As the title is asking, why is this? Why aren't records set in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics considered Olympic records? This IS the Olympics that we're watching on tv right now and that's going on in Tokyo right now.

I saw this in the Men's 100m Fly with the gold medal winner setting a World Record, and not an Olympic record.

This also happened in the Women's 200m Free Relay. The line on tv showed WR and not OR as we were following along during the race to see who won.

So again, why are these not considered Olympic records and only considered as World Records?

1 Answer 1


Those are Olympic records. They're both World Records (WRs) and the Olympics Records (ORs). A WR set in the Olympics is a WR and an OR.

WRs are not bounded to the Olympics and so can happen at other events too, and so WRs are always better than or equal to ORs. So not all ORs are WR. Since WRs are harder to come by, when an Olympics performance breaks the world record, WR is displayed. But in reality, it's also an OR since it happened in an Olympics.

This is not new at the Tokyo Olympics, showing WR for a world record at an Olympics is common practice. The OR (and also national record, seasonal best, and personal/team best) for such performances are implicitly implied.

  • The official results will usually show “WR OR” or similar.
    – Jon Custer
    Jul 31, 2021 at 21:26
  • 5
    The TV prompts don't unfortunately, which is what the OP is asking about cause the confusion.
    – alamoot
    Jul 31, 2021 at 21:40

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