Scientific-Expert Journal of Anthropological Aspects of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation

How old are Elite Olympic swimmers?

Original article

Submitted: 11/03/2024

Accepted: 17/04/2024

Published: 29/04/2024

UDK: 796.412.012:797.217.012

DOI: 10.7251/SGIA2420028S


Šiljeg Klara,
Pessôa Filho M. Dalton,
Dopsaj Milivoj

Correspondence email:


The primary aim of this research is to determine the age of best Olympic swimmers. Secondary aim is to determine the qualitative and quantitative data’s considering the current age in relation to the criteria of winners, medalists, and non-medal finalists at the last three Olympics (London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2021) considering gender, distance and stroke. In summary, the average age of all finalists in men was 24.1 ± 3.6 years, with the level of the range from 20.5 to 27.6 years, while in women it was 23.0 ± 3.7, with a range of 19.3 to 26.7 years, and the age of elite Olympic male and female swimmers is statistically significantly different. Also, it was found that sprinters are statistically significantly older, regardless of gender, while no difference was found between middle- and long-distance swimmers. Among the medalists, sprinters are the oldest, regardless of gender, which is mostly observed for the distance of 50m freestyle (men 27.9±2.8, women 26.1±1.6 years). In relation to different techniques, among male swimmers, breaststroke swimmers are the oldest (25.0 years), while freestyle swimmers are the oldest among female swimmers (23.2 years). The results of the regression equations showed that the average age of swimmers at the next Olympic Games in Paris in 2024 will be 24.3 years, but that the average age of female swimmers will be 24.2 years (almost equal to male swimmers). In general, it could be concluded that there is a slight tendency for top female Olympic swimmers to get older, while this tendency has not been established for male swimmers.

Keywords: Olympic athletes, swimmers, age of athletes

Faculty of Physical Education and sport Banja Luka

Faculty of Physical Education and Sport

University of Banja Luka

University of Banja Luka