FIH: Men’s Hockey at the Olympic Games: A statistical rewind

Men’s hockey has been a prominent feature of the Summer Olympic Games for over a century now making its first appearance in London 1908. In the 26 editions of the games since 1908, men’s hockey has been played at 24 editions and has been played at every edition since Amsterdam 1928. 

Hockey at the Olympic Games has experienced numerous eras and witnessed a string of legendary teams claim the ultimate prize over the past century, with 10 different gold medalists and 17 different medalists. Join us as we take a deep dive into some of the statistics that tell the story of men’s hockey at the Olympic Games…

Any statistical look at the Olympics has to begin with a look at the most successful teams in the history of the games. In men’s hockey at the games India are the most successful team in the competition’s history, medalling in 12 different editions, including 8 gold medals, 1 silver medal and 3 bronze medals. Between 1928 and 1964, India won seven gold medals and one silver medal in 8 editions, including six straight golds between Amsterdam 1928 and Melbourne 1956! India also won the gold in the 1980 Moscow games, which was followed by a medal drought of 41 years. They finally stepped back on to the podium winning a bronze medal at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.  

Pakistan and Germany have both won 3 gold medals in men’s hockey, with Pakistan also winning 3 silvers and 2 bronze medals, while Germany have 1 silver medal and 3 bronze medals. Great Britain and Netherlands have both stood on the top step twice, while Australia, West Germany, Argentina, New Zealand, England and reigning champions Belgium have each claimed one gold medal. Spain can count themselves unfortunate, having won 4 medals (3 silver and 1 bronze) without ever having claimed a gold. 

India also hold the record for most appearances in the competition, having played in 22 different editions of the games. Netherlands have the second most appearances with 20 appearances, followed by Great Britain and Spain who have appeared in 19 editions each. 

When it comes to goalscoring, it’s once again India that hold the record for most goals scored in a single edition of the competition, with their 43 goals in the Moscow 1980 Olympic Games still proving to be unassailable. India also hold the record for the second highest tally, scoring 38 goals each in the Berlin 1936 and Melbourne 1956. Belgium in Tokyo 2020 and India in Los Angeles 1932 scored 35 goals each, rounding out the five best scoring performances by teams at the Olympic Games. Each of these top-5 scoring performances at the games led to gold medal finishes for the teams.

On the opposite end, in defence, one of the great Olympic stats comes from India’s first appearance in Amsterdam 1928, when they won the gold medal without conceding a single goal throughout the campaign! The Indian team scored 29 goals without conceding at the games, which began their era of dominance in the sport.

Teun de Nooijer (Netherlands), Ric Charlesworth (Australia), David Alegre (Spain) and Pol Amat (Spain) hold the record for most appearances by men’s hockey players at the Olympic Games, with all four appearing in 5 different editions of the games. 

The Olympic Games Paris 2024 will be played from 27 July to 9 August. For more details about the competition, visit Olympics.Hockey

To access more in-depth team and player stats, visit datahub.hockey and create your account for FREE!


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