Olympic field hockey results by year

Tokyo 2020

In the men's tournament, Belgium and Australia went head-to-head in the gold-medal match, with Belgium emerging victorious, 3-2. It was an historic moment for Belgian field hockey, having never won an Olympic gold medal before. India won its first Olympic medal in field hockey since 1980 by defeating Germany in the bronze-medal match. It was a momentous occasion for Indian field hockey — once dominating forces in the sport — signaling a return to the podium after a long drought. 

In the women's tournament, the Netherlands secured the gold medal once again with a dominant performance over Argentina, 3-1. Great Britain, the defending champions, defeated India to win the bronze medal. 

Rio 2016

On the women's side, Great Britain upset defending champion the Netherlands 2-0 in the final on a penalty shootout after coming to a 3-3 draw during regulation. Germany won the bronze medal, defeating New Zealand 2-1. 

On the men's side, Argentina won its first-ever Olympic gold medal by defeating Belgium 4-2 in the final. Germany, the defending champion, won the bronze-medal matchup 4-3 (on a penalty shootout) over the Netherlands. 

London 2012 

The German men succeeded in defending its 2008 Olympic gold by beating the Netherlands 2-1 in the final thanks to two goals by Jan Philipp Rabente. Australia won the bronze, beating Great Britain 3-1. 

The Dutch women took home their second consecutive gold medal, beating Argentina 2-0. Great Britain beat New Zealand in the bronze-medal match to make the podium on home soil.

Beijing 2008

Germany's Christopher Zeller scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Spain in the final in Beijing. The German men had last won gold in 1992. Spain added to the silver medals it won in 1980 and 1996. 

The Netherlands, the reigning world champions on the women's side, carried the No. 1 ranking into the final. The Dutch lived up to its billing and defeated the hosts China 2-0 to win the gold. 

German player Christopher Zeller  battles for control of the ball against China player Meng Xuguang
German player Christopher Zeller battles for control of the ball against China player Meng Xuguang in pool play at the Olympic Green Hockey Stadium. Germany beat China 4-1.
Jerry Lai - USA TODAY Sports

Athens 2004

The Australian men won its first-ever Olympic field hockey gold medal with a stunning 2-1 victory over defending champion Netherlands. The Aussies won in overtime through a Jamie Dwyer goal scored in the 78th minute.

The Netherlands entered the Games as heavy favorites to claim women's gold with 2003 FIH Player of the Year Mijntje Donners on their squad. However, Germany, which lost twice in pool play, scored twice in the opening 20 minutes of the final and held on for a 2-1 upset victory and its first gold medal. 

Sydney 2000 

The Netherlands edged South Korea, 8-7, on penalty strokes to become the first team to win consecutive men's titles since India in 1956.

The host Aussies topped Argentina, 3-1, to become the first women's field hockey team to defend an Olympic title.

Atlanta 1996

Dating back to 1968, the Netherlands never finished outside the top six in the men's Olympic field hockey tournament. During that stretch, the Dutch placed fourth on three occasions and won bronze in 1988. Finally, in Atlanta, the nation cleared the semifinal hurdle, and defeated an upstart Spanish team, 3-1, in the final.

Australia won the women's field hockey tournament, finishing with a 27-5 goal differential, capped by a 3-1 victory over South Korea in the final. Australia extended its international unbeaten streak to 39 matches.

Barcelona 1992 

In the final, Germany defeated Australia to win its first Olympic gold in men's field hockey. Pakistan took home the bronze medal. 

Despite little tradition in the sport, host Spain won gold in women's field hockey, beating Germany 2-1 in overtime. 

Seoul 1988

The British men defeated West Germany for the gold medal — Great Britain's first Olympic field hockey gold medal since 1920. 

Australia and South Korea met in the final of the women's tournament with Australia taking home the gold. It was the first Olympic field hockey medal for both nations. 

Los Angeles 1984 

Pakistan beat West Germany in the final of the men's tournament. It was Pakistan's seventh Olympic medal in men's field hockey. 

In round-robin play of the women's tournament at the 1984 Games, Australia defeated the United States 3-1. But the teams wound up tied for third behind the Netherlands (gold) and West Germany (silver) with identical 2-2-1 records and goal totals (9 scored, 7 allowed). The rules required the teams to engage in a penalty stroke shoot-off, which the Americans won, 10-5, to claim bronze. This was the first and only Olympic field hockey medal for the American women to date. 

Moscow 1980 

Against a field depleted by the American-led boycott, India won its eighth gold medal in men's field hockey, defeating Spain, 4-3, in the final. Spain was the only other country from the 1976 competition to participate in Moscow.

Five of the six women's teams originally expected to compete in the inaugural women's Olympic field hockey tournament boycotted the Moscow Games. As a result, Zimbabwe, a last-minute replacement subsidized by the Soviet Union and International Olympic Committee, emerged as the surprise winner. Czechoslovakia was second and the Soviets third.

Montreal 1976

The Games are the first at which field hockey is played entirely on artificial turf. Also for the first time, a country not from Europe or Asia won the gold medal, as New Zealand nipped Australia, 1-0, in the final. All future Olympic field hockey tournaments are contested on synthetic surfaces.

Munich 1972 

Not since Great Britain in 1920 had a team other than India or Pakistan earned an Olympic men's field hockey title. But in Munich, host West Germany beat defending champion Pakistan, 1-0, in the gold-medal match. Outraged by the officiating, several Pakistani players and fans doused the International Hockey Federation president with water. Some members of the team turned away from the German flag during the medal ceremony. The IOC banned 11 Pakistan players for life, but all were reinstated before the next Olympics.

Mexico City 1968 

Pakistan made its fourth straight appearance in the final, this time facing off against Australia. Pakistan defeated the Aussies to win gold. India took home the bronze. 

Tokyo 1964

For the third consecutive Games, India and Pakistan met in the final. After splitting the first two meetings, India came out on top to win its seventh Olympic men's field hockey gold medal. 

Rome 1960 

Four years after India denied Pakistan the gold, Pakistan returned the favor, defeating India in the gold medal match. India's loss broke its streak of six straight Olympic men's field hockey gold medals.  

Melbourne 1956 

India defeated Pakistan in the final to win gold, extending its Olympic gold-medal streak to six Games. Germany took home the bronze, its third ever Olympic men's field hockey medal.  

Helsinksi 1952

In a rematch of the 1928 final, India again beat the Netherlands to win gold, its fifth straight. Great Britain claimed bronze. 

London 1948

After a 12-year break from Olympic field hockey, India continued its dominance winning its fourth consecutive gold medal. Great Britain took home the silver and Netherlands won bronze. 

Berlin 1936

India completed a three-peat in field hockey, defeating Germany in the final. Richard Allen and Dhyan Chand became the first players to win three field hockey gold medals. 

Los Angeles 1932

India won its second consecutive gold medal, this time beating Japan. The U.S. took home the bronze, which is the country's only Olympic men's field hockey medal to date. 

Amsterdam 1928

After field hockey was not played at the 1924 Olympics, the tournament came back in 1928 with India defeating Netherlands in the gold-medal match. 

Antwerp 1920

Great Britain competed as a united region and beat Denmark in the final to win gold. Belgium won bronze, its first Olympic men's field hockey medal. 

London 1908

In the first Olympic field hockey tournament, the factions of Great Britain, England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, competed as separate nations and swept the podium. England took home the gold, Ireland won silver and Scotland and Wales shared the bronze.

Frequently Asked Questions

When did field hockey become an Olympic sport?

Field hockey made its Olympic debut at the 1908 London Olympics.

Where is field hockey most popular?

Field hockey is very popular in the Netherlands, with a strong tradition of success on both the men's and women's side. The sport is also widely followed in India, as the country has a rich history of Olympic success. Australia and Germany have performed well historically and have garnered a large fan-following. In recent years, the sport as grown in popularity in Argentina, especially given the women's success with multiple Olympic medals and World Cup wins. 

What is the history of Olympic field hockey in the United States?

The United States made its Olympic field hockey debut at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. The first and only Olympic medal for the U.S. men came during those Games when the team won bronze. The U.S. women's team also won the bronze medal when the Games returned to Los Angeles in 1984 — the only time the women's team has landed on the medal podium. 

The men's team has played in six Olympics — 1996 being the most recent. Paris marks the seventh Olympic appearance for the U.S. women's team after failing to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.