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Rio 2016


Swiss Olympic success – and failure – over the years




Slipping into something less comfortable: equestrian Janika Sprunger is one of 105 Swiss athletes hoping to strike gold, silver or bronze in Rio (Keystone)

Slipping into something less comfortable: equestrian Janika Sprunger is one of 105 Swiss athletes hoping to strike gold, silver or bronze in Rio

(Keystone)

Paris, 1924. Those were the days when Swiss Olympians returned home weighed down by a record 25 medals – 25 more than in London and Stockholm earlier in the century. Today, Swiss Olympic will be happy with five.

There are a total of 105 athletes – 59 men and 46 women, aged 18 to 53 – are chasing gold, silver and bronze in Rio. This year the Swiss have set themselves a target of five medals, one more than the haul from London four years ago, although that target was set before Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka, who won gold together in Beijing in 2008, pulled out injured.

Switzerland has a mixed record at the Summer Olympics, which begin on August 5. It has won a total of 184 medals from 27 Games, averaging just under seven per Games. But results fluctuate wildly, from 25 medals in Paris in 1924 to two blank sheets (London 1908 and Stockholm 1912 – admittedly only one Swiss athlete was sent both times). Switzerland has picked up just one medal three times: Los Angeles (1932), Melbourne (1956) and Barcelona (1992).

The most successful Swiss athlete at the Summer Olympics is gymnast Georges Miez (1904-1999), who amassed four golds, three silvers and one bronze between 1928 and 1936.

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