South Africa at the
Olympics
IOC codeRSA
NOCSouth African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee
Websitewww.sascoc.co.za
Medals
Ranked 39th
Gold
27
Silver
33
Bronze
29
Total
89
Summer appearances
Winter appearances

South Africa first participated at the Olympic Games in 1904, and sent athletes to compete in every Summer Olympic Games until 1960. After the passage of United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1761 in 1962 in response to South Africa's policy of apartheid, the nation was barred from the Games.

After the negotiations to end apartheid in South Africa commenced in 1990, the nation re-joined the Olympic movement. The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee was created in 1991, and South Africa returned to the Games at the 1992 Summer Olympics (and the 1992 Summer Paralympics). South Africa also participated in the Winter Olympic Games in 1960, and since 1994.

South African athletes have won a total of 89 medals, with athletics, boxing, and swimming as the top medal-producing sports.

History

1904 marathon participants Tau and Mashiani stand in a stadium looking at the camera, both wearing hats
Mashiani (left) and Tau before the race[1]

South African athletes first participated in the 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis, when few foreign athletes arrived and the organisers invited participants of the adjacent 1904 World's Fair to compete.[2] General Piet Cronjé, Len Taunyane, and Jan Mashiani, all Boer War veterans who had been taken prisoner by the British at St. Helena after the Battle of Paardeberg and had reenacted battle scenes at the fair, participated in the men's marathon.[2] Len Taunyane and Jan Mashiani were the first black Africans to participate in the Olympics, and the only blacks to represent South Africa in the Olympics until the end of apartheid.[2]

Although the four British colonies of Cape of Good Hope, Natal, Transvaal, and Orange River did not form the Union of South Africa until 1910, they fielded a combined South Africa team at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London, where Reggie Walker won its first gold medal.[2] The first South African woman in the Olympics was swimmer Barbara Nash in 1920, and the first women to win medals were the 1928 4 × 100 metre freestyle relay quartet, who came third.[2] The South African Olympic and Empire Games Association was awarded the 1934 British Empire Games in Johannesburg but backed out when it became evident that they would have to allow a team from India to compete.[2]

Further information: Apartheid-era South Africa and the Olympics

South Africa first entered the Winter Olympics in 1960, and that summer's games in Rome would be its last till the end of apartheid.[2] It was not invited to the 1964 Games, and its 1968 invitation was withdrawn when other teams threatened to withdraw. The South African Olympic and National Games Association was expelled from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1970.

The nonracial Interim National Olympic Committee of South Africa (now South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee) was founded in 1991 during the transition to multiracial equality and affiliated to the IOC months later. The country returned at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.[2]

Medal tables

See also: All-time Olympic Games medal table

Medals by sport

SportGoldSilverBronzeTotal
Athletics913628
Swimming77620
Boxing64919
Tennis3216
Cycling1438
Rowing1113
Shooting0101
Surfing0101
Canoeing0011
Rugby0011
Triathlon0011
Totals (11 entries)27332989

List of medalists

Medal Name Games Sport Event
 Gold Reggie Walker 1908 London Athletics Men's 100m
 Silver Charles Hefferon 1908 London Athletics Men's Marathon
 Gold Ken McArthur 1912 Stockholm Athletics Men's Marathon
 Gold Rudolph Lewis 1912 Stockholm Cycling Men's Individual Time Trial
 Gold Harold Kitson
Charles Winslow
1912 Stockholm Tennis Men's Doubles Outdoor
 Gold Charles Winslow 1912 Stockholm Tennis Men's Singles Outdoor
 Silver Christian Gitsham 1912 Stockholm Athletics Men's Marathon
 Silver Harold Kitson 1912 Stockholm Tennis Men's Singles Outdoor
 Gold Bevil Rudd 1920 Antwerp Athletics Men's 400m
 Gold Clarence Walker 1920 Antwerp Boxing Men's Bantamweight
 Gold Louis Raymond 1920 Antwerp Tennis Men's Singles
 Silver Henry Dafel
Jack Oosterlak
Clarence Oldfield
Bevil Rudd
1920 Antwerp Athletics Men's 400m Relay
 Silver Henry Kaltenbrunn 1920 Antwerp Cycling Men's Individual Time Trial
 Silver William Smith
James Walker
1920 Antwerp Cycling Men's Tandem
 Silver David Smith
Robert Bodley
Ferdinand Buchanan
Frederick Morgan
1920 Antwerp Shooting Men's Team 600m Military Rifle
 Bronze Bevil Rudd 1920 Antwerp Athletics Men's 800m
 Bronze James Walker
William Smith
Henry Kaltenbrunn
Harry Goosen
1920 Antwerp Cycling Team Pursuit
 Bronze Charles Winslow 1920 Antwerp Tennis Men's Singles
 Gold William Smith 1924 Paris Boxing Men's Bantamweight
 Silver Sydney Atkinson 1924 Paris Athletics Men's 110m Hurdles
 Bronze Cecil McMaster 1924 Paris Athletics Men's 10 Km Walk
 Gold Sydney Atkinson 1928 Amsterdam Athletics Men's 110m Hurdles
 Bronze Harry Isaacs 1928 Amsterdam Boxing Men's Bantamweight
 Bronze Rhoda Rennie
Frederica van der Goes
Mary Bedford
Kathleen Russell
1928 Amsterdam Swimming Women's 4 × 100m Freestyle Relay
 Gold Lawrence Stevens 1932 Los Angeles Boxing Men's lightweight
 Gold David Carstens 1932 Los Angeles Boxing Men's light-heavyweight
 Bronze Marjorie Clark 1932 Los Angeles Athletics Women's 80m hurdles
 Bronze Ernest Peirce 1932 Los Angeles Boxing Men's middleweight
 Bronze Jenny Maakal 1932 Los Angeles Swimming Women's 400m freestyle
 Silver Charles Catterall 1936 Berlin Boxing Men's featherweight
 Gold Gerald Dreyer 1948 London Boxing Men's lightweight
 Gold George Hunter 1948 London Boxing Men's light-heavyweight
 Silver Dennis Shepherd 1948 London Boxing Men's featherweight
 Bronze John Arthur 1948 London Boxing Men's heavyweight
 Gold Esther Brand 1952 Helsinki Athletics Women's high jump
 Gold Joan Harrison 1952 Helsinki Swimming Women's 100m backstroke
 Silver Daphne Robb-Hasenjäger 1952 Helsinki Athletics Women's 100m
 Silver Theunis Van Schalkwyk 1952 Helsinki Boxing Men's light-middleweight
 Silver Raymond Robinson
Thomas Shardelow
1952 Helsinki Cycling (Track) Men's 2000m tandem
 Silver George Estman
Robert Fowler
Thomas Shardelow
Alfred Swift
1952 Helsinki Cycling (Track) Men's team pursuit (4000m)
 Bronze William Toweel 1952 Helsinki Boxing Men's flyweight
 Bronze Leonard Leisching 1952 Helsinki Boxing Men's featherweight
 Bronze Andries Nieman 1952 Helsinki Boxing Men's heavyweight
 Bronze Raymond Robinson 1952 Helsinki Cycling (Track) Men's 1 km time trial
 Bronze Daniel Bekker 1956 Melbourne/Stockholm Boxing Men's heavyweight
 Bronze Henry Loubscher 1956 Melbourne/Stockholm Boxing Men's light-welterweight
 Bronze Alfred Swift 1956 Melbourne/Stockholm Cycling (Track) Men's 1 km time trial
 Bronze Moira Abernethy
Jeanette Myburgh
Natalie Myburgh
Susan Elizabeth Roberts
1956 Melbourne/Stockholm Swimming Women's 4 × 100m freestyle relay
 Silver Daniel Bekker 1960 Rome Boxing Men's heavyweight
 Bronze Malcolm Clive Spence 1960 Rome Athletics Men's 400m
 Bronze William Meyers 1960 Rome Boxing Men's featherweight
 Silver Elana Meyer 1992 Barcelona Athletics Women's 10,000m
 Silver Wayne Ferreira
Piet Norval
1992 Barcelona Tennis Men's Doubles
 Gold Josia Thugwane 1996 Atlanta Athletics Men's marathon
 Gold Penelope Heyns 1996 Atlanta Swimming Women's 100m breaststroke
 Gold Penelope Heyns 1996 Atlanta Swimming Women's 200m breaststroke
 Silver Hezekiel Sepeng 1996 Atlanta Athletics Men's 800m
 Bronze Marianne Kriel 1996 Atlanta Swimming Women's 100m backstroke
 Silver Hestrie Cloete 2000 Sydney Athletics Women's high jump
 Silver Terence Parkin 2000 Sydney Swimming Men's 200m breaststroke
 Bronze Llewellyn Herbert 2000 Sydney Athletics Men's 400m hurdles
 Bronze Frantz Kruger 2000 Sydney Athletics Men's discus throw
 Bronze Penelope Heyns 2000 Sydney Swimming Women's 100m breaststroke
 Gold Lyndon Ferns
Ryk Neethling
Roland Mark Schoeman
Darian Townsend
2004 Athens Swimming Men's 4 × 100m freestyle relay
 Silver Mbulaeni Mulaudzi 2004 Athens Athletics Men's 800m
 Silver Hestrie Cloete 2004 Athens Athletics Women's high jump
 Silver Roland Mark Schoeman 2004 Athens Swimming Men's 100m freestyle
 Bronze Donovan Cech
Ramon di Clemente
2004 Athens Rowing Men's coxless pair
 Bronze Roland Mark Schoeman 2004 Athens Swimming Men's 50m freestyle
 Silver Khotso Mokoena 2008 Beijing Athletics Men's long jump
 Gold Sizwe Ndlovu
Matthew Brittain
John Smith
James Thompson
2012 London Rowing Men's Lightweight Four
 Gold Cameron van der Burgh 2012 London Swimming Men's 100m breaststroke
 Gold Chad le Clos 2012 London Swimming Men's 200m butterfly
 Gold Caster Semenya 2012 London Athletics Women's 800m
 Silver Chad le Clos 2012 London Swimming Men's 100m butterfly
 Bronze Bridgitte Hartley 2012 London Canoeing Women's K-1 500m
 Gold Wayde Van Niekerk 2016 Rio de Janeiro Athletics Men's 400m
 Gold Caster Semenya 2016 Rio de Janeiro Athletics Women's 800m
 Silver Chad le Clos 2016 Rio de Janeiro Swimming Men's 200m freestyle
 Silver Shaun Keeling
Lawrence Brittain
2016 Rio de Janeiro Rowing Men's coxless pair
 Silver Chad le Clos 2016 Rio de Janeiro Swimming Men's 100m butterfly
 Silver Cameron van der Burgh 2016 Rio de Janeiro Swimming Men's 100m breaststroke
 Silver Luvo Manyonga 2016 Rio de Janeiro Athletics Men's long jump
 Silver Sunette Viljoen 2016 Rio de Janeiro Athletics Women's javelin throw
 Bronze Cheslin Kolbe
Juan de Jongh
Seabelo Senatla
Justin Geduld
Kyle Brown
Cecil Afrika
Kwagga Smith
Werner Kok
Rosko Specman
Philip Snyman
Dylan Sage
Francois Hougaard
Tim Agaba
2016 Rio de Janeiro Rugby Sevens Men's tournament
 Bronze Henri Schoeman 2016 Rio de Janeiro Triathlon Men's Triathlon
 Gold Tatjana Schoenmaker 2020 Tokyo Swimming Women's 200m breaststroke
 Silver Tatjana Schoenmaker 2020 Tokyo Swimming Women's 100m breaststroke
 Silver Bianca Buitendag 2020 Tokyo Surfing Women's Shortboard

See also

References

  1. ^ van der Merwe, Floris J.G. (1999). "Africa's First Encounter with the Olympic Games In....1904" (PDF). Journal of Olympic History. September 1999. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 22, 2021. Retrieved May 22, 2021 – via International Society of Olympic Historians – ISOH.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Laubscher, Lappe (23 August 2017). "South Africa and the Olympic Games". South African History Online. Retrieved 2019-02-11.