Described as "the big name of Laotian swimming", he represented his country at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, in the men's 50 metre freestyle. He had trained in one of the world's poorest countries, "where the largest pool is 25 meters long – half the Olympic distance". A reporter for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation noted that "a 25m pool badly in need of cleaning is [his] only place to train." Ounkhamphanyavong finished last in his heat, with a time of 27.03, and did not advance to the semi-finals.
- "Guts, no glory", The Guardian, September 22, 2000
- "The Real Olympic Contest: The Haves vs. the Have-Nots", Los Angeles Times
- "Tiny war-torn Laos determined to make Olympics mark", Australian Broadcasting Corporation, July 27, 2000
- "Results -- Day 6", ESPN, September 20, 2000
- Sikhounxay Ounkhamphanyavong at Olympedia