)0011
Totals (20 NOCs)31313294

Water polo people at the opening and closing ceremonies


Flag bearers

Evert Kroon was the flag bearer for the Netherlands at the closing ceremony of the 1976 Olympics.

Some sportspeople were chosen to carry the national flag of their country at the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games. As of the 2020 Summer Olympics, twenty-seven water polo people from six continents were given the honour.

Charles Smith, representing Great Britain, was the first water polo player to be a flag bearer at the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics.[41]

Six-time Olympian Manuel Estiarte of Spain was the flag bearer during the opening ceremony at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.[14]

After winning gold in the women's tournament, Carmela Allucci, the captain of the Italian women's water polo team, carried the national flag of Italy at the closing ceremony of the 2004 Summer Olympics,[137] becoming the first female water polo player to be given the honour.

Legend
  •  2008 O  – Opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics
  •  2012 C  – Closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics
  •     – Hosts
  •  Flag bearer  – Female flag bearer
  • Flag bearer – Flag bearer who won the tournament with his/her team
Water polo people who were flag bearers at the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games
#YearCountryFlag bearerBirthAgeHeightTeamPosWater polo tournamentsPeriod
(age of
first/last)
MedalsRef
123456GSBT
11912 O Great BritainCharles Smith1879331.86 m
(6 ft 1 in)
 Great BritainGK190819121920192416 years
(29/45)
3003[41]
21920 O BelgiumVictor Boin188634 BelgiumFP190819124 years
(22/26)
0112[138]
31924 O Great BritainArthur Hunt188637 Great BritainFP19240 years
(37/37)
0000[139]
41928 O FranceJean Thorailler188840 FranceGK191219208 years
(24/32)
0000[140]
51948 O AustraliaLes McKay191731 AustraliaFP19480 years
(31/31)
0000[141]
6 YugoslaviaBožo Grkinić191334 YugoslaviaFP19480 years
(34/34)
0000[142]
71952 O EgyptAhmed Fouad Nessim192427 EgyptGK194819524 years
(23/27)
0000[143]
81956 O SingaporeLionel Chee193125 SingaporeFP19560 years
(25/25)
0000[144]
9 YugoslaviaZdravko-Ćiro Kovačić192531 YugoslaviaGK1948195219568 years
(23/31)
0202[145]
101968 O BrazilJoão Gonçalves1934331.75 m
(5 ft 9 in)
 BrazilFP1960196419688 years
(25/33)
0000[146]
11 NetherlandsFred van Dorp1938301.90 m
(6 ft 3 in)
 NetherlandsFP1960196419688 years
(21/30)
0000[147]
111968 C NetherlandsFred van Dorp1938301.90 m
(6 ft 3 in)
 NetherlandsFP1960196419688 years
(21/30)
0000[147]
121972 O YugoslaviaMirko Sandić1942301.98 m
(6 ft 6 in)
 YugoslaviaFP196019641968197212 years
(18/30)
1102[148]
131976 C NetherlandsEvert Kroon1946291.92 m
(6 ft 4 in)
 NetherlandsGK1968197219768 years
(22/29)
0011[149]<