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Olympic Games Category Mapping

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: Mar 2020 [unknown]
Location: [unknown]
Surnames/tags: Sports Olympics Categorization
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Current Olympics categories: Olympic Movement

Note:This category structure was approved via g2g and implemented in March 2020. Any proposed changes should be addressed to the Categorization project via a g2g post. See: the g2g post.


  • Top Level - Categories with no profiles attached
  • Landing level category - Categories that hold profiles

Olympic Movement <---Level 1 (designated top level)

  • Olympic Committee Members <---Level 2, all designated as top level categories, except as noted
  • Founders of the Modern Olympic Games (landing level category)
  • Olympic Games
  • Alternate Olympic Games (See Note 1, below)

Breakdown of each group of categories in Level 2

  • Olympic Commitee Members (designated top level)
    • Country, National Olympic Committee Members (landing level category) with an added location category parent category.
    • International Olympic Committee Members (landing level category)
  • Founders of the Modern Olympic Games (landing level category) will be a small category for the founders, including founders of the Alternate Olympic Games (i.e. Eunice Kennedy Shriver)
  • Olympic Games
    • YYYY Olympic Summer/Winter Games (landing level) with an added location category parent category
    • Olympians
      • Olympians Representing XXXXCountry (landing level category) with an added location category parent category
      • Olympic Medalists (container category)
        • Olympic Gold Medalists (landing level category)
        • Olympic Silver Medalists (landing level category)
        • Olympic Bronze Medalists (landing level category)
    • Olympic Judges and Referees (landing level category)
    • Olympic Volunteers (landing level category)
  • Alternate Olympic Games (container category) (See Note 1)
    • YYYY Alternate Olympic Games (landing level) with added location category parent category
    • Alternate Olympics Olympians
      • Alternate Olympic Medalists (for each alternate type of Olympics)
        • Alternate Gold Medalists (landing level category)
        • Alternate SIlver Medalists (landing level category)
        • Alternate Bronze Medalists (landing level category)


  1. Alternate Olympics as recognized by the IOC (Special Olympics, Paralympic Games, Deaflympics)
  2. If an Olympian participated but did not earn a medal, the category would be the YYYY Olympic Summer/Winter Games category, and Olympians Representing XXXXCountry category. Medalists get the added medalists category.
  3. The sport can be added as a separate category and the biography can tell the story of their Olympic participation/career.
  4. Olympics judges, referees, and volunteers categories are landing levels. Specify which sport, and which Olympiad in the biography and add those categories.

Example Profiles

  • Alexandre Auguste Lippmann Individual sport category, Games categories, Olympians Representing category, medalist category.
  • Johnny Weissmuller Individual sport category, Games categories, Olympians Representing category, medalist category.


Comments: 7

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Hi Nat and Isabelle,

Thank you for all your work on this :)

I have a couple of more technical questions about how this works in practice:

1. At the first modern Olympics in 1896, silver medals were given for 1st place, copper medals for 2nd place, and no medals for 3rd place. The IOC has since retrospectively allocated gold/silver/bronze medals to these athletes. Am I correct in assuming we should categorise based on the retrospective allocation of medals, not what actually happened at the time?

2. At the 1908 and 1912 Olympics, athletes from Australia and New Zealand represented “Australasia”, which was a combined team of the two nations: see here. For the “Olympians Representing XXXXCountry” category, should this be the name of the actual team (i.e. Australasia) or the nationality of the athlete?

Thanks for your help


posted by I. Speed
edited by I. Speed
Thanks Ian, very good questions! About question 1, you are correct, we should categorise based on the retrospective allocation of medals. This concerns both 1896 and 1900 Olympics.

The second question is intriguing. The principle is to categorise according to the country the athlete was representing. This poses a problem as "Australasia" is not exactly a country. Yet, an "Olympians Representing Australasia" category would make sense. And Australasia is not the only such case - think of the Unified Team in 1992, or other Unified Teams, and there is the case of Independent Olympians. Though these are more recent and less likely to become WikiTree profiles soon, we'll need to think about it.

Thanks Isabelle. There were also mixed teams of competitors from different nations at the 1896, 1900 and 1904 Olympics.
posted by I. Speed
How will this fit with the Notables category? Would you consider medal winners as notables? If so should the medals categories have [Country, Notables] as a parent? I’ve been working on Australia, Notables and had put forward a category [Australia, Olympians] whereas you are suggesting [Olympians Representing Australia]. The standard that 5he Australia Project is working towards is to put [Country, Theme] so I was following that format. Would it be possible to change that one to conform to the Australia Project norm?
posted by Deborah (Smith) Talbot
The reason we chose to use "Olympians Representing Country" is that it has no ambiguity. We believe the format "Country, Olympians" is not as clear. There were, there are more and more Olympians who represented several countries in the course of their career, and Olympians who never represented their country of origin, but represented other countries. With this format it's clear where they fit. This format is also helpful for athletes who represented the Soviet Union, or East Germany, etc.

I would also argue that not all Olympians are notable. It would not be possible to use "Australia, Notables" as a parent of "Medallists" because it would mean every country that had a medalist should be a parent category as well. I would recommend linking the Olympians and Medallists categories from the Notables categories.

I will only add one thing to what Isabelle said. The "Location, Theme" naming scheme is one we in the Categorization Project adopted over a year ago as a WikiTree "norm", but this isn't really what we are going for here. This naming scheme will not work for every type of category.

The "Olympians Representing XXXXCountry" is more appropriate because there are often cases where a person who lives in one country but represents another is fairly common. (Here is an article: This isn't a new thing in the Olympic Games. We thought it would be simpler to categorize the athletes this way. Our bottom line in this was to make it easy to categorize the athletes, officials, etc.

posted by Natalie (Durbin) Trott
Hi Nat and Isabelle

Did you decide what to do about the category for the Founders of the modern Olympics? The England Project still has Penny Brookes causing an error by being in the top level



England Project managed profiles team

posted by Jo Fitz-Henry

Categories: Olympic Movement