Females bridge gender gap

Australia has had a steady increase in female representation at the Games, finally reaching 52% female majority at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games after reaching a 50:50 gender balance at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Australian women have been competing at the Olympic Games since Sarah "Fanny" Durack and Wilhelmina Wylie swam at the Stockholm Games in 1912. Outnumbered but not outdone by the 21 Australian men, Durack won a gold medal and Wylie won silver in the 100m freestyle. Throughout time the percentage of women on Australian Olympic Teams has continued to grow.

At the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, male and female representation reached 50:50 for the first time with 20 men and 20 women. At the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, for the first time women outnumbered men 31:29 in a 60 strong team, taking the percentage of women to 52%. At Sochi female athletes, Torah Bright (Halfpipe, Silver) and Ladia Lassilia (Aerials, Bronze) won two out of Australia’s total of three medals at these Games.

See the female participation at the most recent Olympics and selected statistics comparing performance by gender below.

Past 11 Summer Olympics (% of females in total team) 

2012 London

45%

2008 Beijing

46%

2004 Athens

43%

2000 Sydney

45%

1996 Atlanta 

40%

1992 Barcelona

33%

1988 Seoul 

28% 

1984 Los Angeles

30%

1980 Moscow

23% 

1976 Montreal

19%

1972 Munich

16%


Past 10 Winter Olympics (% of females in total team) 

2014 Sochi

52%

2010 Vancouver

50%

2006 Torino

43%

2002 Salt Lake City

48%

1998 Nagano

33%

1994 Lillehammer

26%

1992 Albertville

30%

1988 Calgary

11%

1984 Sarajevo

27%

1976 Innsbruck

38%

Number crunch: Results by gender

  • At the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi two of the three medals were won by women. This represented 67% of Australia’s podium appearances. At the 2012 Olympic Games in London 20 of the 35 medals were won by women. This represented 57% of the podium appearances. This was similar to 2008 in Beijing where Australian women won 58% of the Australian medal haul, leaving men with 42%.
  • On an athlete-per-team-member basis, female Australian Team members have a 36% chance of winning a medal and men have a 22% chance (based on Beijing 2008 results).
  • At the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Australia was the fifth top nation in women's results. Nine Australian athletes achieved a top 10 finish, six of them were women.
  • Australian Women have won seven of Australia’s twelve Winter Olympic medals or 58%. They have been won by four women: Torah Bright (2014, 2010), Lydia Lassila (2014, 2010), Alisa Camplin (2006, 2002) and Zali Steggall (1998).

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