The 25 Most Decorated Summer Olympians of All-Time

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Michael Phelps has crushed almost every single record in the aquatics center of three different venues since 2004. His record breaking performances have led to him becoming the owner of 22 Olympic medals, 18 of them Gold.

His dominance has made it tougher for the fans to understand just how tough it is to win an Olympic Gold medal. He makes it look easy, which might have something to do with his insane ability to transform his body into a dolphin when coming off the wall on turns. Phelps is a one-in-a-million type of athlete. There aren’t many Olympians that come close to winning as many medals because it is tough to stay prepared, year after year after year after year. (He has a chance at 4 more medals in 2016)

It took Phelps three Olympic games to break the record of total medals, besting Larisa Latynina’s record of 18 that has stood since 1964. As we begin the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic games, let’s take a look at the top 25 most decorated Summer Olympians of all-time.

25. Gary Hall Jr., Swimming

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  • Country: United States
  • Olympic Games: 3 (1996, 2000, 2004)
  • Total Medals: 10
  • Gold Medals: 5
  • Best Event (Medals): 4×100 m Freestyle (3), 50 m Freestyle (3)
  • Awards
    • 2004 Golden Goggle Humanitarian Award Winner
    • United States Olympic Hall of Fame

24. Agnes Keleti, Gymnastics

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  • Country: Hungary
  • Olympic Games: 2 (1952, 1956)
  • Total Medals: 10
  • Gold Medals: 5
  • Best Event (Medals): Floor Exercise (2)
  • Awards
    • International Gymnastics Hall of Fame
    • International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame
    • Hungarian Sports Hall of Fame

23. Vitaly Scherbo, Gymnastics

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  • Country: Belarus
  • Olympic Games: 2 (1992, 1996)
  • Total Medals: 10
  • Gold Medals: 6

22. Akinori Nakayama, Gymnastics

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  • Country: Japan
  • Olympic Games: 2 (1968, 1972)
  • Total Medals: 10
  • Gold Medals: 6
  • Awards
    • International Gymnastics Hall of Fame

21. Aladar Gerevich, Fencing

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  • Country: Hungary
  • Olympic Games: 6 (1932, 1936, 1948, 1952, 1956, 1960)
  • Total Medals: 10
  • Gold Medals: 7
  • Best Event (Medals): Sabre Team (6), Sabre Individual (3)

20. Carl Lewis, Track & Field

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  • Country: United States
  • Olympic Games: 4 (1984, 1988, 1992, 1996)
  • Total Medals: 10
  • Gold Medals: 9
  • Best Event (Medals): Long Jump (3), 100 m (2)
  • Awards
    • International Olympic Committee Sportsman of the Century
    • World Athlete of the Century, International Association of Athletics Federations
    • Sports Illustrated Olympian of the Century

19. Ryan Lochte, Swimming

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  • Country: United States
  • Olympic Games: 3 (2004, 2008, 2012)
  • Total Medals: 11
  • Gold Medals: 5
  • Best Event (Medals): 4×200 m Freestyle (3), 200 m Medley (3)

18. Carl Osburn, Shooting

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  • Country: United States
  • Olympic Games: 3 (1912, 1920, 1924)
  • Total Medals: 11
  • Gold Medals: 5

17. Viktor Chukarin, Gymnastics

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  • Country: Soviet Union
  • Olympic Games: 2 (1952, 1956)
  • Total Medals: 11
  • Gold Medals: 7
  • Best Event (Medals): All-Around (2), Team Competition (2)
  • Awards
    • 1957 Order of Lenin

16. Vera Caslavska, Gymnastics

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  • Country: Czechoslovakia
  • Olympic Games: 3 (1960, 1964, 1968)
  • Total Medals: 11
  • Gold Medals: 7
  • Awards
    • International Gymnastics Hall of Fame
    • International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame
    • Order of the Rising Sun, 3rd Class
    • Olympic Order
    • 1989 Pierre de Coubertin International Fair Play Trophy
    • Czech Republic’s Medal of Merit

15. Matt Biondi, Swimming

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  • Country: United States
  • Olympic Games: 3 (1984, 1988, 1992)
  • Total Medals: 11
  • Gold Medals: 8
  • Best Event (Medals): 4×100 m Freestyle (3)

14. Mark Spitz, Swimming

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  • Country: United States
  • Olympic Games: 2 (1968, 1972)
  • Total Medals: 11
  • Gold Medals: 9
  • Best Event: (Medals): 100 m Freestyle (2), 200 m Freestyle (2), 100 m Butterfly (2)
  • Awards
    • International Swimming Hall of Fame
    • International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame
    • United States Olympic Hall of Fame
    • National Jewish Museum Sports Hall of Fame
    • Long Beach City College Hall of Fame
    • Indiana University Athletics Hall of Fame
    • ESPN SportsCentury Greatest Athletes: No.33

13. Natalie Coughlin, Swimming

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  • Country: United States
  • Olympic Games: 3 (2004, 2008, 2012)
  • Total Medals: 12
  • Gold Medals: 3
  • Best Event (Medals): 4×100 m Freestyle (3) 100 m Backstroke (2)
  • Awards
    • World Swimmer of the Year: 1
    • American Swimmer of the Year: 3

12. Alexei Nemov, Gymnastics

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  • Country: Russia
  • Olympic Games: 2 (1996, 2000)
  • Total Medals: 12
  • Gold Medals: 4
  • Best Event (Medals): All-Around (2), Floor (2), Vault (2)

11. Dara Torres, Swimming

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  • Country: United States
  • Olympic Games: 5 (1984, 1988, 1992, 2000, 2008)
  • Total Medals: 12
  • Gold Medals: 4
  • Best Event (Medals): 4×100 m Freestyle (5), 4×100 m Medley (3)
  • Awards
    • International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame

10. Jenny Thompson, Swimming

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  • Country: United States
  • Olympic Games: 4 (1992, 1996, 2000, 2004)
  • Total Medals: 12
  • Gold Medals: 8
  • Best Event (Medals): 4×100 m Freestyle (4), 4×100 m Medley (4)
  • Awards
    • USA Swimming Swimmer of the Year: 2
    • Swimming World Magazine Female World Swimmer of the Year: 1
    • Swimming World Magazine Female American Swimmer of the Year: 1
    • Women’s Sports Foundation’s Athlete of the Year: 1

9. Sawao Kato, Gymnastics

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  • Country: Japan
  • Olympic Games: 3 (1968, 1972, 1976)
  • Total Medals: 12
  • Gold Medals: 8
  • Best Event (Medals): Team (3), All-Around (3)
  • Awards
    • International Gymnastics Hall of Fame

8. Birgit Fischer, Canoeing

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  • Country: Germany
  • Olympic Games: 6 (1980, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004)
  • Total Medals: 12
  • Gold Medals: 8
  • Best Event (Medals): K-4 500 m (5), K-2 500 m (4)

7. Paavo Nurmi, Track & Field

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  • Country: Finland
  • Olympic Games: 3 (1920, 1924, 1928)
  • Total Medals: 12
  • Gold Medals: 9
  • Best Event (Medals): 5,000 m (3), Individual Cross Country (2), Team Cross Country (2), 10,000 m (2)
  •  Awards
    • IAAF Hall of Fame
    • Most Decorated Track & Field Male Athlete of All-Time
    • Most Decorated Track & Field Athlete of All-Time

6. Takashi Ono, Gymnastics

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  • Country: Japan
  • Olympic Games: 4 (1952, 1956, 1960, 1964)
  • Total Medals: 13
  • Gold Medals: 5
  • Awards
    • International Gymnastics Hall of Fame
    • Flag Bearer for Japan at 1960 Olympics

5. Edoardo Mangiarotti, Fencing

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  • Country: Italy
  • Olympic Games: 5 (1936, 1948, 1952, 1956, 1960)
  • Total Medals: 13
  • Gold Medals: 6
  • Best Event (Medals): Team Epee (5), Team Foil (4), Individual Epee (3)
  • Awards
    • Platinum Wreath Winner, IOC
    • Most Decorated Male Fencer of All-Time
    • Most Decorated Fencer of All-Time

4. Boris Shakhlin, Gymnastics

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  • Country: Soviet Union
  • Olympic Games: 3 (1956, 1960, 1964)
  • Total Medals: 13
  • Gold Medals: 7
  • Best Event (Medals): Team Competition (3), Pommel Horse (2)
  • Awards
    • Red Banner of Labor
    • Order of Lenin
    • International Gymnastics Hall of Fame

3. Nikolai Andrianov, Gymnastics

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  • Country: Soviet Union
  • Olympic Games: 3 (1972, 1976, 1980)
  • Total Medals: 15
  • Gold Medals: 7
  • Best Event (Medals): Vault (2), Floor Exercise (2)
  • Awards
    • Order of Lenin
    • Order of the Badge of Honour
    • Order of the Red Banner of Labour
    • “For Labour Valour” Medal
    • International Gymnastics Hall of Fame
    • Most Decorated Male Gymnast of All-Time

2. Larisa Latynina, Gymnastics

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  • Country: Soviet Union
  • Olympic Games: 3 (1956, 1960, 1964)
  • Total Medals: 18
  • Gold Medals: 9
  • Best Event (Medals): Floor Exercise (3), Team (3), All-Around (3), Uneven Bars (3), Vault (3)
  • Awards
    • 1989 Olympic Order, Silver
    • International Gymnastics Hall of Fame
    • Most Decorated Gymnast of All-Time
    • Most Decorated Female Gymnast of All-Time

1. Michael Phelps, Swimming

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  • Country: United States
  • Olympic Games: 4 (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016)
  • Total Medals: 22
  • Gold Medals: 18
  • World Records: 9 (He originally owned 39 World records for swimming that have since been broken.)
  • Best Event (Medals): 4×200 m Freestyle (12), 4×100 m Medley (10), 4×100 m Freestyle (10), 200 m Butterfly (11), 100 m Butterfly (10), 200 m Medley (10)
  •  Awards
    • Swimming World Magazine American Swimmer of the Year: 9
    • Swimming World Magazine World Swimmer of the Year: 7
    • Golden Goggle Male Performance of the Year: 5
    • Golden Goggle Male Athlete of the Year: 6
    • Golden Goggle Relay Performance of the Year: 4
    • Gazzetta dello Sport Sportsman of the Year: 2
    • USOC Sportsman of the Year Award: 4
    • 2012 FINA Swimmer of the Year
    • 2003 James E. Sullivan Award
    • Associated Press Athlete of the Year: 2
    • 2008 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year