Donovan Bailey, Bruny Surin, Glenroy Gilbert and Robert Esmie raise their hands as they celebrate gold.

Athletics

Canadian Olympic Medal Count

Gold medal icon 16
Silver medal icon 18
Bronze medal icon 32

Sport Overview

Athletics at Paris 2024

Venues: Stade de France (track and field), Hôtel de Ville / Invalides (marathons), Pont d’Iéna (race walks)

Competition Dates: August 1-11 (Days 6-16)

Events: 48 (23 men, 23 women, 2 mixed)

Trivia: Test your knowledge!

Andre De Grasse runs in the 200m

The 48 athletics events are the most of any sport on the Olympic program. All are contested separately by men and women except where noted. The events can be divided into five groups:

* Track events (100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 5000m, 10,000m, 110m hurdles – men, 100m hurdles – women, 400m hurdles, 3000m steeplechase, 4x100m relay, 4x400m relay — men, women, mixed)

* Throwing events (shot put, discus, hammer, javelin)

* Jumping events (high jump, pole vault, long jump, triple jump)

* Combined events (decathlon – men, heptathlon – women)

* Road events (marathon, 20km race walk, race walk mixed team)

On the track, all events 1500m and shorter include three rounds of competition (round one, semifinals, final). The 5000m, steeplechase, and relays are two rounds (round one, final) while the 10,000m is a one-race final.

Dylan Armstrong with the shot tucked under his chin ready to throw it

In the throwing events, only the best attempt is counted for each athlete. After three attempts in a qualification round, the top 12 advance to the final. Following their first three attempts in the final, the top eight athletes receive three more attempts to improve their placement.

In high jump and pole vault, athletes can enter the competition at any height and pass on any height, but three consecutive failures leads to elimination until one athlete remains. In long jump and triple jump, only the best attempt is counted for each athlete. After three attempts in a qualification round, the top 12 advance to the final. Following their first three attempts in the final, the top eight receive three more attempts to improve their placement.

Brianne Theisen-Easton flies in the air during a long jump

In the combined events, athletes are awarded points which correlate to the times/measurements achieved in each event. The decathlon is 10 events (Day 1 — 100m, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400m; Day 2 — 110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, 1500m) while the heptathlon is seven events (Day 1 — 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200m; Day 2 — long jump, javelin, 800m).

The road events are all mass starts. In the race walks, athletes must always have one foot in contact with the ground and completely straighten their leg on each stride. Three violations leads to disqualification.

Canada’s Olympic Athletics History (Pre-Paris 2024)

With 66 Olympic medals, Canada has won more medals in athletics than in any other sport. Canada won six athletics medals at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, the country’s best total since the nine won at Los Angeles 1932.

Damian Warner spins to throw the discus

At Tokyo 2020, Damian Warner became Canada’s first Olympic champion in the combined events. He led the decathlon from start to finish as he set the Olympic record in the event and became just the fourth man to ever break the 9000-point mark. It followed the bronze medal he had won at Rio 2016.

Andre De Grasse is the first Canadian man to win six Olympic medals, earning three each at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020. After winning silver in the 200m and bronze in the 100m and 4x100m relay in Rio, he captured 200m gold in Tokyo and was again on the podium in the 100m and 4x100m relay. Aaron Brown and Brendon Rodney were also part of both relay medals.

History was also made in Tokyo by Evan Dunfee and Mohammed Ahmed. With his bronze, Dunfee became Canada’s first Olympic medallist in the 50km race walk, while Ahmed’s 5000m silver made him Canada’s first Olympic medallist in a long distance track event.

Derek Drouin goes over the high jump bar

At Rio 2016, Derek Drouin became Canada’s first Olympic champion in a field event since 1932, winning gold with a clean sheet, just the sixth high jumper to ever do so in Olympic history. It was Canada’s fourth ever men’s high jump medal, following Greg Joy’s silver at Montreal 1976, Duncan McNaughton’s gold at Los Angeles 1932, and Drouin’s own silver at London 2012, where he was part of a three-way tie.  In Rio, Canada was also the only country to win medals in both combined events, as heptathlete Brianne Theisen-Eaton joined Warner as a bronze medallist.

There was a pair of bronze medals at Beijing 2008 as Priscilla Lopes-Schliep won Canada’s first Olympic medal on the track since Atlanta 1996, where Donovan Bailey became the “world’s fastest man” by winning the 100m gold in world record time and then anchored the 4x100m relay team to gold. Dylan Armstrong captured Canada’s first Olympic throwing medal since Stockholm 1912 when Duncan Gillis won hammer throw silver.

Until De Grasse’s success at Tokyo 2020, the most medals won by a single athlete had been the five bronzes that Phil Edwards earned in middle distance events from 1928 to 1936.

Black and white image of Ethel Catherwood during her high jump. Her left leg is going over the high jump bar with her right about to follow.

Amsterdam 1928 stands out as perhaps Canada’s greatest Olympic Games in athletics. Women competed in athletics for the first time, leading to the first female members of a summer Canadian Olympic Team. They won four medals, including gold in the high jump by Ethel Catherwood and the 4x100m relay. Percy Williams is the star of the sprints, becoming the only Canadian to achieve double gold in the 100m and 200m.

Canada’s first ever Olympic medals came in athletics thanks to George Orton, who won 2500m steeplechase gold and 400m hurdles bronze in the span of an hour at Paris 1900.

Olympic Athletics History

Athletics is one of the original Olympic sports, having been included at every Games since Athens 1896. Of the 23 men’s events on the program at Paris 2024, 22 of them have been consistently contested dating back to Antwerp 1920. The last addition was the 20km race walk at Melbourne 1956.

Fanny racing during the 1999 Summer Olympics

Women were first allowed to compete in Olympic athletics events at Amsterdam 1928. Starting with just five events at those Games, the competition was gradually expanded. By Rome 1960, women could compete in 10 events. At Los Angeles 1984, there were 17 events as women were finally permitted to run distances longer than 1500m and the marathon made its debut. It wasn’t until Beijing 2008 that the current 23 women’s events were fully established with the last addition, the 3000m steeplechase.

The most recent changes to the Olympic program were the addition of a mixed 4x400m relay at Tokyo 2020 and a swap in the race walk program for Paris 2024. The men’s 50km race walk, which was included from Los Angeles 1932 to Tokyo 2020, has been replaced by a mixed team race walk event.  

Canadian Medallists

Event Athlete Finish Games
Steeplechase 2500m - MenGeorge OrtonGold1900 Paris
Weight Throw 56lb - MenÉtienne DesmarteauGold1904 St. Louis
200m - MenRobert KerrGold1908 London
Race Walk 10km - MenGeorge GouldingGold1912 Stockholm
Hurdles 110m - MenEarl ThomsonGold1920 Antwerp
100m - MenPercy WilliamsGold1928 Amsterdam
200m - MenPercy WilliamsGold1928 Amsterdam
Relay 4x100m - WomenEthel Smith, Fanny "Bobbie" Rosenfeld, Jane Bell, Myrtle Cook Gold1928 Amsterdam
High Jump - WomenEthel CatherwoodGold1928 Amsterdam
High Jump - MenDuncan McNaughtonGold1932 Los Angeles
Hurdles 110m - MenMark McKoyGold1992 Barcelona
100m - MenDonovan BaileyGold1996 Atlanta
Relay 4x100m - MenBruny Surin, Carlton Chambers, Donovan Bailey, Glenroy Gilbert, Robert EsmieGold1996 Atlanta
High Jump - MenDerek DrouinGold2016 Rio
200m - Men Andre De GrasseGold2020 Tokyo
Decathlon - Men Damian WarnerGold2020 Tokyo
Triple Jump - MenJ. Garfield MacDonaldSilver1908 London
Hammer Throw - MenDuncan GillisSilver1912 Stockholm
Long Jump - MenCalvin BrickerSilver1912 Stockholm
100m - WomenFanny "Bobbie" RosenfeldSilver1928 Amsterdam
400m - MenJames BallSilver1928 Amsterdam
100m - WomenHilda StrikeSilver1932 Los Angeles
Relay 4x100m - WomenHilda Strike, Lillian Alderson, Mary Frizzell, Mildred FrizzellSilver1932 Los Angeles
800m - MenAlex WilsonSilver1932 Los Angeles
Hurdles 400m - MenJohn LoaringSilver1936 Berlin
800m - MenBill CrothersSilver1964 Tokyo
High Jump - MenGreg JoySilver1976 Montreal
Relay 4x100m - WomenAngela Bailey, Angella Issajenko. France Gareau, Marita PayneSilver1984 Los Angeles
Relay 4x400m - WomenCharmaine Crooks, Dana Wright, Jillian Richardson, Marita Payne, Molly KillingbeckSilver1984 Los Angeles
Race Walk 20km - MenGuillaume LeblancSilver1992 Barcelona
200m - MenAndre De GrasseSilver2016 Rio
5000m - Men Mohammed AhmedSilver2020 Tokyo
Hurdles 400m - MenGeorge OrtonBronze1900 Paris
100m - MenRobert KerrBronze1908 London
Hammer Throw - MenCon WalshBronze1908 London
Long Jump - MenCalvin BrickerBronze1908 London
Pole Vault - MenEdward ArchibaldBronze1908 London
Pentathlon - MenFrank LukemanBronze1912 Stockholm
Pole Vault - MenWilliam HalpennyBronze1912 Stockholm
100m - WomenEthel SmithBronze1928 Amsterdam
Relay 4x400m - MenAlex Wilson, Phil Edwards, James Ball, Stanley GloverBronze1928 Amsterdam
Relay 4x400m - MenRaymond Lewis, James Ball, Phil Edwards, Alex WilsonBronze1932 Los Angeles
400m - MenAlex WilsonBronze1932 Los Angeles
800m - MenPhil EdwardsBronze1932 Los Angeles
1500m - MenPhil EdwardsBronze1932 Los Angeles
High Jump - WomenEva DawesBronze1932 Los Angeles
Relay 4x100m - WomenAileen Meagher, Dorothy Brookshaw, Hilda Cameron, Jeanette DolsonBronze1936 Berlin
800m - MenPhil EdwardsBronze1936 Berlin
Hurdles 80m - WomenBetty TaylorBronze1936 Berlin
Relay 4x100m - WomenDiane Foster, Nancy MacKay, Patricia Jones, Viola MyersBronze1948 London
100m - MenHarry JeromeBronze1964 Tokyo
100m - MenBen JohnsonBronze1984 Los Angeles
3000m - WomenLynn WilliamsBronze1984 Los Angeles
Relay 4x100m - MenBen Johnson, Desai Williams, Sterling Hinds, Tony SharpeBronze1984 Los Angeles
Decathlon - MenDave SteenBronze1988 Seoul
3000m - WomenAngela ChalmersBronze1992 Barcelona
Hurdles 100m - WomenPriscilla Lopes-SchliepBronze2008 Beijing
Shot Put - MenDylan ArmstrongBronze2008 Beijing
High Jump - MenDerek DrouinSilver 2012 London
100m - MenAndre De GrasseBronze2016 Rio
Decathlon - MenDamian Warner Bronze2016 Rio
4x100m Relay - MenAndre De Grasse Brendon Rodney Bolade Ajomale Aaron BownBronze2016 Rio
Heptathlon - WomenBrianne Theisen-EatonBronze2016 Rio
100m - MenAndre De GrasseBronze2020 Tokyo
50km Race Walk - MenEvan DunfeeBronze2020 Tokyo
4x100m Relay - MenAaron Brown, Jerome Blake, Brendon Rodney, Andre De GrasseSilver2020 Tokyo

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