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Number of events at the Summer Olympics by gender 1896-2016

The first modern Olympic Games in 1896 had a total of 43 events for male-only competitors and teams. From 1900 until 1972, the number of male events climbed from around 100 to 150, and it has fluctuated between 150 and 180 male events from this time. In contrast to this, the number of female-only and mixed events has grown at a much slower rate, and it was not until 1972 where the number of female events equaled the original number of male events in 1896. The Paris Games in 1900 had 93 events for male competitors, however the number of female and mixed events did not exceed this figure until 1996. In the 2016 games in Rio, there were 161 events for male competitors, and 145 for female competitors and mixed teams.

Throughout Olympic history, there have been a number of events that are exclusively for women, such as rhythmic gymnastics and synchronized swimming, although there are many more male-only events, such as the pommel horse and rings, and there is a larger number of male weight classes in weightlifting and combat events. There are also several mixed events, such as tennis and badminton (with set numbers of male and female competitors) whereas male and female athletes compete on equal terms in equestrian and sailing events (although sailing has become increasingly segregated in recent years). In the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, a number of mixed shooting events, table tennis doubles, and swimming and sprinting relays will be introduced, in an attempt to improve participation among female athletes.

Number of events for male and female athletes at the Summer Olympics from 1896 to 2016

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Source

Release date

2016

Region

Worldwide

Survey time period

1896 to 2016

Supplementary notes

*The number of male events was calculated by subtracting the number of female events from the total number of events. Mixed events are generally included with the data for female events, however there may be some overlap (particularly in earlier years).

The combined totals for each year are as follows:
1896 - 43
1900 - 95
1904 - 95
1908 - 110
1912 - 102
1920 - 156
1924 - 126
1928 - 109
1932 - 117
1936 - 129
1948 - 136
1952 - 149
1956 - 151
1960 - 150
1964 - 163
1968 - 172
1972 - 195
1976 - 198
1980 - 203
1984 - 221
1988 - 237
1992 - 257
1996 - 271
2000 - 300
2004 - 301
2008 - 302
2012 - 302
2016 - 306

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Statistics on "History of the Summer Olympics"

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