Granny gets gold riding horses!

Equestrian sport stands out with older medalists, proving age is just a number in passion and skill.

At Prospective, we believe in the power of data to tell compelling stories. As we round into the final year before the 2024 Summer Olympics, we couldn't help but dive deep into the data of competitors from over the years.

We pulled competitor data from 2000 to 2012. It’s easy to transform this data in Prospective. Download the CSV and load it into your Prospective dashboard as a data source. Now, you can transform the data however you wish without any outside dependencies.

If we look at competitors' age distribution, we’ll see a trend for athletes in their 20s. It makes sense as it tracks the same as professional sports around the world. 

Let’s look at the same information in another visualization.

Whoa! An intense spaghetti ball of lines. Looks awesome, but I’m not sure we glean much from this view.

A Sport for the Ages

What immediately stands out is the long tail of much older medalists for the equestrian sports. It boasts of having the oldest medalist, a 61-year-old, showcasing that age is just a number when it comes to passion and skill. This isn't a lone data point; equestrian has a history of older competitors lining up to showcase their mastery.

The contrast was stark when we compared the age distribution of equestrian competitors with those of other sports. Equestrian competitors tend to be much older. This could be attributed to the nature of the sport, where experience, maturity, and the bond between rider and horse play a significant role.

Peak of Performance

Despite the overall older age profile of equestrian competitors, the majority of medal winners fall between the ages of 20 and 30. A prominent peak around the mid-20s indicates this might be the golden age for competitive equestrian sports. During these years, a blend of youthful energy and acquired skills converge to produce champions.

The world of equestrian sports offers a refreshing perspective on age and achievement. While it welcomes competitors of all ages, the mid-20s are the sweet spot for clinching those coveted Olympic medals. As we gear up for the 2024 Summer Olympics, we'll keep a keen eye on equestrian events, cheering for the young talents and seasoned veterans who defy age stereotypes.


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