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Current Olympic Records set in athletic events by year 1968-2016

For current Olympic Records in athletic events, the majority have been set in the past three tournaments. Of the 47 records, 26 were set between 2008 and 2016, with 15 in men's events and 11 in women's events. The longest standing Olympic record for current athletic events was set by the US' Bob Beamon in the Long Jump in 1968; this year saw an unusually high number of Olympic and World Records set in explosive, high-intensity events, as Mexico City's altitude benefitted anaerobic performances (while it hindered those aerobic events, such as distance running and swimming).

1988 is also a notable year, as seven of the current women's records were set in these games. These include two records each for sisters-in law Florence Griffith Joyner and Jackie Joyner-Kersee of Team USA; three of which remain the current world records in the 100m, 200m and Heptathlon. A number of other Olympic records were also set in the 1980s by female athletes from former-Soviet or communist countries in Europe. The overwhelming evidence surrounding state-sponsored doping programs in former Eastern Bloc countries, along with the nature and longevity of these records, has caused many to doubt their legality. Nonetheless, the records set in the 1980s (including many world records set in other events) still stand today, although some in the athletics community have called for all world records set before 2005 to be erased.

Number of current Olympic Records in athletic events in each Olympic year from 1968 to 2016

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Release date

May 2020



Survey time period

1980 to 2016

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Statistics on "History of the Summer Olympics"

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