Great Britain at the
Olympics
IOC codeGBR
NOCBritish Olympic Association
Medals
Ranked 4th
Gold
296
Silver
323
Bronze
331
Total
950
Summer appearances
Winter appearances
Other related appearances
1906 Intercalated Games

The United Kingdom has been represented at every modern Olympic Games, and as of the 2020 Summer Olympics is third in the all-time Summer Olympic medal table by both number of gold medals won and overall number of medals. London has hosted the Summer Olympic Games three times: in 1908, 1948, and 2012.

Athletes from the United Kingdom compete as part of the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Olympic Team,[1] currently branded "Team GB". The team is organised by the British Olympic Association, the National Olympic Committee for the UK. Team GB also represents the United Kingdom's Overseas Territories (with the exceptions of Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, and the Cayman Islands), and the three Crown Dependencies of Guernsey, Jersey, and the Isle of Man. Athletes from Northern Ireland can choose to compete for either the UK or the Republic of Ireland.[a]

British athletes have won a combined total of 950 medals at the Olympic Games; 916 of those medals were won at the Summer Olympics, where Team GB is the only team to have won at least one gold medal at every games. The team has been less successful at the Winter Olympics, winning thirty-four medals, twelve of them gold. The United Kingdom finished in first place on the medals table at the 1908 games, placed second at the 2016 games, and third at the 1900, 1912, 1920, and 2012 games.

The most successful British Olympian by gold medals and total medals won is Sir Jason Kenny, who has won seven gold medals nine overall, all in track cycling. The cyclist Dame Laura Kenny and the dressage rider Charlotte Dujardin share the record for the most medals won by a female British athlete, with six each; Kenny's five gold medals are the female British record. The most successful Winter Olympian from Team GB is Lizzy Yarnold, with two gold medals in the women's skeleton.

Eligibility

A heroes' welcome for Welsh Olympians and Paralympians at the Senedd building, 2012

As the National Olympic Committee (NOC) for the United Kingdom, the British Olympic Association (BOA) membership encompasses the four Home Nations of the United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales), plus the three Crown Dependencies (Guernsey, Isle of Man and Jersey), and all but three of the British Overseas Territories (Bermuda, British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands have their own NOCs).

Representatives of the devolved Northern Ireland government and others in the region, however, have objected to the name "Team GB" as discriminatory, and have called for it to be renamed as "Team UK" to make it clearer that Northern Ireland is included on the team.[2][3]

The existence of a Great Britain team has been criticised by Welsh and Scottish nationalists, advocating for separate Welsh[4] and Scottish olympic teams instead.[5][6][7]

Under the IOC charter, the Olympic Federation of Ireland is responsible for the entire island of Ireland.[8] However, athletes from Northern Ireland can elect to represent either the UK (in Team GB) or Ireland at the Olympics, as people of Northern Ireland. A number of Northern Irish-born athletes, particularly in boxing, have won medals for Ireland at the Games. All athletes from the whole of Ireland were included in the Great Britain team up until the 1920 Olympics as the entire island was part of the United Kingdom at that time.[9]

Hosted Games

The United Kingdom has hosted the Summer Games on three occasions – 1908, 1948 and 2012, all in London – second only to the United States. At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Great Britain became the first team to win more medals at a Summer Olympics immediately after hosting a Summer Olympics; they won 67 medals overall, coming in second place in the medal table ahead of China, two more than in London in 2012. This success came 20 years after finishing 36th in the medal table, after winning just one gold and fourteen other medals at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, which led to significant changes in the management and funding of British sports and facilities.[10]

London also won the right to host the 1944 Summer Olympics. However, the 1944 games were cancelled due to the Second World War.

Successful bids

Games Host city Dates Nations Participants Events
1908 Summer Olympics London 27 April – 31 October 22 2,008 110
1944 Summer Olympics London Cancelled
1948 Summer Olympics London 29 July – 14 August 59 4,104 136
2012 Summer Olympics London 27 July – 12 August 204 10,820 302

Unsuccessful bids

Games City Winner of bid
1992 Summer Olympics Birmingham Barcelona, Spain
1996 Summer Olympics Manchester Atlanta, United States
2000 Summer Olympics Manchester Sydney, Australia

Potential future bids

In February 2019, the Mayor of London announced plans to bid for the 2032 or 2036 Olympics, which was backed by UK Sport.[11] However, it has been speculated that either Manchester or Birmingham may be in the frame to host future games, rather than London. In July 2021, the 2032 Games were awarded to Brisbane.

Medals

See also: All-time Olympic Games medal table

  Host country

List of Winter Olympic medallists

This list also contains the medals won in winter sports at the 1908 and 1920 Summer Olympics, which are not counted in the overall winter Olympic total.

Medal Name(s) Games Sport Event
 Gold Madge Syers 1908 London Figure skating Ladies' singles
 Gold William Jackson
Thomas Murray
Robin Welsh
Laurence Jackson
1924 Chamonix Curling Men's event
 Gold Great Britain men's national ice hockey team 1936 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Ice hockey Men's event
 Gold Jeannette Altwegg 1952 Oslo Figure skating Ladies' singles
 Gold Robin Dixon
Tony Nash
1964 Innsbruck Bobsleigh Two man
 Gold John Curry 1976 Innsbruck Figure skating Men's singles
 Gold Robin Cousins 1980 Lake Placid Figure skating Men's singles
 Gold Jayne Torvill
Christopher Dean
1984 Sarajevo Figure skating Ice dancing
 Gold Rhona Martin
Debbie Knox
Fiona MacDonald
Janice Rankin
Margaret Morton
2002 Salt Lake City Curling Women's event
 Gold Amy Williams 2010 Vancouver Skeleton Women's event
 Gold Lizzy Yarnold 2014 Sochi Skeleton Women's event
 Gold Lizzy Yarnold 2018 Pyeongchang Skeleton Women's event
 Gold Eve Muirhead
Vicky Wright
Jennifer Dodds
Hailey Duff
Mili Smith
2022 Beijing Curling Women's event
 Silver Phyllis Johnson
James H. Johnson
1908 London Figure skating Pairs Skating
 Silver Arthur Cumming 1908 London Figure skating Men's special figures
 Silver Ralph Broome
Thomas Arnold
Alexander Richardson
Rodney Soher
1924 Chamonix Bobsleigh Four man
 Silver Cecilia Colledge 1936 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Figure skating Ladies' singles
 Silver Shelley Rudman 2006 Turin Skeleton Women's event
 Silver David Murdoch
Greg Drummond
Scott Andrews
Michael Goodfellow
Tom Brewster
2014 Sochi Curling Men's event
 Silver Bruce Mouat
Grant Hardie
Bobby Lammie
Hammy McMillan Jr.
Ross Whyte
2022 Beijing Curling Men's event
 Bronze Geoffrey Hall-Say 1908 London Figure skating Men's special figures
 Bronze Dorothy Greenhough-Smith 1908 London Figure skating Ladies' singles
 Bronze Madge Syers
Edgar Syers
1908 London Figure skating Pairs skating
 Bronze Phyllis Johnson
Basil Williams
1920 Antwerp Figure skating Pairs Skating
 Bronze Ethel Muckelt 1924 Chamonix Figure skating Ladies' singles
 Bronze Great Britain men's national ice hockey team 1924 Chamonix Ice hockey Men's event
 Bronze David Carnegie 1928 St. Moritz Skeleton Men's event
 Bronze Frederick McEvoy
James Cardno
Guy Dugdale
Charles Green
1936 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Bobsleigh Four man
 Bronze Jeannette Altwegg 1948 St. Moritz Figure skating Ladies' singles
 Bronze John Crammond 1948 St. Moritz Skeleton Men's event
 Bronze Nicky Gooch 1994 Lillehammer Short track speed skating Men's 500m
 Bronze Jayne Torvill
Christopher Dean
1994 Lillehammer Figure skating Ice dancing
 Bronze Sean Olsson
Dean Ward
Courtney Rumbolt
Paul Attwood
1998 Nagano Bobsleigh Four man
 Bronze Alex Coomber 2002 Salt Lake City Skeleton Women's event
 Bronze Jenny Jones 2014 Sochi Snowboarding Women's slopestyle
 Bronze Eve Muirhead
Anna Sloan
Vicki Adams
Claire Hamilton
Lauren Gray
2014 Sochi Curling Women's event
 Bronze John James Jackson
Bruce Tasker
Stuart Benson
Joel Fearon
2014 Sochi Bobsleigh Four man
 Bronze Dominic Parsons 2018 Pyeongchang Skeleton Men's event
 Bronze Laura Deas 2018 Pyeongchang Skeleton Women's event
 Bronze Billy Morgan 2018 Pyeongchang Snowboarding Men's Big Air
 Bronze Izzy Atkin 2018 Pyeongchang Freestyle skiing Women's slopestyle

Multiple medallists

The following athletes have won more than one medal for Great Britain at the Winter Olympics, or in winter disciplines. Bold denotes athletes that have not yet retired.

Athlete Sport Years Gender 1st place, gold medalist(s) 2nd place, silver medalist(s) 3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Total
Lizzy Yarnold Skeleton 2014–2018 F 2 0 0 2
Eve Muirhead Curling 2014–2022 F 1 0 1 2
Christopher Dean Figure skating 1984–1994 M 1 0 1 2
Jayne Torvill Figure skating 1984–1994 F 1 0 1 2
Jeannette Altwegg Figure skating 1948–1952 F 1 0 1 2
Madge Syers Figure skating 1908 F 1 0 1 2
Phyllis Johnson Figure skating 1908–1920 F 0 1 1 2

Stripped medal

Great Britain's only stripped medal in Winter Olympic history was an Alpine Skiing bronze at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Alain Baxter tested positive for a banned substance, resulting from Baxter using an inhaler product which, unknowingly to him, contained different chemicals in the United States.

Medal Name(s) Games Sport Event
 Bronze Alain Baxter 2002 Salt Lake City Alpine Skiing Men's slalom

Medals by individual

Jason Kenny
Laura Kenny
Yarnold
Jason Kenny (top) has won the most gold medals of any British Olympian, with seven; his wife Laura Kenny (centre) has the most gold medals of any female British Olympian, with five. Lizzy Yarnold (bottom) is the most successful British Winter Olympian, with two gold medals.

According to official data of the International Olympic Committee. This is a list of people who have won at least three Olympic gold medals or four Olympic medals for Great Britain. 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
Jason Kenny Track cycling 2008–2020 Summer M 7 2 0 9
Chris Hoy Track cycling 2000–2012 Summer M 6 1 0 7
Bradley Wiggins Track cycling
Road cycling
2000–2016 Summer M 5 1 2 8
Laura Kenny Track cycling 2012–2020 Summer F 5 1 0 6
Steve Redgrave Rowing 1984–2000 Summer M 5 0 1 6
Ben Ainslie Sailing 1996–2012 Summer M 4 1 0 5
Mo Farah Athletics 2012–2016 Summer M 4 0 0 4
Matthew Pinsent Rowing 1992–2004 Summer M 4 0 0 4
Paulo Radmilovic Water polo
Swimming
1908–1920 Summer M 4 0 0 4
Jack Beresford Rowing 1920–1936 Summer M 3 2 0 5
Adam Peaty Swimming 2016–2020 Summer M 3 2 0 5
Charlotte Dujardin Equestrian 2012–2020 Summer F 3 1 2 6
Max Whitlock Gymnastics 2012–2020 Summer M 3 0 3 6
Henry Taylor Swimming 1908–1920 Summer M 3 0 2 5
Ed Clancy Track cycling 2008–2016 Summer M 3 0 1 4
Reginald Doherty Tennis 1900–1908 Summer M 3 0 1 4
Richard Meade Equestrian 1968–1972 Summer M 3 0 0 3
Pete Reed Rowing 2008–2016 Summer M 3 0 0 3
Charles Sydney Smith Water polo 1908–1920 Summer M 3 0 0 3
Andrew Triggs Hodge Rowing 2008–2016 Summer M 3 0 0 3
4 Olympic medals or more, and fewer than 3 Olympic golds
James Guy Swimming 2016–2020 Summer M 2 3 0 5
Sebastian Coe Athletics 1980–1984 Summer M 2 2 0 4
Rebecca Adlington Swimming 2008–2012 Summer F 2 0 2 4
Duncan Scott Swimming 2016–2020 Summer M 1 5 0 6
Katherine Grainger Rowing 2000–2016 Summer F 1 4 0 5
Kathleen McKane Godfree Tennis 1920–1924 Summer F 1 2 2 5
Guy Butler Athletics 1920–1924 Summer M 1 1 2 4
Charles Dixon Tennis 1908–1912 Summer M 1 1 2 4
Liam Heath Canoeing 2012–2020 Summer M 1 1 2 4
Christine Ohuruogu Athletics 2008–2016 Summer F 1 1 2 4
Tom Daley Diving 2012–2020 Summer M 1 0 3 4
Ginny Elliott Equestrian 1984–1988 Summer F 0 2 2 4
Louis Smith Gymnastics 2008–2016 Summer M 0 2 2 4
Joyce Cooper Swimming 1928–1932 Summer F 0 1 3 4

Lizzy Yarnold is the most successful British athlete at the Winter Olympics, with two gold medals. Duncan Scott is the most prolific athlete at a single Games, winning four medals (1 gold, 3 silver) at the 2020 Olympics. Steve Redgrave is the most consistent British Olympic athlete, winning gold medals at five consecutive Games (1984-2000).

Most successful British Olympian progression

This table shows how the designation of most successful British Olympian has progressed over time. This table ranks athletes by golds, then silvers, then bronzes; the progression would be different if ranked purely by medals.

Athlete Sport Date Gender 1st place, gold medalist(s) 2nd place, silver medalist(s) 3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Total
Launceston Elliot Weightlifting 7 April 1896 M 1 0 0 1
7 April 1896 M 1 1 0 2
Lorne Currie Sailing 25 May 1900 M 2 0 0 2
John Gretton Sailing M
Linton Hope Sailing M
Algernon Maudslay Sailing M
Laurence Doherty Tennis 11 July 1900 M
Reginald Doherty Tennis 28 August 1900 M 2 0 1 3
11 July 1908 M 3 0 1 4
Henry Taylor Swimming 15 July 1912 M
Paul Radmilovic Swimming
Water polo
29 August 1920 M 4 0 0 4
Steve Redgrave Rowing 21 July 1996 M 4 0 1 5
23 September 2000 M 5 0 1 6
Chris Hoy Track cycling 2 August 2012 M 5 1 0 6
7 August 2012 M 6 1 0 7
Jason Kenny Track cycling 16 August 2016 M
3 August 2021 M 6 2 0 8
8 August 2021 M 7 2 0 9

Most successful in their sport

As of the 2020 Olympics, the following athletes are the most successful (ordered by golds, then silvers, then bronzes) in their sport:

Steve Redgrave and Reginald Doherty are the most successful male athletes in their respective sports, Rowing and Tennis. Five-time gold medalist Laura Kenny is the most successful female cyclist and Hannah Mills with two gold medals and a silver is the successful woman in sailing. Nicola Adams, with two golds, shares the title of most successful woman in Boxing.

Medals by sport

Alpine skiing

Further information: Alpine skiing at the Winter Olympics and List of British alpine skiers


Archery

Further information: Archery at the Summer Olympics

Medalists


Artistic swimming

Further information: Artistic swimming at the Summer Olympics

Great Britain appeared in the first synchronised swimming competition in 1984.


Athletics

Further information: Athletics at the Summer Olympics

Medalists