At the modern Olympic Games, as of the conclusion of the 2020 Summer Paralympics, eight Olympic/Paralympic athletes and three horses have died as a result of competing in or practising their sport at Games venues; one other death was potentially a result of competition. In addition, another 16 participants have died at the Olympics from other causes; 11 of these deaths were from the Munich massacre.

Several incidents related to the Olympics have caused the death of non-participants. Large numbers were killed during the Lima football riot of 1964 and the Tlatelolco massacre in Mexico City in 1968. The Centennial Olympic Park bombing at the 1996 Games caused two deaths.

In competition during the Olympics

Name Age Country Sport Olympics Cause of death Ref.
Francisco Lázaro 24 Portugal Runner 1912, Stockholm Electrolyte imbalance/overheating [1]
Knud Enemark Jensen 23 Denmark Cyclist 1960, Rome Heat stroke [2]


In competition during the Paralympics

During Olympic practice or potentially from competing

Other deaths of Olympic participants

Paris 1900

Edmond Brassart [it], (30), France - Fencer - 1900, Paris - Brassard was killed alongside three others in the collapse of the Passerelle des Invalides, a temporary bridge built for the Exposition Universelle de 1900. This occurred two months after he participated in the Olympic Games but also two months before the Games concluded.[16][17]

London 1948

In 1948, during the London Olympics, Eliška Misáková, one of nine members of the Czechoslovak women's team in gymnastics, became ill on arrival in the host city. Diagnosed with polio, she died on the last day of the Olympics, the same day her remaining teammates won the competition.[18]

Melbourne 1956

Arrigo Menicocci, Italian rower who competed in eights, was killed as a passenger in a car crash about 90 km northwest of Melbourne during the Olympics on 1 December 1956, four days after the end of the rowing competition.[19]

Munich 1972

Main article: Munich massacre

In 1972, during the Munich Olympics, the Palestinian terrorist organization Black September killed 11 members of the Israeli team.

The 11 Israeli Olympic Team members who were murdered in the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich are:

Calgary 1988

Between the morning and afternoon runs of the men's giant slalom, Jörg Oberhammer, 47, the Austrian team doctor, was skiing on a recreational slope when he collided with another skier (a CTV technician) and was knocked under a snow-grooming machine, which crushed him instantly.[20][21]

Rio de Janeiro 2016

German Olympic canoe slalom coach and Olympic silver-medalist Stefan Henze, 35, died on 15 August 2016 after his taxi was hit in a high-speed head-on collision in Rio three days earlier.[22]

Tokyo 2020

Huang Guohui, 57, of China, the coach of Vietnamese Olympic swimmers, is suspected of suicide whilst being held under COVID-19 quarantine in Hanoi following the return from Tokyo.[23]

Deaths of non-participants at Olympic-related events

Lima 1964

Main article: Estadio Nacional disaster

In a qualifying match for the Olympic football tournament, home fans began rioting after a late Peru goal was disallowed. Police fired tear gas into the crowd, exacerbating the situation, which ended with at least 328 deaths.[24]

Mexico 1968

Main article: Tlatelolco massacre

The Mexico 68 protests were part of a worldwide series of leftwing student-led protests. While the protesting National Strike Council claimed not to link its demands to the Olympics, some students protested at the perceived extravagance of hosting the games, and some sought to exploit the increased foreign media presence in the city for publicity. The authoritarian government had a secret "Olympia Battalion" to ensure security during the Games. Ten days before the games, the unit swept through a mass meeting in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas making arrests. Estimates of the number killed in the operation range from thirty to several hundred.

Munich 1972

Main Article: Munich Massacre

In addition to the 11 Israeli Olympic Team members that died, West German police officer Anton Fliegerbauer and five Palestinian terrorists were killed during a shootout. Carmel Eliash, cousin of Moshe Weinberg, suffered a heart attack during the public memorial service the following day.[25]

Atlanta 1996 (Olympic Park Bombing)

Main article: Centennial Olympic Park bombing

On 27 July 1996 (the eighth day of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games), a bomb exploded at the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia, killing two and wounding over 100 people.

Sydney 2000

Hyginus Anugo, 22, of Nigeria, a 4 × 400 metres relay reserve, was struck by a car while crossing a street in Sydney eight days before the Games opened.[26] He did not have Olympic accreditation and was not staying at the Olympic athletes’ village. Anugo was with the team training in Adelaide, where final selections for relay squads were made, and was not selected. He had been due to return to Nigeria but voluntarily proceeded to Sydney.

Athens 2004 Paralympics

Seven teenagers from Farkadona were killed in a crash while travelling to Athens for the Games, when their bus collided with a truck near the town of Kamena Vourla. Out of respect for their deaths, the cultural portion of the closing ceremonies of these Paralympics was cancelled.[27][28]

Beijing 2008

A Hong Kong Police motorcyclist was on a VIP escort to Sheung Yue River for 2008 Olympic Equestrian events and was killed en route in a traffic collision.[29]

London 2012

On 1 August 2012, a special bus carrying media from the London Olympic Park was involved in a collision in which a cyclist was killed.[30]


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  16. ^ "Olympedia – Edmond Brassart".
  17. ^ "Edmond Brassart". 7 April 2021.
  18. ^ "Unhappy Olympic Endings". Past & Present Gymnastics. 8 November 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
  19. ^ "Italian Rower Dies in Crash". The Age. 3 December 1956. Retrieved 20 August 2016 – via Google News Archive.
  20. ^ Special (27 February 1988). "'88 Winter Olympics: Notebook; Death on Slopes Is Ruled Accident". The New York Times. p. 52. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  22. ^ "German canoe coach dies after taxi crash at Rio Olympics". The Toronto Star. Toronto Star Newspapers. 15 August 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
  23. ^ VnExpress. "National swimming coach passes away in quarantine - VnExpress International". VnExpress International – Latest news, business, travel and analysis from Vietnam. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  24. ^ "Lima 1964: The world's worst stadium disaster". BBC News. 23 May 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  25. ^ Gallagher, Brendan (6 August 2002). "Athletics: Memories stirred of Olympic hostage horror". The Telegraph (UK). London, UK. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  26. ^ "Nigerian Runner Is Killed When Hit by Car in Sydney." Los Angeles Times. 8 September 2000. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  27. ^ Jones, Sam (28 September 2004). "Seven children die in Paralympics bus crash". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
  28. ^ "Games finale cut after bus deaths". BBC News. 27 September 2004. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
  29. ^ "香港交警护送马术赛要员车祸殉职 众人致祭(图)-搜狐新闻". Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  30. ^ "Cyclist dies in Olympic media bus crash". BBC Online. 1 August 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2012.