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Question

Are women allowed to compete in men's division in the Olympic Games? So, how is the "men's division" officially defined by the IOC? Is it explicitly for men only or is it an "open division" which allows women (at least in principle) to participate in the "men's division" in the Olympic Games?

If it does depend on the sport, what would be an example where women are allowed in men's division (in principal) and where they are explicitly not allowed?

How did this rule change in the past?

Were there any woman participating in the men's division in the history of the Olympic Games (except riding where no distinction between "men and "women" exist)?

Some remarks

  • Calling a division "men" doesn't logically imply that only men many participate. For example at least in Germany I know a lot examples where girls compete in "boys" divisions if they are good enough, though the division is called "boys".

  • This also happens occasionally at more advanced levels, for example in table tennis the female player Li Jiao played in the played in the men's Eredivisie for Dutch club TTV Heerlen and won the championship (see: http://results.nbcolympics.com/athletes/athlete=li-jiao-1195210/index.html).

  • Note that the question is about if it is in principle possible. Clearly in lots of sports the difference between men and women is very big. However one might imagine a women who is at mens elite level and wants to participate in mens Olympics for example because in the womens division there are no real competitors for her. So how are the IOC rules formulated, do they allow women in principle to participate in mens divisions?

closed as too broad by Nij, Ale, New-To-IT, Nicholas V., user10632 Aug 22 '16 at 16:05

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    @Rathony: The name doesn't logically imply the rules. For example in germany you often see girls which are good enough play in "boys" divisions (but never the other way around) though it is called "boys" division and not "open division". The background of the question is the case of Cater Semenya in the 800m Olympics finals. I have read in a comment on a newspaper article about this case, that the men's division is actually an open division in most sports. – Sarah Aug 22 '16 at 15:03
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    @Rathony: I don't see why the question is unclear. It is also not no broad, since an answer may be something like: Yes ... then a short quote of the IOC statues and then an example of a women who actually did participate, or maybe: It depends on the sports for example xy allows women + a quote of the rules etc. – Sarah Aug 23 '16 at 9:58
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    @Rathony: The example of the Dutch table tennis player and the "boys" - "girl" example was an answer to your question which suggested that you think that calling a division "men's division" implies that only men can compete. This is not true as my examples show. Since you asked me to edit my question I included the refutation of such an objection as a remark to the question, though I think the question was very clear from the beginning. Since other readers may raise such objections like you I guessed that including them as remarks might make it clearer. – Sarah Aug 23 '16 at 13:08
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    I don't understand why the question is on hold. I think it is clear and not to broad as I explained in the comment above, seems to be on topic. Please reopen the question or point out what's exactly to broad or unclear. – Sarah Aug 23 '16 at 13:14
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    The question was closed for being too broad. Editing to ask for even more information from answers does not narrow it down! There are at least three separate questions here. Pick one, isolate it, ask the others separately. – Nij Sep 23 '16 at 21:57