GB Olympic Champions 1896-2014
Go to CONTENTS page

Sports at which Great Britain has wonSilver and/or Bronze Medals
but not a Gold Medal

Excluding the Art Competitions, Britain has won gold medals in 31 sports at the Summer and Winter Olympics.
In addition they have won medals in 10 more sports and their best performances in each of these sports have been:


Judo Medals: 8 Silver, 10 Bronze
Britain has won eight silver medals at Judo since it was introduced as a full Olymic sport at Tokyo in 1964. The silver medals have been won by: Dave Starbook (1972 men's half-heavyweight), Keith Remfry (1976 men's open class), Neil Adams (1980 men's lightweight, 1984 men's half-middleweight), Nicola Fairbrother (1992 women's lightweight), Ray Stevens (1992 men's half-heavyweight), Kate Howey (2000 women's middleweight) and Gemma Gibbons (2012 women's heavyweight).
      Adams, Starbrook and Howey have each won two judo medals. Angelo Parisi who won bronze for Britain in the 1972 open class went on to win three more medals (one gold and two silver), but they were for France in 1980 and 1984. He is the most decorated Judoka in Olympic history with four medals.
       In addition, Britain has won ten bronze medals and the 18 Judo medals is the most by the Great Britain any sport that has not yielded a gold medal. When women's judo was first held as a demonstartion sport in 1988 British girls Sharon Rendle and Diane Bell both won gold medals.

Gymnastics 2 Silver, 6 Bronze
Walter Tysall won the silver medal in the men's all-round cometition in 1908 and it was not until London in 2012 that another Briton won a silver medal when Louis Smith came second in the pommelled horse event. He won bronze in the event in 2008 and was a member of the British team that also won bronze in 2012 making him the most celebrated British gymnast.

Diving 2 Silver, 5 Bronze
Eileen Armstrong won Britain's first diving silver medal in the high diving event at the 1920 Summer Olympics. Her achievement was emulated by Peter Waterfield and Leon Taylor, who won silver in the men's synchronised platform event at Athens in 2004. Five British divers also won bronze medals including, perhaps, their best known divers Brian Phelps (1960) and Tom Daley (2012).

Rugby 2 Silver
Great Britain has won two rugby silver medals. Firstly at Paris in 1900 when they were represented by the Moseley Wanderers in a three team round robin series. France beat Germany in the first match and then beat Moseley 27-8 in the second game. France won gold while Germany and Britain each took the silver medal. At the White City stadium in 1908 Great Britain lost the only match of the tournament 32-3 to Australasia to take the silver medal. The British team was represented by the reigning County champions Cornwall.
       As rugby is returning to the Olympic programme in Brazil in 2016, in the form of Rugby Sevens, then Great Britain can possibly add to their medal tally.

Badminton 1 Silver, 1 Bronze
Great Britain's Derek Talbot and Gillian Gilks won the mixed doubles at the inaugural Badminton competition in 1972 when it was a demonstration sport only. The only two full medals were won by Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms who took silver in the mixed doubles at Athens in 2004, and by Simon Archer and Joanne Wright-Goode won had four years earlier won a bronze medal, also in the mixed doubles.

Golf 1 Silver, 1 Bronze
Golf made its debut at the 1900 Paris Olympics and was held againt four year s later in St. Louis. At Paris in 1900 British men, Walter Rutherford and David Robertson took silver and bronze respectively behind the American winner Charles Sands. It has not been part of the Olympic prgramme since 1900, but is returning in Brazil in 2016.

Jeu de Paume 1 Silver, 1 Bronze
Britain's two medals at Jeu de Paume (also known as Real Tennis) both came in the 1908 London Olympics. The silver was won by Eustace Miles who lost to the American Jay Gould in the men's singles final. At 39 years of age, Miles was nearly twice the age of his opponent. Britain also won the bronze in the men's singles when Neville Lytton beat fellow Briton Arthur Page. Jeu de Paume appeared only once as a full medal event at the Olympics.

Lacrosse 1 Silver
Lacrosse twice figured as a full Olympic sport, in 1904 and 1908. Canada won the gold medal on both occasions and also on both ccasions just two teams took part. Britain took the silver medal in 1908 when they pushed the fancied North Americans before losing 14-10 in front of a very large crowd at the White City Stadium... largely thanks to the fact that the final was played immediately before the football final!
Lacrosse also figured as a demonstration sport on three other occasions and British representatives won two of them, in 1928 and 1948.


Short Track Speed Skating 1 Bronze
The bronze medal won by Nick Gooch in the men's 500 metres event at Lillehammer in 1994 is Britain's only speed skating medal. However, when the sport was introduced as a demonstation sport at Calgary in 1988, Britain's Wilf O'Reilly won both the 500 and 1000 metres races. Terry Monaghan's 5th place (out of 30) in the 10,000 metres at Squaw Valley in 1960 is Britain's best speed skating performance before the advent of short track speed skating.

Snowboarding 1 Bronze
Lizzie Jones won the bronze medal in the women's slopestyle event in 2014 - it was Britain's first ever medal on snow at the Winter Olympics. No British man has won a medal in snowboarding.

Sports at which Great Britain has not won a medal of any colour

In addition the sports above, where Britain has won at least a bronze medal, they have also competed in 17 other sports that are still part of the Summer and Winter Olympic programme without yielding a single medal. These are their best performances in each of those sports:


The British men came 9th (out of 12) at the 2012 London Olympics. It was only the second time since the 1948 Olympics they had entered the basketball compettion, The British women entered for the first time in 2012 and finished 11th (out of 12)

Beach Volleyball
The British women (Audrey Cooper and Amanda Glover) tied 9th (out of 18) at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.

Both the British men and women competed for the first time in 2012 and finished 12th and bottom in their respective competitions.

Rhythmic Gymnastics
Hannah McKibbin finished 21st (out of 24) at Athens in 2004. But, technically, Deborah Southwick's 22nd out of 42 in the qualifying competition at Barcelona in 1992 is a better performance - she was joint 17th in the rope section, her best individual discipline.

Synchronised Swimming
Caroline Holmyard and Carolyn Wilson came close to a medal when they finished fourth in the duet event in 1984.

Table Tennis
Desmond Douglas in 1988 and Carl Prean in 1992 were both claissified equal 9th out of 64. But, as Douglas won six out of seven group matches, compared to Prean's three wins out of three group matches, then Douglas's must be treated as the better of the two performances.

Lee Brearley was ranked 6th (out of 12) in the men's event in 2000. Kat Driscoll was classifieg 9th in 2012, the best finish by a British woman. She just failed to make it into the final round by .01 of a point.

Britain entered the volleyball competition for the first time in 2012. The women's team were ranked joint 9th out of 12and the men came joint 11th, also out of 12.


Alpine Skiing
The best performance was Gina Hathorn's equal 4th in the slalom in 1968. At the same Games Felicity Field came 6th for the best performance in the downhill. The best performance by a male skieer is Martin Bell's 8th place in the downhill in 1988

Britain's best results were in 1972 when the men finished 11th in the 4.75 km relay and with one member of the team, Keith Oliver, also finishing 11th in the 20 kilometres event. No British women have taken part in the Biathlon

Cross Country Skiing
Thde British women finished 11th (out of 12) in the 4 x 5 kilometre relay in 1984. The best men's result is 14th in the 4 x 10 kilometre relay in 1856 and 1964. The 1964 is deemed to be the better perforamnce because they were 14th out of 15 while they were last of 14 in 1956.

Freestyle Skiing
The best men's finish is 10th (out of 24) by Richard Cobbing in the Aerials in 1994 and the best finish by a woman is 15th (out of 24) by Jilly Curry in the Moguls in 1992.

Derek Prentice and Christopher Dyason finished 14th (out of 19) in the men's doubles in 1980. At the same Games Jeremy Palmer-Tomkinson (uncle of Tara) finished 15th (out of 30) in the men's singles - Britain's best result in a singles event. The best result by a female competitor is 20th (out of 24) by Alyson Wreford in 1988.

Nordic Combined
Percy Legard is the only Briton to have taken part in the Nordic Combined event, finishing 45th out of 51 starters in 1936.

Ski Jumping
Only two Britons have taken oart in Olympic ski jumping competition. The best result was by Glynn Pedersen who was classified 43rd in the normal hill event in 2002. But Britain can claim to have one of the best know ski jumpers of all time, if only for his failure. Cheltenham plasterer Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards came 55th and last in the large hill event and 58th and last in the small hill event in 1988. In both events he jumped barely half the distance of the penultinate jumper. But his failure turned him into a favourite with the Calgary fans and also with millions and millions watching on television worldwide. Ask and Briton to name a ski jumper and there is only one answer they will give you - "Eddie the Eagle"

Snow Boarding
Zöe Gillings finished 8th in the 2010 Bordercross event. The best men's result was also in 2010 when Ben Kilner came 18th in the Halfpipe.

Go to CONTENTS page is the copyright of Ian Morrison © 2013 and permission to use any of the information must first be obtained in writing and this website should also be accredited when using material from it. Webmaster and copyright owner: