The Best Olympic Finishes of All Time

the-best-olympic-finishes-of-all-time

As a long-awaited follow-up to our best world finishes article for our research files, here’s the list of the best Olympic finishes for each country over the history of the sport dating back to 1928, the first time women were allowed to compete in gymnastics at the Olympic Games. Enjoy!

ALGERIA
59th all-around 2016 Farah Boufadene
First appearance: 2016
Most recent: 2016
Total: 1 (2016)
ARGENTINA
48th all-around 2000 Melina Sirolli
First appearance: 1992
Most recent: 2016
Total: 6 (1992-2004, 2012, 2016)
ARMENIA
38th all-around 2016 Houry Gebeshian
First appearance: 2016
Most recent: 2016
Total: 1 (2016)
AUSTRALIA
6th team 2008
8th all-around 2000 Lisa Skinner
5th floor 2012 Lauren Mitchell
First appearance: 1956
Most recent: 2016
Total: 16 (1956-2016)
AUSTRIA
6th team 1948
43rd all-around 2016 Lisa Ecker
First appearance: 1948
Most recent: 2016
Total: 6 (1948-1964, 2012, 2016)
BELARUS
6th team 1996
12th all-around 1996 Elena Piskun
5th vault 1996 Svetlana Boginskaya
5th bars 2000 Tatiana Zharganova
First appearance: 1996
Most recent: 2016
Total: 6 (1996-2016)
BELGIUM
11th team 1948
19th all-around 2016 Nina Derwael
First appearance: 1948
Most recent: 2016
Total: 12 (1948, 1960-1968, 1976, 1988, 1992, 2000-2016)
BOLIVIA
61st all-around 2004 Marie Jose de la Fuente
First appearance: 2004
Most recent: 2004
Total: 1 (2004)
BRAZIL
8th team 2008, 2016
10th all-around 2008 Jade Barbosa
7th vault 2008 Jade Barbosa
5th beam 2016 Flavia Saraiva
5th floor 2004 Daiane dos Santos
First appearance: 1980
Most recent: 2016
Total: 9 (1980-1992, 2000-2016)
BULGARIA
5th team 1988
9th all-around 1988 Diana Doudeva
4th vault 1988 Boriana Stoyanova
6th beam 1988 Diana Doudeva
3rd floor 1988 Diana Doudeva
First appearance: 1952
Most recent: 2012
Total: 14 (1952-1980, 1988-1996, 2004-2012)
CANADA
5th team 1984, 2012
5th all-around 2016 Ellie Black
6th vault 1984 Kelly Brown
8th beam 2016 Isabela Onyshko
7th floor 2004 Kate Richardson
First appearance: 1956
Most recent: 2016
Total: 15 (1956-1976, 1984-2016)
CHILE
43rd all-around 2012 Simona Castro
First appearance: 2012
Most recent: 2016
Total: 2 (2012, 2016)
CHINA
1st team 2008
3rd all-around 2000 Liu Xuan
2004 Zhang Nan
2008 Yang Yilin
2nd vault 1996 Mo Huilan
1st bars 1984 Ma Yanhong
1992 Lu Li
2008 He Kexin
1st beam 2000 Liu Xuan
2012 Deng Linlin
4th floor 1984 Zhou Qiurui
2004 Cheng Fei
2008 Jiang Yuyuan
First appearance: 1984
Most recent: 2016
Total: 9 (1984-2016)
CHINESE TAIPEI
81st all-around 1964 Hong Tan-Kwai
First appearance: 1964
Most recent: 1968
Total: 2 (1964, 1968)
COLOMBIA
42nd all-around 2012 Jessica Gil Ortiz
First appearance: 2008
Most recent: 2016
Total: 3 (2008-2016)
CROATIA
40th all-around 2012 Tina Erceg
First appearance: 2008
Most recent: 2016
Total: 3 (2008-2016)
CUBA
13th team 1968
22nd all-around 2004 Leyanet Gonzalez Calero
First appearance: 1960
Most recent: 2016
Total: 4 (1960, 1968, 2004, 2016)
CZECH REPUBLIC
21st all-around 2008 Kristyna Palesova
First appearance: 1996
Most recent: 2012
Total: 5 (1996-2012)
CZECHOSLOVAKIA 
1st team 1948
1st all-around 1964, 1968 Vera Caslavska
1st vault 1964, 1968 Vera Caslavska
1st bars 1968 Vera Caslavska
1st beam 1960 Eva Bosakova
1964 Vera Caslavska
1st floor 1968 Vera Caslavska
First appearance: 1936
Most recent: 1992
Total: 12 (1936-1980, 1988, 1992)
Czechoslovakia dissolved into the Czech Republic and Slovakia following the 1992 Olympic Games.
DENMARK
75th all-around 1968 Else Trangbaek
First appearance: 1968
Most recent: 1968
Total: 1 (1968)
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
87th all-around 2012 Yamilet Peña
6th vault 2012 Yamilet Peña
First appearance: 2012
Most recent: 2012
Total: 1 (2012)
EAST GERMANY
2nd team 1972
2nd all-around 1972 Karin Janz
1980 Maxi Gnauck
1st vault 1972 Karin Janz
1st bars 1972 Karin Janz
1980 Maxi Gnauck
3rd beam 1972 Karin Janz
3rd floor 1980 Maxi Gnauck
First appearance: 1968
Most recent: 1988
Total: 5 (1968-1980, 1988)
East Germany existed as a team from the 1968 Olympic Games until the 1988 Olympic Games. Prior to and following this period, athletes competed for Germany.
EGYPT
39th all-around 2016 Sherine El Zeiny
First appearance: 2008
Most recent: 2016
Total: 3 (2008-2016)
FINLAND
13th team 1952, 1960
51st all-around 1952 Raili Hämäläinen
First appearance: 1952
Most recent: 2012
Total: 4 (1952, 1960, 1964, 2012)
FRANCE
5th team 1928
7th all-around 2004 Marine Debauve
8th vault 2004 Coralie Chacon
1st bars 2004 Emilie Lepennec
4th beam 2016 Marine Boyer
First appearance: 1928
Most recent: 2016
Total: 18 (1928, 1948-1976, 1984-2016)
GERMANY
1st team 1936
4th all-around 1964 Birgit Radochla
2nd vault 2008 Oksana Chusovitina
3rd bars 2016 Sophie Scheder
4th floor 1964 Birgit Radochla
First appearance: 1936
Most recent: 2016
Total: 10 (1936, 1952, 1960, 1964, 1992, 1996, 2004-2016)
Germany dissolved into East and West Germany from the 1968 Olympic Games until the 1988 Olympic Games, appearing again as a unified team beginning in 1992.
GREAT BRITAIN
3rd team 1928
12th all-around 2008 Becky Downie
3rd bars 2012 Beth Tweddle
3rd floor 2016 Amy Tinkler
First appearance: 1928
Most recent: 2016
Total: 20 (1928-2016)
GREECE
11th team 1996
15th all-around 2004 Stefani Bismpikou
First appearance: 1988
Most recent: 2016
Total: 7 (1988, 1996-2016)
GUATEMALA
18th all-around 1992 Luisa Portocarrero
First appearance: 1988
Most recent: 2016
Total: 4 (1988, 1992, 2012, 2016)
HONG KONG
52nd all-around 2012 Hiu Ying Angel Wong
First appearance: 2012
Most recent: 2012
Total: 1 (2012)
HUNGARY
2nd team 1948, 1952, 1956
2nd all-around 1956 Agnes Keleti
1st vault 1992 Henrietta Onodi
1st bars 1952 Margit Korondi
1956 Agnes Keleti
1st beam 1956 Agnes Keleti
1st floor 1952, 1956 Agnes Keleti
First appearance: 1928
Most recent: 2016
Total: 19 (1928-1980, 1988-2016)
ICELAND
40th all-around 2016 Irina Sazonova
First appearance: 2016
Most recent: 2016
Total: 1 (2016)
INDIA
51st all-around 2016 Dipa Karmakar
4th vault 2016 Dipa Karmakar
First appearance: 2016
Most recent: 2016
Total: 1 (2016)
IRAN
82nd all-around 1964 Jamileh Sorouri
First appearance: 1964
Most recent: 1964
Total: 1 (1964)
IRELAND
57th all-around 2016 Ellis O’Reilly
First appearance: 2016
Most recent: 2016
Total: 1 (2016)
ISRAEL
31st all-around 1984 Nancy Goldsmith
First appearance: 1960
Most recent: 2012
Total: 4 (1960, 1984, 1988, 2012)
ITALY
2nd team 1928
8th all-around 2012 Vanessa Ferrari
6th vault 2008 Carlotta Giovannini
4th floor 2012, 2016 Vanessa Ferrari
First appearance: 1928
Most recent: 2016
Total: 18 (1928-1960, 1968-1976, 1984-2016)
JAMAICA
54th all-around 2016 Toni-Ann Williams
First appearance: 2016
Most recent: 2016
Total: 1 (2016)
JAPAN
3rd team 1964
6th all-around 1960, 1964 Keiko Tanaka
4th vault 1964 Toshiko Shirasu-Aihara
4th bars 1964 Toshiko Shirasu-Aihara
5th beam 1960 Keiko Tanaka
7th floor 1984 Maiko Morio
2016 Mai Murakami
First appearance: 1956
Most recent: 2016
Total: 15 (1956-1976, 1984-2016)
KAZAKHSTAN
47th all-around 2000 Irina Yevdokimova
First appearance: 1996
Most recent: 2012
Total: 3 (1996, 2000, 2012)
LATVIA
58th all-around 1996 Ludmila Prince
First appearance: 1996
Most recent: 1996
Total: 1 (1996)
LITHUANIA
50th all-around 2012 Laura Svilpaite
First appearance: 2000
Most recent: 2012
Total: 3 (2000, 2008, 2012)
LUXEMBOURG
55th all-around 1956 Annette Krier
First appearance: 1956
Most recent: 1960
Total: 2 (1956, 1960)
MALAYSIA
97th all-around 2000 Yen Au Li
First appearance: 2000
Most recent: 2000
Total: 1 (2000)
MEXICO
14th team 1968
31st all-around 2016 Alexa Moreno
7th vault 2000 Denisse Lopez
First appearance: 1968
Most recent: 2016
Total: 9 (1968-1976, 1992, 2000-2016)
MONGOLIA
26th all-around 1980 Davaasuren Oyutuya
First appearance: 1964
Most recent: 1980
Total: 3 (1964, 1968, 1980)
MOROCCO
74th all-around 1996 Naima El Rhouati
First appearance: 1996
Most recent: 1996
Total: 1 (1996)
NAMIBIA
64th all-around 2000 Gharde Geldenhuys
First appearance: 2000
Most recent: 2000
Total: 1 (2000)
NETHERLANDS
1st team 1928
9th all-around 2016 Eythora Thorsdottir
1st beam 2016 Sanne Wevers
First appearance: 1928
Most recent: 2016
Total: 11 (1928, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1976, 1992, 2004-2016)
NEW ZEALAND
41st all-around 2016 Courtney McGregor
First appearance: 1964
Most recent: 2016
Total: 4 (1964, 1972, 2000, 2016)
NORTH KOREA
8th team 1980
17th all-around 2004 Pyon Kwang Sun
1st vault 2008 Hong Un Jong
4th bars 1992 Kim Gwang Suk
2004 Pyon Kwang Sun
First appearance: 1980
Most recent: 2016
Total: 6 (1980, 1992, 2000-2008, 2016)
NORWAY
12th team 1968
54th all-around 1972 Unni Holmen
First appearance: 1952
Most recent: 1992
Total: 4 (1952, 1968, 1972, 1992)
PANAMA
44th all-around 2016 Isabella Amado
First appearance: 2016
Most recent: 2016
Total: 1 (2016)
PERU
50th all-around 2016 Ariana Orrego
First appearance: 2016
Most recent: 2016
Total: 1 (2016)
PHILIPPINES
83rd all-around 1964 Evelyn Magluyan
First appearance: 1964
Most recent: 1964
Total: 1 (1964)
POLAND
4th team 1956
8th all-around 1956 Helena Rakoczy
First appearance: 1936
Most recent: 2016
Total: 12 (1936, 1952-1972, 1980, 2000, 2008-2016)
PORTUGAL
37th all-around 2016 Ana Filipa Martins
First appearance: 1952
Most recent: 2016
Total: 9 (1952, 1960-1968, 1980, 1988, 1996, 2012, 2016)
PUERTO RICO
54th all-around 2012 Lorena Quinones
First appearance: 1996
Most recent: 2012
Total: 2 (1996, 2012)
ROMANIA
1st team 1984, 2000, 2004
1st all-around 1976 Nadia Comaneci
2000 Simona Amanar
1st vault 1984 Ecaterina Szabo
1992 Lavinia Milosovici
1996 Simona Amanar
2004 Monica Rosu
2012 Sandra Izbasa
1st bars 1976 Nadia Comaneci
1988 Daniela Silivas
1st beam 1976, 1980 Nadia Comaneci
1984 Ecaterina Szabo
1984 Simona Pauca
1988 Daniela Silivas
2004 Catalina Ponor
1st floor 1980 Nadia Comaneci
1984 Ecaterina Szabo
1988 Daniela Silivas
1992 Lavinia Milosovici
2004 Catalina Ponor
2008 Sandra Izbasa
First appearance: 1952
Most recent: 2016
Total: 16 (1952-1964, 1972-2016)
RUSSIA
2nd team 1996, 2000, 2012, 2016
2nd all-around 2004 Svetlana Khorkina
2012 Viktoria Komova
1st vault 2000 Elena Zamolodchikova
1st bars 1996, 2000 Svetlana Khorkina
2012, 2016 Aliya Mustafina
2nd beam 2000 Yekaterina Lobaznyuk
1st floor 2000 Elena Zamolodchikova
First appearance: 1996
Most recent: 2016
Total: 6 (1996-2016)
SINGAPORE
45th all-around 2012 Heem Wei Lim
First appearance: 2012
Most recent: 2012
Total: 1 (2012)
SLOVAKIA
39th all-around 2013 Barbora Mokosova
First appearance: 1996
Most recent: 2016
Total: 6 (1996-2016)
SLOVENIA
62nd all-around 2000 Mojca Mavric
First appearance: 2000
Most recent: 2016
Total: 4 (2000, 2008-2016)
SOUTH AFRICA
60th all-around 2004 Zandre Labuschagne
First appearance: 1960
Most recent: 2004
Total: 2 (1960, 2004)
SOUTH KOREA
10th team 1988
21st all-around 1988 Park Ji Sook
First appearance: 1960
Most recent: 2016
Total: 11 (1960, 1964, 1984-2016)
SOVIET UNION
1st team 1952, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1988, 1992
1st all-around 1952 Maria Gorokhovskaya
1956, 1960 Larisa Latynina
1972 Ludmilla Tourischeva
1980 Elena Davydova
1988 Elena Shushunova
1992 Tatiana Gutsu
1st vault 1952 Ekaterina Kalinchuk
1956 Larisa Latynina
1960 Margarita Nikolaeva
1976 Nellie Kim
1980 Natalia Shaposhnikova
1988 Svetlana Boginskaya
1st bars 1960, 1964 Polina Astakhova
1st beam 1952 Nina Bocharova
1968 Natalia Kuchinskaya
1972 Olga Korbut
1992 Tatiana Lysenko
1st floor 1956, 1960, 1964 Larisa Latynina
1968 Larisa Petrik
1972 Olga Korbut
1976, 1980 Nellie Kim
First appearance: 1952
Most recent: 1992 (as the Unified Team)
Total: 10 (1952-1980, 1988, 1992)
The Soviet Union dissolved into 15 separate states (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan) between the 1988 and 192 Olympic Games. In 1992, all of the former Soviet republics except Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania competed as part of the Unified Team, and beginning at the 1996 Olympic Games, all former Soviet states competed independently.
SPAIN
4th team 2000
8th all-around 2004 Elena Gomez
4th vault 2000 Esther Moya
7th uneven bars 1992 Cristina Fraguas
3rd floor 2004 Patricia Moreno
First appearance: 1960
Most recent: 2016
Total: 13 (1960, 1972-2016)
SWEDEN
4th team 1948, 1952
17th all-around 1952 Karin Lindberg
3rd vault 1956 Ann-Sofi Pettersson
First appearance: 1948
Most recent: 2016
Total: 12 (1948-1972, 1980, 1984, 2004, 2012, 2016)
SWITZERLAND
8th team 1984
9th all-around 1984 Romi Kessler
3rd vault 2016 Giulia Steingruber
5th bars 1984 Romi Kessler
6th beam 1984 Romi Kessler
5th floor 1984 Romi Kessler
First appearance: 1972
Most recent: 2016
Total: 7 (1972, 1984, 1996, 2004-2016)
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
55th all-around 2016 Marisa Dick
First appearance: 2016
Most recent: 2016
Total: 1 (2016)
TURKEY
42nd all-around 2016 Tutya Yilmaz
First appearance: 2012
Most recent: 2016
Total: 2 (2012, 2016)
UKRAINE
4th team 2004
1st all-around 1996 Lilia Podkopayeva
6th vault 2004 Alona Kvasha
4th bars 2000 Viktoria Karpenko
2nd beam 1996 Lilia Podkopayeva
1st floor 1996 Lilia Podkopayeva
First appearance: 1996
Most recent: 2016
Total: 6 (1996-2016)
UNITED STATES
1st team 1996, 2012, 2016
1st all-around 1984 Mary Lou Retton
2004 Carly Patterson
2008 Nastia Liukin
2012 Gabby Douglas
2016 Simone Biles
1st vault 2016 Simone Biles
1st bars 1984 Julianne McNamara
1st beam 1996 Shannon Miller
2008 Shawn Johnson
1st floor 2012 Aly Raisman
2016 Simone Biles
First appearance: 1936
Most recent: 2016
Total: 18 (1936-1976, 1984-2016)
UZBEKISTAN
10th all-around 1996 Oksana Chusovitina
7th vault 2016 Oksana Chusovitina
First appearance: 1996
Most recent: 2016
Total: 6 (1996-2016)
VENEZUELA
7th all-around 2016 Jessica Lopez
6th bars 2016 Jessica Lopez
First appearance: 2000
Most recent: 2016
Total: 4 (2000, 2008-2016)
VIETNAM
83rd all-around 2016 Phan Thi Ha Thanh
First appearance: 2012
Most recent: 2016
Total: 2 (2012, 2016)
WEST GERMANY
4th team 1984
12th all-around 1976 Andrea Bieger
1984 Anja Wilhelm
6th vault 1984 Brigitta Lehmann
7th beam 1984 Anja Wilhelm
First appearance: 1968
Most recent: 1988
Total: 5 (1968-1976, 1984-1988)
East Germany existed as a team from the 1968 Olympic Games until the 1988 Olympic Games. Prior to and following this period, athletes competed for Germany.
YUGOSLAVIA
4th team 1936
41st all-around 1960 Tereza Kocsis
First appearance: 1936
Most recent: 1972
Total: 6 (1936-1952, 1960, 1968, 1972)
Advertisements

13 thoughts on “The Best Olympic Finishes of All Time

    • Yeah, it’s kind of amazing how close they get in the all-around (Svetlana qualifying 1st in 2000 but then #VaultGate, Svetlana in 2004, Vika in 2012) and yet seem to not quite make it all the way. They do get bragging rights for the Soviet Era, but it’s crazy how drastically the tides shifted once the USSR broke up and how there was such a change from the strict old school system to welcome in younger programs using different methods to get ahead. Now it’s starting to look less and less likely for them each quad after Svetlana, though Vika did break that mold (and Aliya did as well before her injury)…hopefully in the future they’ll get another young star who can make it happen for them? Because yeah, it’s definitely shocking that it hasn’t happened yet.

      Like

  1. So over 88 years and 20 Olympics, only 15 non-Big Four countries have ever gotten medals. That includes countries that used to be huge, though, like Ukraine, Czech, Hungary. There are really only like 11 countries that have snagged medals outside of the big powers, which seems like a really small number.

    Like

    • Yeah, it’s crazy! It’s SO small, especially in recent years. I mean, even this year, of the 18 medals, only 5 went to countries that weren’t the U.S. or Russia, which is nuts.

      Like

  2. This is amazingly interesting, thank you! 🙂

    It is so cool to see the peaks and troughs of all the nations mapped out like this – Japan is I retesting, I’m surprised they haven’t much historical success, which makes the current good state of the women’s programme really exciting!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s