Updated 07/22/2021 – 19:42
Although it seems paradoxical, making an estimate of who is the best olympic athlete attending to number of medals is basically unfair. And it is because not all disciplines and modalities are the same, those who can qualify for multiple medals and not just one.
Thus, according to this logic, are the participants of this type of modalities who occupy the first places of the medal table, without this meaning that they are ‘better’ or ‘worse’ than those whose winning horizon is only that of one medal per edition. Then, it would be necessary to assess the particular circumstances of each one: edition, competition, development of the sport, but that is already another type of debate.
According to the numerical criteria, the most successful Olympic athlete is the American swimmer Michael Phelps, the great winner of the XXI century Olympic Games: he has no less than 28 medals: 23 gold, three silver and two bronze. He was olympic of Sidney 2000 to Ro 2016. From the first edition he left without medals. In Athens 2004 he added six golds (100 and 200 butterfly, 200 and 400 styles, 4×100 and 4×200 free and 4×100 styles) and two bronzes (200 free and 4×100 styles). In Beijing 2008 he won eight golds (100 and 200 butterfly, 200 and 400 styles, 200 free, 4×100 and 4×200 free and 4×100 styles). In London 2012 he added four golds (100 butterfly, 200 styles, 4×100 free and styles) and two silver (200 butterfly and 4×100 free) and in Ro 2016 he closed his account with five golds (200 butterfly and styles, 4×100 styles and 4×100 and 4×200 free) and a silver (100 butterfly). The add medals in four Games, of five participations, it also places you high on the longevity charts.
Larissa Latynina, the woman with the most medals
The second athlete with the most medals, and first in the female category, is Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina, with 18 awards, nine golds, five silvers and four bronzes. Began to add in Melbourne 1956, with gold in individual and team general competition, floor and horse jumping, silver in asymmetric and bronze in portable devices. On Rome 60 he won again the general individual and team competition, in addition to the floor. It was silver in asymmetric and balance bar and bronze in jump. On Tokyo 64 he won the general team and floor contest, was silver in the individual and tall general contest, and bronze in asymmetric and balance beam.
Tied for third place, with 15 medals, we meet the Norwegian cross-country skierto Marit Bjorgen and the soviet gymnast Nikolay Andrianov.
Bjorgen began to add with a silver in 4×5 kilometers in Salt Lake 2002, continued with silver in 10 km in Turn 2006; gold in sprint, 15 km skiatln and 4×5 km, silver in 30 km and bronze in 10 km in Vancouver 2010; gold in 30 km, 15 km skiathlon and team sprint in Sochi 2014 and gold in 30 km and 4×5 relays, silver in 15 km skiathlon and bronze in 10 km and team sprint in PyeongChang 2018.
36 athletes have more than 10 Olympic medals
Andrianov won gold in ground, silver in general team competition and bronze in jump in Munich 72; gold in general competition, ground, jump and rings, silver in general competition for teams and parallels and bronze in horse with bows in Montreal 76. I closed with gold in general competition for teams and jumping, silver in general competition and ground and bronze in horizontal bar in Moscow 80.
With 13 medals we find the Norwegian skier Ole Einar Bjorndalen (8 gold, 4 silver and a bronze from Lillehamer 94 to Sochi 2014); to the soviet gymnast Boris shaklin (7 golds, 4 silvers and 2 bronzes from Melbourne 56 to Tokyo 64), to the Italian fencer Edoardo Mangiarotti (six golds, five silvers and two bronzes from Berlin 1936 to Tokyo 64) and the Japanese gymnast Takashi ono (five golds, four silvers and two bronzes from Helsinki 52 to Tokyo 64).
Nine athletes add 12 medals. The Finnish Athlete Paavo Nurmi he won nine golds and three silvers from Antwerp 1920 to Amsterdam 1928; the german t-shirt Birgit Fischer-Smith, 8 golds, 4 silvers and 2 bronzes from Moscow 80 to Athens 2004; Norwegian cross-country skiing Bjorn daehlie, 8 gold and 4 silver from Albertville 92 to Nagano 98; the japanese gymnast Sawao Kato, 8 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze from Mexico 68 to Montreal 76; the american swimmer Jennifer Thompson, 8 gold, 3 silver and a bronze from Barcelona 92 to Athens 2004; the american swimmer Ryan lochte, 6 golds, 3 silvers and 3 bronzes from Athens 2004 to Ro 2016; the american swimmer Dara torres, 4 golds, 4 silvers and 4 bronzes from Los Angeles 84 to Beijing 2008, the Russian gymnast Aleksey nemov, 4 golds, 2 silvers and 6 bronzes from Atlanta 96 to Athens 2004 and the American swimmer Nathalie Coughlin, 3 golds, 4 silvers and 5 bronzes from Athens 2004 to London 2012.
Total, 36 athletes have won 10 or more medals.