When did badminton debut at the Olympics?

Badminton debuted at the Olympics in 1992 in Barcelona. 

How many events were played in badminton during its Olympic debut?

At the badminton Olympic debut in 1992 in Barcelona, there were four events: 

  • Women's singles
  • Men's singles
  • Women's doubles
  • Men's doubles

The mixed doubles event was added to Olympic badminton at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Who was the first woman to win gold in Olympic badminton?

Indonesia's Susi Susanti took home the first women's singles gold medal in Olympic badminton. She went on to claim bronze in 1996 in Atlanta.

What country has the most medals in Olympic badminton?

China dominates the Olympic badminton medal count with 47 as of 2024. Indonesia falls second with 21 total Olympic badminton medals. South Korea is in third with 20. 

Has the United States ever won a medal at the Olympics in badminton?

The United States has never won a medal of any kind in badminton at the Olympics. 

Olympic badminton results by year

Tokyo, 2020

China ultimately finished with the biggest haul, but it wasn’t the golden sweep that the rankings foreshadowed. 

Denmark's Viktor Axelsen's play was perfect as he managed to win every game en route to the finals. He ultimately dethroned 2016 Olympic champion Chen Long in the men's singles division. 

In women's singles, China's Chen Yufei defeated Chinese Taipei's Tai Tzu-Ying in a close three-game match. Tai's medal was the first-ever Olympic silver in badminton for Chinese Taipei.

The doubles events saw the greatest badminton upsets in Tokyo. Chinese Taipei's Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin took home the gold against China in a swift 34 minutes in men's doubles. Indonesia won its first gold medal at the Tokyo Games when Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu defeated China in women's doubles.

The mixed doubles event was a China vs. China match, and Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping took home the gold. 

Rio, 2016

China missed the women's singles podium for the first time since 1996 after Li Xuerui, the London Olympic champion, lost against Japan's Nozomi Okuhara in the bronze-medal match. Reigning world champion Carolina Marin won Spain its first Olympic badminton medal, a gold, beating India's P.V. Sindhu.

In the men's singles, reigning world champion Chen Long of China defeated Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei, giving Wei his third consecutive Olympic silver.

China's Fu Haifeng defended his gold in the men's doubles alongside Zhang Nan, who won gold in the mixed doubles at the London Games. Zhang brought home a bronze medal as well in the mixed doubles with Zhao Yunlei, the 2012 Olympic champion in the event.

Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi of Japan took gold in the women's doubles.

London, 2012

Unfortunately, badminton at the 2012 Games was marred by controversy: women's doubles teams from China, South Korea and Indonesia were disqualified for blatantly throwing matches in order to manipulate the round-robin draw. Regardless, China once again ended up in the top spot, winning gold in each of the five major categories. 

For the second time, badminton legends Lin "Super" Dan and Lee Chong Wei met in a dramatic men's singles final. Despite early signs that Lee could overcome his rival, Lin ultimately won  after a tense 19-19 score in the third game.

Beijing, 2008

Appropriately, China won big with eight total medals when the country's second-largest city hosted the Games (three gold, two silver and three bronze). Lin "Super" Dan earned the top spot over Malaysian rival Lee Chong Wei in their first Olympic final match-up, while Zhang Ning took home her second gold in women's singles.

Athens, 2004

China continued to perform well in badminton at the 2004 Games, winning five medals total and three golds. Zhang Ning won the top prize in women's singles for the first time; Gao Ling - who had previously won a gold and a bronze in Sydney - repeated her two-pronged victory with another gold in mixed doubles and a silver in women's doubles. 

South Korea won four medals at the Athens Games, while Indonesia won three.

Sydney, 2000

For the first time, China demonstrated its Olympic badminton dominance at the Sydney Games, winning eight of the 15 given medals. The Asian powerhouse took home gold in men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, women's doubles and mixed doubles; additionally, China won gold, silver and bronze in women's doubles. China's Gao Ling left Australia with a gold medal in mixed doubles and a bronze in mixed. 

Badminton great Tony Gunawan won gold alongside Indonesia's Candra Wijaya in men's doubles. Gunawan would later represent the United States in men's doubles at the London Games.

Atlanta, 1996

Mixed doubles and bronze medal matches were introduced at the 1996 Olympics. 

Though South Korea, Indonesia and China all earned four medals each, it was South Korea that ended up on top: Bang Soo-hyun won gold in the women's singles tournament, while Kim Dong-Moon and Gil Young-Ah won gold in the mixed doubles competition.

Barcelona, 1992

Though badminton made its debut at the 1972 Olympics as a demonstration sport, it wasn't an official Olympic sport until two decades later in Barcelona. Players competed in men's singles, men's doubles, women's singles and women's doubles. 

Indonesia was the big winner in Barcelona, taking home four of 16 medals, including gold in men's singles and women's singles, as well as two silver medals and a bronze; in this tournament, two bronze medals were distributed in each of the four categories, as no bronze-medal matches were held to determine third and fourth place. Because of this, China had the highest medal haul, with four bronzes and one silver. 

While no mixed doubles competition was held at Barcelona, Indonesia's singles gold medalists Alan Budikusuma and Susi Susanti became a mixed doubles pair of a different sort, eventually marrying one another.