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
List of Multiple Olympic Medallists – Winter Olympics
|Marit Bjørgen||Cross-country skiing||8||4||3||15|
|Ole Einar Bjørndalen||Biathlon||8||4||1||13|
|Bjørn Dæhlie||Cross-country skiing||8||4||0||12|
|Ireen Wüst||Speed skating||5||5||1||11|
|Raisa Smetanina||Cross-country skiing||4||5||1||10|
|Stefania Belmondo||Cross-country skiing||2||3||5||10|
|Lyubov Yegorova||Cross-country skiing||6||3||0||9|
|Claudia Pechstein||Speed skating||5||2||2||9|
|Sixten Jernberg||Cross-country skiing||4||3||2||9|
|Sven Kramer||Speed skating||4||2||3||9|
|Charlotte Kalla||Cross-country skiing||3||6||0||9|
|Ahn Hyun-Soo Viktor Ahn||Short track speed skating||6||0||2||8|
|Emil Hegle Svendsen||Biathlon||4||3||1||8|
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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
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.
Larisa Latynina, 18 medals
Michael Phelps, 23 Gold medals
India, 8 (1928, 1932, 1936, 1948, 1952, 1956, 1964, 1980)