Great Britain – the only nation to have competed at every summer and winter Olympic and Paralympic Games?

The Olympic Games

 The following information for participation at the summer and winter Olympic Games was provided to me by Bill Mallon, a fellow member and former President of the International Society of Olympic Historians (ISOH), which he co-founded in late 1991. He has written over twenty books on Olympic history, has been a consultant statistician to the International Olympic Committee and was awarded the Olympic Order in silver in 2001 for services to the Olympic movement.

Summer Olympic Games

The countries that are considered to have competed at all summer Olympic Games (1896 – 2008) are

Australia, France, Great Britain, Greece and Switzerland

It is also possible, but as yet unconfirmed that an Italian national competed in St Louis in 1904, which would add Italy to the above list for the summer Olympic Games.

Winter Olympic Games

The countries that are considered to have competed at all winter Olympic Games (1924 – 2010) are

Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, Sweden and United States of America

However, counting the London 1908 (Figure Skating) and Antwerp 1920 (Figure Skating and Ice Hockey) winter events from the Summer Olympic Games, only

Great Britain, Sweden and United States of America

have competed at all possible editions. This, therefore, leaves Great Britain as the only nation to have competed at all summer and winter Olympic Games

The Paralympic Games

The following information from the Paralympic Games comes about as a result of twelve years of research by myself. More details for the summer Games can be found in my latest book From Stoke Mandeville to Stratford: A history of the summer Paralympic Games. The winter Paralympic Games version is still in the process of being written.

Summer Paralympic Games                                    

The countries that are considered to have competed at all summer Paralympic Games (1960 – 2008) are

Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Federal Republic of Germany/ Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden and United States of America

Winter Paralympic Games

The countries that are considered to have competed at all winter Paralympic Games (1976 – 2010) are

Austria, Canada, Czechoslovakia/ Czech Republic, Finland, Federal Republic of Germany/ Germany, France, Great Britain, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and United States of America

The following countries have, therefore competed in all summer and winter Paralympic Games

Austria, France, Federal Republic of Germany/ Germany, Great Britain, Sweden and United States of America

For any Swiss reading this who think they have competed in every summer Paralympic Games I would point out that Switzerland were not represented in Madrid 1992 in the Paralympic Games for the Intellectually Disabled. For any Australians that think they have competed in every winter Paralympic Games I would point out that Ron Finneran, Australia’s sole representative at the first winter Paralympic Games in Örnsköldsvik 1976 was deemed ineligible to compete as he did not fit into any of the impairment classifications taking part in those Games i.e. amputees and blind and visually impaired.

Conclusion

Combining the final Olympic and Paralympic lists leaves Great Britain as the only nation to have competed at every single summer and winter Olympic and Paralympic Games!

 

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5 responses to “Great Britain – the only nation to have competed at every summer and winter Olympic and Paralympic Games?

  1. Pingback: Is it Luge or an Obstacle Race to the Olympics? | Larchmont and New Rochelle NewsLarchmont and New Rochelle News

  2. !00 percent correct. It also should be borne in mind that in early Olympics people just turned up and competed, without making a big deal of their nationality. Also Ukrainians, Latvians, Lithuanian etc competed for the Soviets, Australians marched in under the British Empire flag, and New Zealanders competed ast Australiasians until 1912. And so on.

  3. Have you got a write up all about the Paralympic Games in Madrid 1992, I Represented the Country that year, I would like to send some news to my friends in Australia all about when to Represented the Country.

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