Australia at the
Flag of Australia.svg
NOCAustralian Olympic Committee
Ranked 14th
Summer appearances
Winter appearances
Other related appearances
1906 Intercalated Games


 Australasia (1908–1912)
Australian Olympic Team Uniforms unveiled for Rio 2016
Australian Olympic Team Uniforms unveiled for Rio 2016
Australian Olympic athletes in 1932 wearing the traditional uniform of a dark green blazer trimmed with yellow, still in use at the London 2012 opening ceremony.[1]
Australian Olympic athletes in 1932 wearing the traditional uniform of a dark green blazer trimmed with yellow, still in use at the London 2012 opening ceremony.[1]

Australia has sent athletes to all editions of the modern Olympic Games. Australia has competed in every Summer Olympic Games, as well as every Winter Olympics except 192432 and 1948. In 1908 and 1912 Australia competed with New Zealand under the name Australasia.


The Australian Olympic Committee was founded and recognised in 1895. Edwin Flack was the first athlete to represent Australia at the Olympics. He won gold in both the 800 metres and the 1500 metres, competed in the marathon and won a bronze medal in tennis doubles at the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. Australia's kit is green and gold.[2][3][4]

Australia has hosted the Summer Olympic games twice: in 1956 in Melbourne and in 2000 in Sydney. Australia finished 3rd and 4th in the respective medal counts. The country is due to host the Summer Olympics a third time in 2032 in Brisbane. In the Summer Olympics since 2000, Australia has placed 4th, 4th, 6th, 8th* and 10th respectively. (*Australia initially finished in 10th position in 2012, but 8th position after the redistributed gold medal to Jared Tallent). Given Australia has a population of only around 23 million people (ranked 53rd in the world[5]), this fact is frequently cited as noteworthy, and is ostensibly due to a strong sporting culture.[6] Other observers have suggested this may also be a result of the generous funding the Australian Government has invested into elite sports development with the specific intention of improving performance at the Olympic games.[7][8] Prior to Montreal, there was no government funding, however.

Many of Australia's gold medals have come in swimming, a sport which is popular in Australia, with swimmers from Dawn Fraser to Emma McKeon ranking among the sport's all-time greats. Other sports where Australia has historically been strong include:

Australia takes international sporting competition, particularly the Olympics, very seriously, and provides much government funding and coaching support to elite athletes, partly through the Australian Institute of Sport. Australia has been more modestly successful in the track events at the games, particularly in modern times. Historically, Betty Cuthbert is Australia's most successful track athlete with four gold medals (three in 1956 and one in 1964).

Australia did not win a medal at the Winter Olympics until 1994, but has moved higher on the medal tallies since then (ranking 13th at Vancouver 2010). This is a reflection on increased funding of Australia's Olympic Winter Games team.[citation needed]

Olympic bids and hosted Games

Overview of Olympic participation

See also: All-time Olympic Games medal table

Timeline of participation

Date Team
1900–1904  Australia (AUS)
1908–1912  Australasia (ANZ)
1920–  Australia (AUS)  New Zealand (NZL)

These totals do not include 11 medals recognised by the Australian Olympic Committee: 10 medals (3 gold, 4 silver and 3 bronze) won by Australians competing for the combined Australasia team in 1908 and 1912 (8 by individuals, 1 by an exclusively Australian team and 1 by a combined team) and 1 bronze medal won in tennis by Edwin Flack in 1896. The AOC therefore recognises Australia as having won 558 medals at the Summer Olympics (167 gold, 177 silver and 214 bronze).[9]

Medals by individual

According to official data of the International Olympic Committee. This is a list of people who have won three or more Olympic gold medals for Australia. Medals won in the 1906 Intercalated Games are not included. It includes top-three placings in 1896 and 1900, before medals were awarded for top-three placings.

Athlete Sport Years Games Gender 1st place, gold medalist(s) 2nd place, silver medalist(s) 3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Total
Ian Thorpe Swimming 2000–2004 Summer M 5 3 1 9
Emma McKeon Swimming 2016-2020 Summer F 5 2 4 11
Dawn Fraser Swimming 1956-1964 Summer F 4 4 0 8
Cate Campbell Swimming 2008-2020 Summer F 4 1 3 8
Libby Trickett Swimming 2004-2012 Summer F 4 1 2 7
Murray Rose Swimming 1956-1960 Summer M 4 1 1 6
Betty Cuthbert Athletics 1956-1964 Summer F 4 0 0 4
Leisel Jones Swimming 2000-2012 Summer F 3 5 1 9
Petria Thomas Swimming 1996-2004 Summer F 3 4 1 8
Grant Hackett Swimming 2000-2008 Summer M 3 3 1 7
Emily Seebohm Swimming 2008-2020 Summer F 3 3 1 7
Andrew Hoy Equestrian 1992-2020 Summer M 3 2 1 6
Shirley Strickland Athletics 1948-1956 Summer F 3 1 3 7
Shane Gould Swimming 1972 Summer F 3 1 1 5
Drew Ginn Rowing 1996-2012 Summer M 3 1 0 4
James Tomkins Rowing 1992-2004 Summer M 3 0 1 4
Kaylee McKeown Swimming 2020 Summer F 3 0 1 4
Matthew Ryan Equestrian 1992-2000 Summer M 3 0 0 3
Rechelle Hawkes Field Hockey 1988-2000 Summer F 3 0 0 3
Jodie Henry Swimming 2004 Summer F 3 0 0 3
Stephanie Rice Swimming 2008-2012 Summer F 3 0 0 3

Dale Begg-Smith and Torah Bright are the most successful Australian athletes at the Winter Olympics, with one gold medal and one silver each (Steven Bradbury, Alisa Camplin, and Lydia Lassila all won one gold and one bronze medal). Emma McKeon is the most prolific athlete at a single games, winning 7 medals (4 gold, 3 bronze) at the 2020 Olympics.

Summary by sport



Australia first competed in swimming at the 1900 Games, with Freddie Lane competing in two events and winning gold medals in both. The sport would become a strength of the nation, which (as of the 2020 Games) has the second-most gold and second-most total medals behind the United States.

Games Gold Silver Bronze Total
Total 69 70 74 213


Australia first competed in athletics at the inaugural 1896 Games, with 1 athlete (Edwin Flack) competing in 3 events and winning two of them.

Games Gold Silver Bronze Total
Total 21 27 28 76[10]


Games Gold Silver Bronze Total
Total 5 8 14 27


Games Gold Silver Bronze Total
Total 15 19 20 54


Australia first qualified for Olympic football in the 1956 games in Melbourne as hosts.


Games Gold Silver Bronze Total
Total 13 15 16 44


Games Gold Silver Bronze Total
Total 13 8 8 29


Australia first competed in tennis at the inaugural 1896 Games, with one player competing in men's singles and, as part of a mixed team, in men's doubles. Edwin Flack lost in the first round of the singles, but paired with George S. Robertson to earn bronze in the doubles. The mixed team medal is not credit to Australia. The only tennis gold medal won by Australia was by the Woodies in men's doubles in 1996; the pair also won Australia's only silver medal in the sport four years later.

Games Gold Silver Bronze Total
Total 1 1 4 6[11]

See also



  1. ^ 2012 Australian uniform
  2. ^ Australian National Colours: green and gold Retrieved 23 August 2012
  3. ^ Golden Wattle Retrieved 23 August 2012
  4. ^ Our national symbols Retrieved 23 August 2012
  5. ^ "CIA – The World Factbook". Archived from the original on 2019-01-07. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
  6. ^ O, Noel (8 August 2012). "By population, Australia is on top of the medal tally". The Roar. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  7. ^ Olympic Games | Crawford Report | Sports Funding | Richard Evans
  8. ^ "". Retrieved January 8, 2010.[dead link]
  9. ^ "St Louis 1904".
  10. ^ Does not include a gold medal for the 5000 metres team race, in which an Australian runner competed with runners from Great Britain.
  11. ^ Does not include a bronze medal won in 1896 by a mixed team with an Australian player.