This article mentions that the current Minister of Youth and Sports won the Paralympic silver medal in Tokyo's Paralympic Games:

Romanian cyclist Eduard Novak, the current Minister of Youth and Sports, won the Paralympic silver medal in the men’s C4 4000 m individual pursuit in Tokyo on Friday.

While ex-sports professionals becoming politicians is not something strange, one holding office that is able to compete at such a high level seems extraordinary.

I am wondering if this case is singular or not. I will provide details about the term used in the question:

  • high official = any person being an MP or in the government
  • important competition = any competition like Olympic Games, European (or similar for other continents) or at World level
  • 2
    Maybe someone can find something in here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sportsperson-politicians Commented Aug 30, 2021 at 19:28
  • 6
    I am interested in the persons actually holding office at the time of participation in the competition, not after that. Basically being a sports professional and a politician at the same time. Commented Aug 31, 2021 at 4:31
  • 2
    does chess count?
    – Quassnoi
    Commented Aug 31, 2021 at 18:12
  • 4
    No, chess is not a sport for the purposes of Sports Stack Exchange. See meta, here for the best consensus discussion we've had of this. @Quassnoi
    – Nij
    Commented Aug 31, 2021 at 20:47
  • "any person being an MP or in the government" - I assume you mean the federal government specifically, given the term "high official"...
    – V2Blast
    Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 20:57

10 Answers 10


Various members of the British Royal Family have won high level showjumping medals:

  • 7
    Princess Anne sprang to my mind too, but she's not in government.
    – Ken Y-N
    Commented Aug 31, 2021 at 5:45
  • 8
    @KenY-N The original poster clarified in (now deleted) comments that they'd consider them "on topic".
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Aug 31, 2021 at 7:22

William Grenfell competed in the 1906 Intercalated Games in team épée. He was a UK MP until December 1905 until raised to the peerage and was - if I understand how the House of Lords worked in the early 20th century - therefore a member of the House of Lords at the time.


Ukrainian Zhan Beleniuk has been a parliamentary deputy (equivalent to MP) since 2019, and has competed at the Olympics in Greco-Roman wrestling, winning silver in 2016 and gold in 2020. (Borderline on the timing criteria, since it was only in 2020 that he was both a medallist and politician simultaneously, although he had been both individually before 2020.)


Russian wrestler Alexander Karelin won the World Wresting Championship in 1999 and a silver Olympic medal in 2000, while serving as a deputy to the State Duma (an MP).


I'm not sure about whether kings and royals count as politicians for the scope of the question, but several royals took part in the Olympics and some of them got a medal.

The outstanding examples are:

  • King Olaf V of Norway, who won a gold medal sailing in the 1928 Olympic Games, when he was still the heir to the throne.
  • King Constantine II of Greece, also gold medal sailing in the 1960 Olympic Games.

According to this source (in Spanish) that seems quite comprehensive, other royals in the Olympics didn't get a medal or didn't become a monarch.


In sailing, John Gretton (later 1st Baron Gretton) won two gold medals at the 1900 Olympic Games. Gretton served as an MP for various constituencies in the UK from 1895 until 1943 - source


I think the most famoust example is Governor Schwarzenegger winning multiple Mr. Olympia.

Manny Pacquiao is a sitting senator of the Philippines and was a champion in multiple categories in boxing

  • 11
    Schwarzenegger wasn't Governor when he won those titles. Pacquiao though was also a representative before he was a senator (starting in 2010). If you added titles he won since 2010, this would be a very good answer. Commented Aug 31, 2021 at 18:05

The Zimbabwean born princess of Monaco, Charlene was also an Olympic swimmer for South Africa. She and her team came 5th in a relay event at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

  • 1
    Ok, I just saw a poster mention princess Anne and was reminded of her. If the OP thinks this answer is bad I will consider deleting it. I will leave it for now.
    – Neil Meyer
    Commented Aug 31, 2021 at 19:14
  • In any case, if she did not win a medal, she is not countable for the question.
    – Nij
    Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 1:54

British MP Edward Heath won Sydney-Hobart Yacht race while leader of the opposition and the Admirals Cup while Prime Minister.


According to Wikipedia, the ancient Olympic Games count among their winners:

(However, English Wikipedia doesn't give any details on which event or even which year they won, it just lists them in their "Ancient Olympic Games" box under "Winners".)

I don't know if you count that as important. The ancient games can be argued to not be on world level, but they were definitely the most important events at the time.


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