South Africa at the Olympics

South Africa first competed at the Olympic Games in 1904. They sent athletes to compete in every Summer Olympic Games until 1960. In 1962, in response to South Africa's policy of apartheid, the nation was barred from the Olympic Games.

Shortly after apartheid in South Africa was eliminated the county made its return into the Olympic organization. The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee was established in 1991, and rejoined the Olympics at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics.

Most of the nation’s medals have been won in track and field, boxing, swimming and tennis.

Reggie Walker captured South Africa’s first ever gold medal when he ruled the men’s 100-meter run and tied the then Olympic record in athletics at the 1908 Summer Olympic Games. To date, Walker is still the youngest competitor (19 years, 128 days) to win the gold medal in the men's 100m event.

In 1952, Esther Brand became the first ever female South African to receive a gold medal when she won the women’s high jump event in athletics at the Helsinki Summer Olympic Games.



Related Pages

Popular Content


Olympics Extra

The next Olympics will be the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, followed by the Winter Olympics 2022 in Beijing. Check out the list of olympic sports, as well as discontinued and demonstration sports.

How to Cite