In 2012 the IOC released a database of height, weight, birth date, sport and country containing data from most of the London Olympic Games participants. I have analyzed the anthropometric data of the 10,384 participants using data for height, weight, birth date, sport and country. Here are some of my summary and analysis of the data.
Heights of 2012 Olympic Athletes
The tallest male athlete stood at 2.21m, the Chinese basketball player Zhaoxu Zhang. The shortest was a 21-year-old Tuvaluan weight lifter standing only 1.40m tall, Lapua Lapua.
|ft, inches||6' 0"||4' 7"||7' 3"||5396|
|ft, inches||5' 7"||4' 4"||6' 9"||4427|
|ft, inches||5' 10"||4' 4"||7' 3"||9823|
Weights of 2012 Olympic Athletes
The heaviest male athlete was Ricardo Blas Jr, a Judo competitor from Guam. The lightest was China's Yuan Cao who won a gold in the Men's Synchronized 10m Diving.
BMIs of 2012 Olympic Athletes
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a commonly used measure of fatness, calculated by dividing body mass (in kg) by the height (in meters) squared.
Age (Years) of 2012 Olympic Athletes
Rhythmic gymnasts had an average age of 19 – while for the equestrian events the average age of the participants was 38 years.
Breakdown Per Sport
Here are the averages for each sport. Weight data was not supplied for the sports of boxing, gymnastics, synchronized swimming, taekwondo and trampoline. The results below are for both male and female athletes for each sport combined - for more detailed results and analysis of the anthropometric scores for each sport, follow the links.
The sport with the oldest competitors was equestrian with an average age of 37.9 years, and the youngest was rhymic gymnastics at 19.5 years. Basketball was the sport with the greatest average height, the next was volleyball.
|Sport||Age||Height (cm)||Weight (kg)||BMI|
|OVERALL AVERAGE (all sports)||26.1||176.9||72.8||23.3|
|Cycling — BMX||23.5||176.1||77.6||25.0|
|Cycling — Mountain Bike||27.9||173.6||62.4||20.7|
|Cycling — Road||28.3||176.7||66.8||21.4|
|Cycling — Track||25.2||175.7||72.3||23.4|
|Gymnastics — Artistic||22.1||161.1||-||-|
|Gymnastics — Rhythmic||19.5||170.1||-||-|
There were 10,384 names, from 205 countries and representing 38 sports or events. Here is the original database. The data supplied was name, country, sport, event, sex, height, weight, age, birth date, and birth place. I also calculated BMI. Not all data was complete. The sports of boxing, gymnastics, synchronized swimming, taekwondo and trampoline did not supply any body weight data, and there were also some height measurements missing. There were 9823 data points for height, 9104 for weight, and we were able to calculate BMI for 9038 competitors. There were a few obvious errors that were fixed - a few athletes had body weight listed in lbs instead of kgs - a 150kg 100m sprinter? There is undoubtedly many more errors or inaccuracies, but that was the information supplied.
- Anthropometry at the Summer Olympics
- Athlete data from the 2014 Sochi Olympics and 2016 Rio Olympics
- Anthropometry at the Winter Olympics
- Sport Specific Anthropometry
- Science and the Olympics
- Olympics Anthropology Days
- Link to the original database