EXPLAINER: World champs, Olympic champs and the difference

Jul 29, 2021, 8:17 AM | Updated: 9:32 pm

TOKYO (AP) — Is an Olympic champion by definition a world champion? Can you be a world champion without being an Olympic champion? What’s the difference, anyway?

As the Tokyo Olympics provide multiple opportunities for memorable athletic performances, it’s worth a closer look. Here, Associated Press Deputy Sports Editor Howie Rumberg sorts it all out.

OLYMPIC CHAMP, WORLD CHAMP: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

An Olympic champion is only an Olympic champion. Because the Olympics are made up of 33 sports, each run by a federation, those federations can hold their own world championships — some every two years, some every four years, opposite years from the Olympics. And they declare world champions at their events.

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN IN TERMS OF RECORDS?

So in sports like gymnastics and athletics and swimming, you have two sets of records: the Olympic record, which is only set at an Olympics; and the world record, which is the record that is set in their seasons. Any sanctioned event can have a world record held or a world record set.

There are also times where the Olympic record IS the world record, because they set the world record at the Olympics. But they’re not the exact same thing.

SO TO BE CLEAR: YOU CAN HOLD AN OLYMPIC RECORD, YOU CAN HOLD A WORLD RECORD OR YOU COULD HOLD A RECORD THAT’S BOTH, RIGHT?

You could hold a record that’s both, yes. But the record that’s both would have to be set at the Olympics. And there are standards like, say, the depth of the swimming pool or the type of surface on the track that everyone’s obligated to follow.

It’s worth noting that you have more opportunities to set a world record than you do an Olympic record. So in some ways, an Olympic record, even if it’s not as good as a world record, has its own unique glow because being an Olympian is thought of, obviously, as the pinnacle of sports.

___

More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Portugal's Goncalo Ramos celebrates after scoring his side's fifth goal during the World Cup round ...
Associated Press

Little known before World Cup, Ramos goals lift Portugal

LUSAIL, Qatar (AP) — In his first start for Portugal’s national team, Gonçalo Ramos showed that he has the goods — and the goals — to stand in for Cristiano Ronaldo. Even at the World Cup. The 21-year-old forward scored a hat trick Tuesday after surprisingly being called on to start against Switzerland in place […]
17 hours ago
FILE - Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom yells to the team near the end of a 19-14 win over A...
Associated Press

Hall of Famer Croom: ‘Not enough progress’ for Black coaches

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Sylvester Croom had a Hall of Fame career as an offensive lineman at Alabama, and was among the first Black players to become a star and team leader under coach Bear Bryant. Three decades later, Croom became the Southeastern Conference’s first Black head football coach with Mississippi State. That was 2004. […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Two Kansas high schools investigate offensive chants at game

Two Kansas high schools are investigating after students at one school reportedly yelled racist and offensive taunts at the other school’s basketball team. Topeka High School’s team was subjected to “racial slurs, threats and disgusting taunts,” during a game on Saturday with Valley Center High School, Coach Geo Lyons said in a Change.org petition. He […]
17 hours ago
Spain's head coach Luis Enrique, left, embraces Sergio Busquets after the penalty shootout at the W...
Associated Press

Twilight for Busquets, last of Spain’s champs at World Cup

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — Sergio Busquets stood in the center circle, hands on hips, a blank look on his face. He reached soccer’s top step with Spain and now had been stung by La Roja’s third straight elimination from a major tournament on penalty kicks, this time 3-0 to Morocco after a 0-0 draw […]
2 days ago
Morocco's Jawad El Yamiq, top, celebrates with team mates after the penalty shootout at the World C...
Associated Press

AP PHOTOS: World Cup highlights from Day 17

Highlights from the 17th day of the World Cup in Qatar on Tuesday. ___ AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
2 days ago
FILE - Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) walks off the field after his teams loss to...
Associated Press

Injury-plagued LA Rams claim QB Baker Mayfield off waivers

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Rams claimed quarterback Baker Mayfield off waivers Tuesday, adding the former No. 1 pick to their options behind injured Matthew Stafford for the rest of the season. Mayfield, the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner and former Cleveland Browns starter, was released by the Panthers on Monday at his […]
2 days ago
EXPLAINER: World champs, Olympic champs and the difference