The data provided in Olympics at Sports-Reference.com is the result of over 120 years of research by a combined group of Olympic historians and statisticians. The group, termed the OlyMADMen, reflecting their maniacal devotion to the project, began in the late 90s between Bill Mallon (USA), Arild Gjerde (Norway), Magne Teigen (Norway), David Foster (Great Britain), and Jeroen Heijmans (Netherlands). Much of the early data came from the publications of Mallon, a Past-President and Co-Founder of the International Society of Olympic Historians (ISOH), especially two of his books, The Golden Book of the Olympic Games, and Total Olympics. Also useful was his series of books on the earliest Olympic Games (1896-1920). This was supplemented by a database of all Olympians developed by Gjerde and Teigen. For almost 5 years now, the group has worked together on a private website, checking and adding data almost daily. Sources have included virtually every well known book on the Olympic Games, including all the Official Reports and Official Results, data in books and websites on National Olympic participation, and in books and websites on various Olympic sports. The entire database entails over 50 millions records of data, represents an estimated 100,000 man-hours of work.
Bill Mallon, M.D., a former professional golfer, is an orthopaedic surgeon whose life-long interest in the Olympic Games became a second career while he was in medical school at Duke University. He is the author of a series of books on the earliest Olympic Games (1896-1920), and is a founding member and Past-President of the International Society of Olympic Historians and former editor of the ISOH journal, Journal of Olympic History. With Erich Kamper, he co-authored The Golden Book of the Olympic Games, which morphed into the later book, Total Olympics, and with Ian Buchanan he wrote Quest for Gold: The Encyclopaedia of American Olympians and Historical Dictionary of the Olympic Movement (3 editions). For his contributions to the Olympic Movement, he was awarded the Olympic Order in Silver in 2001.
After finishing his studies at the University in Oslo with degrees in Social Anthropology, Political Science and History, Arild Gjerde has worked eight years in the book-publishing business and five years researching the Sami people in Northern Norway. In 1987, he joined the Norwegian Skating Association. He was General Secretary from 1987 to 1999, and among other appointments has for ten years been chairman for the European Speed Skating Conference, and for five years a member of the ISU World Cup Speed Skating Commission. He has been the author of the Norwegian skating yearbook Skøyteboka, and his main interests besides Olympic history are Athletics (Track and Field), Skiing, Skating and Biathlon.
After obtaining a university degree in computer science, Jeroen Heijmans has worked as a developer of web and mobile applications. He regularly writes about Olympic history on the Dutch sport blog Sportgeschiedenis.nl and tries to maintain a website with speed skating statistics.