Observatory Sport and physical activity Switzerland

Further information

A document (PDF) containing detailled information on all indicators is available in German.

Top level sports

"Performance and top level sports" is one of the Observatory's indicator domains and includes six groups of indicators.

Short information on the indicators in this domain is available by clicking on the indicators' names below. More complete information in German can be displayed by clicking on the links on the left hand side.

3.1 Success of Swiss athletes in international sports

Even though Switzerland is a small country with a limited number of talented athletes it does quite well in international championships. Measuring success in international sports on the basis of Olympic Games one has to note that Switzerland was less successful in London 2012 than four years earlier in Bejing but managed to increase its success again in Rio 2016. The same applies to the Winter Games of Vancouver 2010 as compared to the Torino Games of 2006. Yet, Sochi 2014 has marked a new upswing that was continued in Pyeongchang 2018 and led to the highest number of medals and diplomas ever won by Switzerland in Winter Games.

3.2 Talent selection and promotion

Under the leadership of Swiss Olympic talent selection and promotion is put into effect at different levels. An important indicator for these different efforts is the number of so-called "Swiss Olympic Talent Cards" that are awarded to promising young athletes. Currently, somewhat over 9000 young athletes are holding such a card.

3.3 Educational opportunities for talented athletes

Over the past few years a number of "sport friendly schools" and educational offers have been established. In 2011 about 3'000 young athletes were enrolled in a total of 48 "Swiss Olympic Sport Schools" or "Swiss Olympic Partner Schools".

In addition, currently about 300 young athletes are doing their vocational training in one of over 200 "athlete friendly" enterprises.

Finally, a special type of talent promotion has been introduced successfully in 2004: the possibility to pass one's military service in a special athletes' training camp. This opportunity is currently used by about 150 persons per year.

3.4 Promotion of elite sports

The Swiss Olympic Association issues so-called "Swiss Olympic Cards" for elite athletes. These cards are the basis for identifying elite athletes and allocating a number of benefits to them. The annual number of cards issued has been stable until very recently when new qualification criteria were introduced. Currently, over 2000 persons are classified as "top level athletes", only about 40 percent of which are women.

3.5 Sports events

In 2005, about 230'000 sports events were carried out in Switzerland, only 68 of which can be classified as "big sports events". Football accounts for roughly 50 % of all sports events, team sports (including football) for about three quarters. In 2005, sport events generated a business volume of about 1.2 billion Swiss Francs.

3.6 Sport and media

Sports play an imporant and increasing role in the Swiss media. In 2011, sports in the media generated a business volume of about 550 million Swiss Francs.

About 80 % of the Swiss population claim to be (very) interested in media sports. According to the 2014 "Sport Switzerland" survey, the most popular media sports in Switzerland are football, alpine sking, ice hockey, tennis and athletics.

Observatory Sport and physical activity Switzerland
c/o Lamprecht und Stamm SFB AG, Forchstrasse 212, CH-8032 Zürich
Phone: +41 44 260 67 60, E-Mail: info(at)sportobs.ch