Sport and leisure – facts and figures

The Swiss love their sport, especially outdoor pursuits. About 75% of people in Switzerland regularly practise a sport. From the best-known sports to more traditional Swiss sports you might not have heard of, a vast range of sports are popular in Switzerland.

  • People in Switzerland are especially sporty, even in comparison to our sporty European neighbours. Only 16% of people living in Switzerland say they don't engage in sport.
  • Switzerland has about 19,000 sports clubs with a total of two million licensed members. A quarter of Swiss residents aged between 5 and 74 belong to a sports club.
  • There are 32,000 sports facilities in Switzerland and 980 fitness centres.
  • Since the beginning of the modern Olympic Games, Swiss athletes have won 205 medals in summer disciplines and 153 in the winter sports.
  • Switzerland ranks among the top ten medal-winning nations at the Winter Olympics and is among the top 25 at the Summer Olympics.
  • Roger Federer is the best-known Swiss sportsman worldwide. He has won 20 Grand Slam tennis titles and a total of 103 tournaments, making him one of the most successful sportspeople in the world.
  • Over 40 international federations and international sports-related organisations have their headquarters in Switzerland, mostly in the canton of Vaud.
  • Switzerland has 2,400 ski lifts, of which 51% are drag lifts.
  • Alpine skiing is the discipline in which Switzerland has won the most medals at the Olympic Games (66), closely followed by artistic gymnastics (49 medals).
  • Nearly 11,000 ice hockey matches are played every year by some 850 teams.
  • Football is the most popular sport in Switzerland. Around 10,000 matches take place every weekend. Switzerland has more than 1,300 football clubs, with more than 270,000 licensed players (of whom 9% are women and 63% junior players).
  • Switzerland has a number of traditional sports, some of which you may not have heard of. 'Schwingen' is traditional Swiss wrestling, 'Hornuss' is like a cross between baseball and golf, and throwing the Unspunnen is Switzerland's version of 'stone put'.