OLYMPIC GAMES

Which athletes have participated in most Olympic Games ever

Who are the athletes that were competing at the most editions of the Olympics history, and from what sports and which countries they came from.

0
Which athletes have participated in most Olympic Games ever

As you could guess, the Olympic Games' participation differs drastically depending on the athlete's sport. Some sports allow the athlete greater longevity at the elite level. One of those Olympic sports is equestrian, and this sport is where the current record holder by the number of participation is coming from.

Ian Millar - Canada

The Canadian Ian Millar started his Olympic journey at Munich in 1972 and ended at London in 2012, being absent only from the 1980 Summer Olympics due to Canada's boycott with staggering 40 years competing and 10 Olympic Games participation on his belt. His only medal, silver in the team jumping tournament, came at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics but brought him a level of national fame not customarily seen for Canadians in the sport. He was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1986, named Ontario's Male Athlete of the Year in 1989, and inducted into the Canada Sports Hall of Fame in 1996 alongside his most famous horse Big Ben. He now operates and trains at Millar Brooke Farm in Ontario and has written a book, Riding High, based on his show-jumping experiences in the 1970s and 80s.

Besides the Olympics competitions, his greatest successes have come at the Pan American Games at the international level, where he has won one gold, four silver, and one bronze medal in team jumping events and two gold and one bronze medal in individual competitions. He had won at the 1988 and 1989 World Cup Finals with Big Ben, becoming the first-ever rider to finish first in back-to-back World Cup standings with the same horse.

Josefa Idem-Guerrini - Italy/Germany

Among the female competitors, the Italian/German kayaker Josefa Idem-Guerrini at the London 2012 Games set an Olympic record by becoming the first woman to compete at eight Olympic Games. Born in West Germany, she first competed at the Games in 1984, immediately winning a bronze medal with Barbara Schüttpelz in the K-2. Shortly after the Seoul Games, she moved to Italy. There, she met her new coach and future husband, Guglielmo Guerrini. The new partnership proved successful, winning her first World Championship medals in 1989. Starting in 1990, Josefa Idem competed for Italy, and she promptly won her first world title in the K-1 500m, adding a second one in the K-1 5000m in 1991. The results at the Olympic Games were somewhat disappointing, finishing fourth in Barcelona and third in Atlanta.

But Idem-Guerrini rose to the top again, winning another world title in 1998 (K-1 1000m), her first Olympic gold in Sydney, and the double (K-1 500m and 1000m) at the 2001 World Championships in Poznań. After giving birth to her second child, she made a comeback at the Athens Olympics. While failing to defend her title, she still managed a silver medal. She repeated this at the Beijing Games, where she finished only 4/1000ths of a second short from the gold medal. She won five Olympic medals during her career and 22 World Championship medals, including five World golds.

Later she became involved in politics, and in 2013, she became Minister for Gender Equality and Sports in the Italian government.