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19 Aug 2004
IOC News

New record participation of women at the Olympic Games

A new record has been set for women’s participation at the Olympic Games. For the first time the percentage of women participating is higher than 40% (40.6%). Of a total 10,864 athletes, 4,412 are women and 6,452 men.


Doubled since Montreal 1976

Compared to previous Olympic Games (Sydney: 38.2%; Atlanta: 34.2 %) the rise is significant. Looking even further into the past, the figure has doubled since the Montreal Games in 1976 and tripled since the Games in Tokyo in 1964.


All sports with the exception of baseball and boxing

There is also a rise in the number of events open to women at the Games: 135 in Athens compared to 132 in Sydney and 108 in Atlanta. In Athens, women are competing in all sports with the exception of baseball (softball for women) and boxing. Several new events have been added for women in wrestling, fencing and sailing. Others have been eliminated.


Many female flag bearers

During the Opening Ceremony, many countries chose female athletes as flag bearers. The highest level was reached by the National Olympic Committees from the Americas with 50% and from Africa with 36%.


Percentage of accredited female journalists

The result is less impressive for the accredited media. For the print media the percentage rises to an overall figure of 16.6%. The highest contingent can be found among the journalists from Oceania (22.00%), followed by the Americas (18.81%) and Europe (18.30%).


New Vice-President

Further, the IOC has elected for the second time in its history a woman, Gunilla Lindberg, as its Vice-President. Anita DeFrantz is the only other woman to have held this position in the past.



Further details: factsheet on women in the Olympic movement.

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