Most Decorated Olympians of All Time and Their Medal Count

Swimming, gymnastics, and track and field are some disciplines where elite Olympians have won most medals – including individual and team competitions. The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will be the second or third Olympic Games for many decorated athletes, who intend to add to their medal hauls. Despite having collected five medals each at the 2016 Rio Games, swimmer Katie Ledecky and gymnast Simone Biles still have a long way to go before they join the elite group of athletes who have won the most Olympic medals. Here is a list of the Most Decorated Olympians in Olympic history based on the number of medals they have won.


Most Decorated Olympians of All Time

Michael Phelps holds the record for the most gold medals in Olympic history. In the period from 2004 to 2016, the swimming superstar won 28 medals, which is ten more than the previous record of 18. As a result of Phelps’ feat during the Olympics in London, he surpassed Larisa Latynina’s record of 18 medals. During the 2016 Rio Olympics, he added six more to ensure that his record would be virtually unbreakable.

The list of the most decorated Olympians also includes other gymnasts.

  • Nikolai Andrianov (Soviet Union, 15 medals); 
  • Boris Shakhlin (Soviet Union, 13 medals); 
  • Ono Takashi (Japan, 13); Kato Sawao (Japan, 12); and 
  • Aleksei Nemov (Russia, 12). 

Italian fencer Edoardo Mangiarotti also won 13 Olympic medals from five different Olympics between 1936 and 1960. 

List of Multiple Olympic Medallists – Summer Olympics

Michael PhelpsSwimming233228
Larisa LatyninaGymnastics95418
Nikolai AndrianovGymnastics75315
Boris ShakhlinGymnastics74213
Edoardo MangiarottiFencing65213
Takashi OnoGymnastics54413
Paavo NurmiAthletics93012
Birgit FischerCanoeing84012
Sawao KatōGymnastics83112
Jenny ThompsonSwimming83112
Ryan LochteSwimming63312
Dara TorresSwimming44412
Alexei NemovGymnastics42612
Natalie CoughlinSwimming34512
Mark SpitzSwimming91111
Matt BiondiSwimming82111
Věra ČáslavskáGymnastics74011
Viktor ChukarinGymnastics73111
Carl OsburnShooting54211
Carl LewisAthletics91010
Aladár GerevichFencing71210

List of Multiple Olympic Medallists – Winter Olympics

Marit BjørgenCross-country skiing84315
Ole Einar BjørndalenBiathlon84113
Bjørn DæhlieCross-country skiing84012
Ireen WüstSpeed skating55111
Raisa SmetaninaCross-country skiing45110
Stefania BelmondoCross-country skiing23510
Lyubov YegorovaCross-country skiing6309
Claudia PechsteinSpeed skating5229
Sixten JernbergCross-country skiing4329
Sven KramerSpeed skating4239
Charlotte KallaCross-country skiing3609
Uschi DislBiathlon2439
Ahn Hyun-Soo Viktor AhnShort track speed skating6028
Ricco GroßBiathlon4318
Emil Hegle SvendsenBiathlon4318


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Most Olympic Medals At A Single Olympic Games

Phelps shares this record with gymnast Aleksandr Dityatin, unlike the overall medal record. A total of eight medals won by Michael Phelps in 2004 and 2008 matched the record set by Dityatin in 1980 in Moscow.

A total of ten athletes have won seven medals at one Olympic Games, tying them for second place. 

  • Two of them did so in the pool: Spitz in 1972 and Biondi in 1988. 
  • Two Americans, Willis Lee and Lloyd Spooner, each brought home seven medals in shooting in 1920. 

Rounding out the list are five gymnasts: 

  • Shakhlin (Soviet Union, 1960); 
  • Andrianov (Soviet Union, 1976); 
  • Hermann Weingaertner (Germany, 1896); 
  • Maria Gorokhovskaya (Soviet Union, 1952); and 
  • Mikhail Voronin (Soviet Union, 1968).

Twenty-five athletes have won six medals in a single Olympics.

That’all we have in this updated list of most decorated Olympians in the modern history of the games. Hope this list help you in answering Olympic related questions in upcoming government exams.

Most Decorated Olympians – FAQs

Who is the most decorated Olympian?

Michael Phelps holds the record for the most gold medals in Olympic history. In the period from 2004 to 2016, the swimming superstar won 28 medals, which is ten more than the previous record of 18.

Which gymnast has won the maximum number of Olympic medals?

Larisa Latynina, 18 medals

Which swimmer has won the maximum number of Olympic Gold Medals?

Michael Phelps, 23 Gold medals

Which team has won the maximum Field Hockey Gold Medals at Olympic?

India, 8 (1928, 1932, 1936, 1948, 1952, 1956, 1964, 1980)

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