Anthropometry of Olympic Athletes 2016

In 2016 the IOC released a database of height, weight, birth date, sport and country containing data from most of the Rio Olympic Games participants. I have analyzed this data of the 11,538 participants using the results for height, weight, birth date, sport and country. Here are my analysis of the data.

Heights of 2016 Olympic Athletes

The tallest athlete stood at 2.18m (7' 2"), the Chinese basketball player Muhao Li. The shortest athlete was 17-year-old Brazilian gymnast Flavia Saraiva, standing only 1.33m (4' 4.5") tall.

    Average Minimum Maximum n
Males m 1.82 1.45 2.18 6142
ft, inches 5' 11.5" 4' 9" 7' 2" 6142
Females m 1.70 1.33 2.03 5066
ft, inches 5' 7" 4' 4.5" 6' 8" 5066
All m 1.77 1.33 2.18 11208
ft, inches 5' 9.5" 4' 4.5" 7' 2" 11208

Basketball had the tallest athletes on average, followed by volleyball and rowing. The shortest athletes were from gymnastics and weightlifting.

height chart for the 2016 Rio Olympic atletes

Weights of 2016 Olympic Athletes

The heaviest athletes were 170 kg (375lbs) - Daniel Natea (judo) and Behdad Salimikordasiabi (weightlifting). The lighted athlete was 17-year-old Brazilian gymnast Flavia Saraiva, at only 31kg (68 lbs) - she was also the shortest.

    Average Minimum Maximum n
Males kg 80.1 46 170 5873
lbs 176.6 101 375 5873
Females kg 62.6 31 143 5006
lbs 138.0 68 315 5006
All kg 72.0 31 170 10879
lbs 158.7 68 375 10879

Basketball had the heaviest athletes on average (they also had the tallest!), followed by handball, volleyball and weightlifting. The lightest athletes were from gymnastics and triathlon.

weight chart for the 2016 Rio Olympic atletes

BMIs of 2016 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. Weight lifters had the highest BMI - the athlete with the highest BMI was female Egyptian weight lifter Shaimaa Haridy at 48.4 (height 1.60m/124kg). The lowest listed BMI was the male archer Sultan Duzelbayev from Kazakhstan, with a BMI of 14.9 (1.76m/46kg).

  Average Minimum Maximum n
Males 24.0 14.9 47.1 5862
Females 21.6 15.0 48.4 4996
All 22.9 14.9 48.4 10858

Weightlifting athletes had the highest BMI on average (not surprising as they were one of the heaviest and one of the shortest). Triathletes were the athletes with the lowest BMI.

BMI chart for the 2016 Rio Olympic atletes

Age (Years) of 2016 Olympic Athletes

Gymnasts had the lowest average age of 22.6 years – while for the equestrian events the average age of the participants was 37.8 years.

  Average Minimum Maximum n
Males 27.2 14.3 61.0 6333
Females 26.3 13.7 62.3 5205
All 26.8 13.7 62.3 11538

The oldest athletes were from the sport of equestrian followed by shooting then golf, the youngest were from gymnastics and aquatics events.

age chart for the 2016 Rio Olympic atletes

Averages per Sport

Here are the height, weight, BMI and age averages for each sport for males and females. Weight data was not supplied for the sport of boxing. For more detailed results and analysis of the anthropometric scores for each sport, follow the links.

Male Athletes

Sport Age (years) height (m) weight (kg) BMI
OVERALL MALE AVERAGE (all sports) 27.2 1.82 80.1 24.0
Aquatics 24.6 1.86 82.2 23.7
Archery 25.9 1.80 80.1 24.8
Athletics 26.9 1.81 74.7 22.6
Badminton 28.6 1.81 76.2 23.4
Basketball 28.2 2.00 100.3 24.9
Boxing 25.2 1.76
Canoe 27.3 1.82 82.2 24.7
Cycling 27.5 1.79 72.6 22.5
Equestrian 38.3 1.79 73.0 22.8
Fencing 28.6 1.83 78.8 23.4
Field Hockey 27.4 1.80 77.4 23.8
Football 22.6 1.79 74.5 23.0
Golf 32.5 1.79 79.0 24.6
Gymnastic 25.2 1.68 63.3 22.4
Handball 28.9 1.91 95.4 26.0
Judo 26.6 1.78 84.6 26.4
Modern Pentathlon 26.6 1.83 73.9 22.2
Rowing 27.6 1.90 86.5 23.9
Rugby Sevens 26.5 1.83 90.5 27.0
Sailing 29.3 1.81 77.1 23.4
Shooting 33.2 1.78 81.2 25.6
Table Tennis 28.4 1.79 72.6 22.7
Taekwondo 24.7 1.86 74.8 21.4
Tennis 30.1 1.86 80.4 23.2
Triathlon 27.7 1.79 66.8 20.9
Volleyball 28.5 1.96 89.4 23.2
Weight lifting 25.8 1.71 87.5 29.3
Wrestling 27.5 1.76 85.6 27.3

Female Athletes

Sport Age (years) height (m) weight (kg) BMI
OVERALL FEMALE AVERAGE (all sports) 26.3 1.70 62.6 21.6
Aquatics 23.2 1.72 62.2 21.1
Archery 26.4 1.68 64.3 22.9
Athletics 26.7 1.69 60.0 20.8
Badminton 26.2 1.69 61.2 21.5
Basketball 28.0 1.83 75.4 22.3
Boxing 27.6 1.68
Canoe 27.7 1.70 66.5 23.0
Cycling 27.4 1.67 60.2 21.5
Equestrian 36.9 1.68 58.6 20.7
Fencing 27.4 1.71 62.7 21.3
Field Hockey 25.9 1.67 60.4 21.7
Football 25.9 1.68 61.1 21.5
Golf 27.5 1.69 63.2 22.0
Gymnastic 21.2 1.62 49.6 19.0
Handball 27.9 1.76 70.8 22.8
Judo 26.9 1.67 65.4 23.4
Modern Pentathlon 25.6 1.70 58.0 20.1
Rowing 27.1 1.77 69.8 22.1
Rugby Sevens 26.6 1.68 66.6 23.7
Sailing 26.4 1.69 63.2 22.0
Shooting 29.8 1.65 62.7 23.0
Table Tennis 28.1 1.65 57.5 20.9
Taekwondo 24.6 1.73 61.3 20.4
Tennis 26.8 1.73 64.7 21.5
Triathlon 28.6 1.68 54.6 19.4
Volleyball 27.4 1.83 70.7 21.1
Weight lifting 24.6 1.60 68.8 26.4
Wrestling 26.1 1.65 61.8 22.6

The 2016 Athlete Database

There were 11,538 names, from 207 countries and representing 28 sports. Here is the original database. The data supplied was name, country, sex, date of birth, height, weight, sport and medals won. I also calculated BMI and age at the start of the Games. Not all data was complete. There was no body mass data for the sport of boxing, and there were also some height measurements missing. There were 11,208 data points for height, 10,879 for weight, and we were able to calculate BMI for 10,858 competitors. There were a few obvious errors that were corrected - a few athletes had body weight listed in pounds instead of kilograms - a 150kg 100m sprinter? There is expected to be many more errors or inaccuracies, but that was the information supplied.

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