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Olympic Medal Winners

The Summer Games is one of the few international sporting spectacles held on a regular basis. The Olympic medal winners represent the finest physical achievements of the human race.

The Olympic medal winners are athletes who are superior to their probable competitors. They possess greater physical skills. Physical abilities like agility and endurance are more pronounced in the Olympic medal holders. Greater physical strength is also present. This superior physical ability is obtained by a comprehensive physical training regimen. Physical exercises are made a part of the fitness plan. A particular dietary regimen relating to a specific sport is also followed.

Some Olympic medal winners became a byword for their sporting achievements. Olympians like the American swimmer Mark Spitz and the track and field athlete Edwin Moses have achieved legend status. The athletes who come first, second and third in the competition are awarded medals. The top athlete receives the "Gold" medal. The runners up are awarded the silver medal. The athlete who has achieved third place is awarded the bronze medal. Some events in the Olympics like boxing do not award the silver medal to the runners up. Two bronze medals are given to the final round qualifier. This is particularly true of single elimination tournaments like boxing and tennis.

Famous Olympic medal winners

The world remembers Jesse Owens for his dramatic run at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. He won four gold medals in different categories. Like Owens, there had been athletes who have exuded determination in their chosen sport and have given Summer Games some priceless moments. These Olympic medal winners have inspired new athletes to become another Bruce Jenner or Michael Phelps

You know the countries with Most Olympic Medals, but here's a look at some of the most famous medal winners in Olympic Games.

Top Olympic Medal Winners

Michael Phelps: The champion swimmer from the US already has 18 gold medals to his name and a total of 22 medals. He tops the list of most Olympic medal winners.

Larisa Latynina: Those who don't know the former Soviet gymnast, she maintained a record of having 18 Olympic medals to her name for 48 years before her record was broken by Michael Phelps.

Paavo Nurmi: This long-distance runner from Finland is considered at par with Latynina as both had bagged nine gold medals in their Olympics career.

Mark Spitz: After Michael Phelps, he is another American swimmer who features in the list of Top 10 Olympic medal winners. Although his total medal tally is 11, he had the distinction of wining nine Gold medals.

Carl Lewis: Another cult figure in the history of Summer Olympics, Lewis brought much laurels to the US by virtue of winning nine Gold medals as a sprinter and long jumper from 1984-1996 Summer Olympics. His total tally stands at 10.

Ole Einar Bjørndalen: This Norwegian bi-athlete, popularly referred as "The King of Biathlon", is currently the only one in the history of the Winter Olympics to have won 13 medals. His tally is impressive with eight gold, four silver, and one bronze medal.

Bjørn Dæhlie: Just one medal less from a fellow Norwegian, Dæhlie has been an achiever with eight gold and four silver medals in his Olympic career from 1992-98. As a cross-country skier, he has won the hearts of millions.

Birgit Fischer: For good 24 years, this German surpassed everyone when it came to canoeing. Between 1980 and 2004 Summer Olympics, he won eight Gold and a total of 12 medals.

Sawao Kato and Jenny Thompson: Kato, a former Japanese gymnast, also shares the distinction of wining eight Olympic Gold medals between 1968 and 1976 Summer Olympics. Similarly, Thompson, an American swimmer, ended up with the same tally before retiring in 2004.


Top Olympic Medalists of All Time

RankAthleteCountrySportTotal Medals
1Michael PhelpsUSASwimming22
2Larisa LatyninaSoviet UnionGymnastics18
3Nikolai AndrianovSoviet UnionGymnastics15
4Boris ShakhlinSoviet UnionGymnastics13
4Edoardo MangiarottiItalyFencing13
4Takashi OnoJapanGymnastics13
7Paavo NurmiFinlandAthletics12
7Birgit FischerGermanyCanoeing12
7Sawao KatoJapanGymnastics12
7Jenny ThompsonUSASwimming12
7Dara TorresUSASwimming12
7Alexei NemovRussiaGymnastics12
7Natalie CoughlinUSASwimming12

Top 10 Male Medalists in Summer Olympics

RankAthleteCountrySportTotal Medals
1Michael PhelpsUnited StatesSwimming22
2Nikolai AndrianovSoviet UnionGymnastics15
3Boris ShakhlinSoviet UnionGymnastics13
3Edoardo MangiarottiItalyFencing13
3Takashi OnoJapanGymnastics13
6Paavo NurmiFinlandAthletics12
6Sawao KatoJapanGymnastics12
6Alexei NemovRussiaGymnastics12
9Mark SpitzUSASwimming11
9Matt BiondiUSASwimming11
9Viktor ChukarinSoviet UnionGymnastics11
9Carl OsburnUSAShooting11
9Ryan LochteUSASwimming11

Top 10 Female Medalists in Summer Olympics

RankAthleteCountrySportTotal Medals
1Larisa LatyninaSoviet UnionGymnastics18
2Birgit FischerGermanyCanoeing12
2Jenny ThompsonUSASwimming12
2Dara TorresUSASwimming12
2Natalie CoughlinUSASwimming12
6Věra ČáslavskáCzechoslovakiaGymnastics11
7Ágnes KeletiHungaryGymnastics10
7Polina AstakhovaSoviet UnionGymnastics10
7Franziska van AlmsickGermanySwimming10
10Valentina VezzaliItalyFencing9
10Nadia ComăneciRomaniaGymnastics9
10Ludmilla TourischevaSoviet UnionGymnastics9
10Leisel JonesAustraliaSwimming9
10Anky van GrunsvenNetherlandsEquestrian9

Top 10 Gold Medalists in Summer Olympics

RankAthleteCountrySportTotal Medals
1Michael PhelpsUSASwimming18
2Larisa LatyninaSoviet UnionGymnastics9
2Paavo NurmiFinlandAthletics9
2Mark SpitzUSASwimming9
2Carl LewisUSAAthletics9
6Birgit FischerGermanyCanoeing8
6Sawao KatoJapanGymnastics8
6Jenny ThompsonUSASwimming8
6Matt BiondiUSASwimming8
6Ray EwryUSAAthletics8

Top 10 Male Gold Medalists in Summer Olympics

RankAthleteCountrySportTotal Medals
1Michael Phelps United StatesSwimming18
2Paavo NurmiFinlandAthletics9
2Mark SpitzUSASwimming9
2Carl LewisUSAAthletics9
5Sawao KatoJapanGymnastics8
5Matt BiondiUSASwimming8
5Ray EwryUSAAthletics8
8Nikolai AndrianovSoviet UnionGymnastics7
8Boris ShakhlinSoviet UnionGymnastics7
8Viktor ChukarinSoviet UnionGymnastics7
8Aladár GerevichHungaryFencing7

Top 10 Female Gold Medalists in Summer Olympics

RankAthleteCountrySportTotal Medals
1Larisa Latynina Soviet UnionGymnastics9
2Birgit FischerGermanyCanoeing8
2Jenny ThompsonUnited StatesSwimming8
4Věra ČáslavskáCzechoslovakiaGymnastics7
5Valentina VezzaliItalyFencing6
5Kristin OttoEast GermanySwimming6
5Amy Van DykenUnited StatesSwimming6
6Ágnes KeletiHungaryGymnastics5
6Polina AstakhovaSoviet UnionGymnastics5
6Nadia ComăneciRomaniaGymnastics5
6Isabell WerthGermanyEquestrian5
6Elisabeta LipăRomaniaRowing5
6Krisztina EgerszegiHungarySwimming5
6Nellie KimSoviet UnionGymnastics5
6Georgeta DamianRomaniaRowing5
6Anastasia DavydovaRussiaSynchronized swimming5

Last updated on: April 29, 2016