About the database
The Olympian Database is a carefully worked through mysql-database which holds all Olympic medals since the first Olympic Games in Athens 1896. On top of that it holds a growing number of results from Olympic history beyond the top three medalists in each event. The database enables us to present accurate medal standings on the Olypian Database webpages in relation to the number of medals obtained by each nation, the all time medal standings in a specific sport or event, the medals from a given period of time or at a particular Olympic Games etc.
To construct medal standings in relation to the Olympic Games is not a straight forward task. It takes some work to find the reliable sources and build up the database practically but in addition to this several problematics surface especially in relation to the early Olympic Games before the First World War. One problem concerns which events one should include as part of these early Games and in many cases it is not always registered who actually won the bronze and so on.
The problematics in relation to the number of events is related to the fact that the early Olympics were at the same time part of the world exhibitions and the borderline between what is an Olympic competition and what is not is therefore in many cases a matter of definition for the Olympic historians.
Another problematic concerns cases of for example doping that are either discovered shortly after an Olympic Games or perhaps many years later. This challenge for an Olympic database is one of possible continous changes and a medal standing is therefore not always a static table but something that must be revised for different reasons many years after the events took place.
In relation to these challenges the Olympian Database is as far as possible identical to the IOC's (International Olympic Committee) medal database, because this database for most part can be said to define what is the official registered Olympic events and distributed medals. This IOC database is constructed from the official reports that is written after each Olympic Games which in far the most instances produces accurate and precise results from the Olympic Games. Only where there are obvious misprints in the IOC database and where the leading Olympic historians disagree with the IOC medal database about results, names or the number of events etc. have we chosen to let our database differ from the IOC's online database, which can be reached through this link:
There are faults in any Olympic medal database that we have worked with during the construction of this Olympic database but we work continously to check and strengthen our data. When this has been said we can of course not give absolute garantees that there are no faults in the database but we focus on making for example our medal standings as interactive as possible so that it is easy to see what the numbers hide.
If you have any comments or corrections to the database please feel free to contact us!
For more info about the Olympian Database project go here.