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Frequently Asked Questions

Why doesn't your site list athlete X, even though he/she was an Olympian?
At Sports-Reference.com, we only include athletes who actually competed during the Olympics, even if only for a second. That means we do not include alternates, non-starters, non-active team members, etc. Nor do we include competitors in demonstration or exhibition events, although we may add those at a later point in time.
I have an Olympic medal won by my relative, but on your site he/she is not listed as a medalist. Why not?
Actually, there's a good chance the medal won by your relative is not a gold, silver or bronze medal awarded to athletes finishing among the first three, but a participation medal. Such medals have been awarded since the first Olympics to all competitors in the Games. You can check whether your relative's medal is a participation medal at this site.
Why do you say that an athlete was born in country A when he was really born in country B?
You are probably correct. However, at Sports-Reference.com, we have decided to list all places of birth (and death) by the name and country they currently have. Because of the sheer volume of athletes (more than 110,000) and the large number of border changes over the past 150 years, we have found it impossible to track down the correct nation and name for each athlete. That means that, for example, a German wrestler born in Danzig will be listed as being born in Gdansk, Poland, and a Soviet weightlifter born in Leningrad is given a birth place of St. Petersburg, Russia. We know this is not historically accurate, but it is the best we can do. We hope you understand.