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5 Male Sportspersons With Most Medals In Summer Olympics 

A man wearing a face mask walks past the Olympic Rings on February 11, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
A man wearing a face mask walks past the Olympic Rings on February 11, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 15 Feb 2021
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In most sports and for most athletes, the Olympics are considered the Holy Grail. Held every four years, the Olympic Games alternate between the Summer Olympics and Winter Olympics, with both of those events being held every two years during a four-year period.

With approximately 200 nations competing in the Olympics, the event is widely considered the largest sporting event on the planet.

Winning an Olympic medal is the culmination of years of hard work, toil and sweat. Winning a single medal itself is considered the highlight of many athletes' careers and lives. However, there are some sporting legends who have gone on to win multiple medals in their discipline, transcending from Olympic medal-winners to Olympic legends.

Let's take a look at the 5 Male Sportspersons with the most medals in the history of the Summer Olympics.

(Note* - ranking is based on overall medals won; In case athletes have won the same number of overall medals, the number of gold medals won have been used as the deciding factor to rank them).


#5 - Takashi Ono - Japan - Gymnastics - 1952, 1956, 1960, 1964

(Ranking - Athlete - Nation - Sports - Years of Olympic participation)

Total - 13 (Gold - 5, Silver - 4, Bronze - 4)

Japanese gymnnast Takashi Ono competing on the uneven bars in the men
Japanese gymnnast Takashi Ono competing on the uneven bars in the men's individual all-around gymnnastics event at the Baths of Caracalla during the Olympic Games in Rome, 7th September 1960.
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Japan's Takashi Ono won five gold, four silver and four bronze medals in artistic gymnastics in his Olympic career.

At the 1956 Summer Olympics, Takashi won his first Olympic gold in the horizontal bar event. At the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Takashi won 6 medals in the artistic gymnastic events. He won gold on the horizontal bar, the pommel horse, and the team competition at the Rome Games.

Takashi went on to win the team title in front of his home crowd at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. That marked his fifth gold and 13th Olympic medal. He was also chosen to take the Olympic Oath at the1964 Games.


#4 - Edoardo Mangiarotti - Italy - Fencing - 1936, 1948, 1952, 1956, 1960

Total - 13 (Gold - 6, Silver - 5, Bronze - 2)

Edoardo Mangiarotti attends Fencing Gala Night on July 12, 2008 in Milan, Italy.
Edoardo Mangiarotti attends Fencing Gala Night on July 12, 2008 in Milan, Italy.

Edoardo Mangiarotti, an Italian fencer, won 13 Olympic medals in his career. He won six gold medals in the épée and foil, which made him the most successful Olympian in Italy's history.

Mangiarotti won one individual gold, five team golds, five silver, and two bronze medals between the 1936 Summer Olympics and 1960 Summer Olympics.

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Mangiarotti also had the distinction of being selected to carry the flag for the Italian delegation at the Opening Ceremony twice - at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne and the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.


#3 - Boris Shakhlin - Soviet Union - Gymnastics - 1956, 1960, 1964

Total - 13 (Gold - 7, Silver - 4, Bronze - 2)

Two Japanese journalists watch champion Russian gymnast Boris Shakhlin training at Nippon University.
Two Japanese journalists watch champion Russian gymnast Boris Shakhlin training at Nippon University.

Soviet gymnast Boris Shakhlin won 7 golds in individual gymnastic events, which still stands as an Olympic record for men.

Shakhlin won 13 Olympic medals during his entire career. His favorite individual event was the pommel horse, in which he won gold in two successive Games - 1960 and 1964.


#2 - Nikolai Andrianov - Soviet Union - Gymnastics - 1972, 1976, 1980

Total - 15 (Gold - 7, Silver - 5, Bronze - 3)

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Nikolai Andrianov of the Soviet Union performs during the Men
Nikolai Andrianov of the Soviet Union performs during the Men's Parallel bars event in 1978 during the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Strasbourg, France

Nikolai Andrianov, a Soviet/Russian gymnast, has won 15 medals in his Olympic career. Andrianov has won more Olympic medals than any other male gymnast in the history of the Olympic Games.

Andrianov’s seven Olympic gold medals came across different gymnastic events - on floor (1972 and 1976), on vault (1976 and 1980), individual all-around (1976), still rings (1976) and team all-around (1980).

At the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, Andrianov was chosen to read the Olympic Oath during the Opening Ceremony.


#1 - Michael Phelps - United States - Swimming - 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016

Total - 28 (Gold - 23, Silver - 3, Bronze - 2)

Gold medalist Michael Phelps of the United States celebrates during the medal ceremony for the Men
Gold medalist Michael Phelps of the United States celebrates during the medal ceremony for the Men's 200m Individual Medley Final at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

American swimmer Michael Phelps is by far the most successful Olympian of all time, with an unmatched haul of 28 medals.

Phelps' 23 gold medals are also the most won by any athlete in the history of the Summer Olympics.

At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Michael Phelps won the gold in the 100m and 200m butterfly, 200m and 400m individual medley, and the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle relays with the United States team.

He won a total of 8 medals in Athens, which equalled the single Summer Games record that had been set at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow by Soviet gymnast Aleksandr Ditatyn.

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At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Michael Phelps won gold in all 8 events he participated in - making him the first Olympian to do so in the history of the Games.

Phelps won gold in the 100m and 200m butterfly, 200m freestyle, 200m and 400m individual medleys, the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle relays, and the 4x100m medley relay.

At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Phelps won gold in the 100m butterfly and 200m individual medley, the 4x200m freestyle relay and the 4x100m medley.

Phelps announced he would retire after the London Games but came out of retirement with the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in mind. And he didn't disappoint there either.

Phelps won golds in the 4x100m freestyle relay, the 200m butterfly event, the 4x200m freestyle event and the 200m medley

Phelps won his 23rd Olympic gold and 28th overall medal with the United States in the 4x100m medley - which marked the end of his Olympic career.

Phelps has announced that he has no plans to return to the pool at the Tokyo Games and won't be adding to his medal tally any further.

Published 15 Feb 2021, 01:08 IST
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