Final tally: USA qualifies for 83.5% of possible Olympic spots

Qualifying for the Olympics is not an easy process. It’s not even easy to read about it. I’m tired, and I didn’t even get on a bike and try to rack up the points I needed to make it in omnium or whatever. (I also don’t live near a velodrome. I’m also old and unathletic.)

But the USA did a pretty good job getting spots in the 2012 Games. Some things are givens — no swimmer is going to make the U.S. team in the pool without beating the Olympic qualifying standard. Others are more difficult.

If you haven’t read the saga of how every single U.S. athlete qualified for the Games, please give it a look.

If you prefer things more easily summarized, check this table:

SportMaximumIN: USAOUT: USANotes
Archery888Six individuals, then they combine for two teams
Athletics (track/field)13312211All 4 relays in; missing spots in men's individual events: triple jump, hammer, decathlon, 20k walk (2), 50k walk (2); women's events: triple jump (2), 20k walk (2)
Badminton12210Got men's doubles and women's singles. Only China has full team.
Beach volleyball440
Boxing13121No country, not even Cuba, got all 13.
Canoe/kayak16610USA got all four slalom, but only two sprint. Germany has the most boats with 15.
Cycling (BMX)550Three men, two women
Cycling (road)13121One of two possible places in men's time trial
Cycling (track)1046Men's sprint and omnium; women's team pursuit and omnium
Cycling (mountain bike)541Two of three men; two women
Diving12111Got all but the one spot in women's synchronized platform
Fencing2020016 individuals; 4 team events
Football (soccer)211Men didn't qualify
Gymnastics (artistic)1010010 athletes max; gymnasts qualify for specific events at Games
Gymnastics (rhythmic)312Got one of two individual spots; didn't get team
Gymnastics (trampoline)422One of possible two in each gender
Hockey (field)211Men didn't qualify
Modern pentathlon431Both women's places; one men's place
Rowing14122Missing men's double sculls; men's lightweight double sculls
Shooting30255None in men's trap, one of possible two in each women's pistol event. Addl spot in women's trap; one in women's skeet
Swimming (pool)58580In each gender: 26 individual places, 3 relay teams
Swimming (open water)422No country earned all four
Synchronized swimming211Duet only; not team
Table tennis642One men's singles, no men's team; two women's singles, one women's team
Taekwondo440Sport has more events, but each country limited to four
Tennis14140Not officially confirmed for two mixed doubles spots but quite likely
Triathlon651Two of three men; all three women
Water polo220
Weightlifting1037Team sizes based on overall team performance at various championships. 15 events, but limit 10 per country.
Wrestling18171No country earned all 18
TOTAL48540580That's 83.5%


As a housekeeping note: Now that I’ve done this, I’m diving back into the 2012 medal projections. Bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha …

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6 Responses to Final tally: USA qualifies for 83.5% of possible Olympic spots

  1. mskenny says:

    I think you meant 2 0 0 for handball, if you’re saying USA didn’t qualify.

  2. Beau Dure says:

    Nah, it’s 2-0-2, but I may need to adjust the column headers somehow. It’s MAX – USA – NO USA.

    In other words, the third column is the amount the USA did NOT get.

    I’ll adjust.

  3. mskenny says:

    Gotcha. Thanks for the work to put this together!

  4. Nicky Charles says:


    Shouldn’t archery be 8-8-0, ie. 6 individual spots and 2 team spots? Also, isn’t the missing spot in the road race team in the men’s time trial rather than road race? Finally, doesn’t weightlifting have similar restrictions to taekwondo, ie. 15 gold medal events but a maximum of 10 competitors per NOC? Sorry I know I’m being pedantic!!

  5. Beau Dure says:

    Yep — you’re right on archery. I accidentally went with number of athletes rather than number of spots. I’ll fix it — thanks!

    You’re right on cycling, too. I wrote “one of two,” which is correct for the time trial, but then wrote “road race” instead.

    It looks like I did write 10 for weightlifting, so are you saying I should add more explanation? I’ll do that.

    Thanks! Love to get feedback.

  6. Nicky Charles says:

    Yep, spot on re the weightlifting and thanks for all the info!

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