Olympic Movement


Olympic records: From most successful to the youngest medallists - who’s who

Olympic records: From most successful to the youngest medallists - who’s who
  • Members of the discussion:

  • Last reply:

After a year-long delay, the Tokyo Olympics showcased the world’s best athletes putting on a spectacle — with several records falling and personal bests set.

As another edition of the Summer Games came to an end, let’s have a look at some Olympic records.

Most number of Olympic medals won

Legendary former American swimmer Michael Phelps is the most successful male Olympian of all time with 28 Olympic medals. Incredibly, 23 of them are gold medals, which is also the record for most Olympic golds won by a male athlete.

Among the women, former Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina, with 18 Olympic medals, is the most successful female Olympian. Nine of those were gold, a record for most golds by a female athlete at the Olympics.

Among countries, the United States of America leads the way, having won 2,522 Olympic medals over the years, 1,022 of which were gold — also the most won by a single nation.

Most gold medals won in a single Olympics

Michael Phelps’s record of eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics — he won gold in every event he took part in — stands as the record for most Olympic golds won in a single edition of the Summer Games.

German swimmer Kristin Otto leads the way among the women, having won six gold medals at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

The USA lead the way once again among nations, with American athletes having won a record 83 gold medals at the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles.

Most consecutive Olympic gold medals in same event

Americans Carl Lewis (long jump), Alfred Oerter (discus throw) and Denmark’s Paul Elvstrom (sailing) have all won gold medals in four consecutive Olympic Games and are tied for the top spot among male athletes.

Japanese wrestler Kaori Icho, with four consecutive golds, leads the way among female athletes.

In team events, Hungarian fencer Aladar Gerevich has won six consecutive Olympic golds as part of the male sabre team while American basketball player Lisa Leslie has been part of four consecutive Olympic gold-winning women’s teams.

Youngest Olympic medallist

Denmark’s Inge Sorensen is the youngest female athlete to win an individual Olympic medal. Sorensen won bronze in the 200m breaststroke at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, when she was 12 years and 24 days old.

Her compatriot Nils Skoglund became the youngest male athlete to win an individual Olympic medal when he took silver in the plain high diving event at the 1920 Antwerp Olympics. He was 14 years and 11 days old.

In team events, Greek gymnast Dimitrios Loundras is the youngest male to win an Olympic medal as he was part of the bronze-winning parallel bars team at the 1896 Olympics. He was 10 years and 218 days old.

Italian Luigina Giavotti, at 11 years and 302 days, is the youngest female member of a team to win an Olympic medal. She won silver as part of the women’s gymnastics team at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics.

Youngest Olympic gold-medallists

USA’s Marjorie Gestring is the youngest individual Olympic champion. She won the 3m springboard event at the 1936 Berlin Olympics when she was aged 13 years and 268 days.

Japanese swimmer Kusuo Kitamura, at 14 years and 309 days, is the youngest individual male Olympic champion, having won the 1500m freestyle gold at the 1932 Los Angeles Games.

Oldest Olympic champions

Swedish shooter Oscar Swahn won the Olympic gold in the 100m running deer double shots team event at the 1920 Antwerp Olympics. He was aged 72 years and 279 days.

Eliza Pollock of the USA is the oldest female athlete to win Olympic gold. She was 63 years and 331 days old when she won the archery competition at the 1904 Olympics.

Most appearances at the Olympics

Having participated in 10 Olympic Games from 1972 to 2012, Canadian equestrian rider Ian Millar is the man with the most Olympic appearances to date. He won one Olympic silver medal.

German-Italian canoer Josefa Idem-Guerrini took part in eight Olympics from 1984 to 2008, which is the most Olympic appearances by a female athlete. She won one gold, two silvers and one bronze medal across eight Olympics.

Photo: Getty Images
Top of discussion

The 2023 World Figure Skating Championships Conclude in a Blaze of Glory for Japan

This Championship was pretty amazing! And it showed that without Russians it didn’t become less interesting. The public doesn’t need quads by 15 year olds to enjoy the competition

Elena Anikina: "We hope, especially considering the position and strategy which IOC has now, that very soon the situation will be changed"

Apparently, soon Russia will have to build luge-bobsleigh tracks not only in Russia, but also in partner countries!) In terms of competitiveness for Russian bobsleigh, this is a st

Alexander Tkachev: "We make sure that our athletes get the most important thing - the opportunity to compete"

Yes, it is an interesting vector of development, it is also important here what projects and initiatives Russia can offer for Asian countries? Will we be able to host the Asian Che

Israeli gymnastics hit by allegations parents were asked to bribe judges

A great case, it seems tha now we need an analogue of WADA, who will investigate attempts to bribe judges, etc. It will be very interesting.

Sport and politics: my experiences as an athlete

Все это лишь еще раз доказывает, что спорт должен оставаться вне политики. К сожалению, чаще всего это просто слова.

Olympian, Nassar survivor Tasha Schwikert Moser on USA Gymnastics' board of directors

Очень круто, когда человек уверен, что именно он может что-то изменить, а особенно когда человек знает спорт изнутри. Уважать!

Disqualified for running in a hijab, Noor Alexandria Abukaram turned pain into action

Хочу поблагодарить эту спортсменку за то, что она не побоялась поставить свою историю в пример. Я считаю, что спортсмен может раскрыть свою религию. Хиджаб – выявленная черта мусул

Suni Lee finds support at Auburn after Olympics 'impostor syndrome'

Случайно, я знаю об этой спортсменке, сделал один вывод, что она точно не блещет, она очень солнечный человек. Жаль, что кто-то не был счастлив, когда она заслужила золото для свое

'Anesthetic injections are....' - WADA chief on doping accusation on French Open winner Rafael Nadal

Да, конечно, спорт — это преодоление себя. А к Рафаэлю вопросов нет, только респект за шикарную игрушку. Но все же, мне кажется, нельзя на сто процентов сказать, что теннисистка то

Give us a chance

Yes, I think athlets from foreign countries understand that all Championships and tournaments are not competitive enough without Russian athlets. I think one day when the situatio

Sport and Politics. Instead of afterword

The question of connection between Sports and Politics was always "exstra burning". So I am interested in your opinion: where should be the border between sport and politics and wh

“Oh, come on, where’s the medals?” or Do the media force athletes too hard?

I am pleased to announce that the British duck has been broken. Team GB will win at least one silver by the end of the Games on Sunday following their win in the Men's Curling semi

We use cookies to improve the site and your interaction with it. If you continue to use this website, you are giving :appName permission to collect and store cookies on your device.