The best in history

The modern Summer Olympics kicked off in 1896. One hundred twenty years later, the United States leads the medal table by a huge margin.

GOLD
SILVER
BRONZE

United States

2,403

976
759
668

Soviet Union

1,010

395
319
296

Britain

773

236
268
269
USA
United States
976
759
668
2,403
URS
Soviet Union
395
319
296
1,010
GBR
Britain
236
268
269
773
FRA
France
203
224
244
671
ITA
Italy
197
166
186
549
GER
Germany
175
182
216
573
CHN
China
201
146
125
472
HUN
Hungary
167
144
165
476
SWE
Sweden
141
161
174
476
AUS
Australia
139
153
180
472
GDR
East Germany
153
129
127
409
JPN
Japan
130
126
142
398
RUS
Russia
132
121
142
395
FIN
Finland
101
84
116
301
ROU
Romania
88
94
119
301
NED
Netherlands
77
86
103
266
KOR
South Korea
81
82
79
242
CAN
Canada
61
99
119
279
POL
Poland
64
82
125
271
CUB
Cuba
72
67
70
209
BUL
Bulgaria
51
85
78
214
FRG
West Germany
56
67
81
204
SUI
Switzerland
45
73
65
183
DEN
Denmark
44
67
68
179
NOR
Norway
52
49
41
142
TCH
Czechoslovakia
49
49
45
143
ESP
Spain
37
59
35
131
BEL
Belgium
36
52
52
140
EUN
Unified Team
45
38
29
112
EUA
United Team of Germany
28
54
36
118
GRE
Greece
30
42
38
110
NZL
New Zealand
42
18
38
98
UKR
Ukraine
33
27
55
115
TUR
Turkey
39
25
24
88
YUG
Yugoslavia
28
31
31
90
BRA
Brazil
23
30
55
108
KEN
Kenya
25
32
29
86
AUT
Austria
18
33
35
86
RSA
South Africa
23
26
27
76
ARG
Argentina
19
24
28
71
JAM
Jamaica
17
30
20
67
BLR
Belarus
12
24
39
75
IRI
Iran
15
20
25
60
MEX
Mexico
13
22
27
62
KAZ
Kazakhstan
16
17
19
52
ETH
Ethiopia
21
7
17
45
CZE
Czech Republic
14
15
15
44
PRK
North Korea
14
12
21
47
EST
Estonia
9
9
15
33
IRL
Ireland
9
8
11
28
IND
India
9
6
11
26
ZZX
Mixed Teams
11
5
4
20
EGY
Egypt
7
9
10
26
INA
Indonesia
6
10
11
27
SVK
Slovakia
7
9
8
24
THA
Thailand
7
6
12
25
AZE
Azerbaijan
6
5
15
26
GEO
Georgia
6
5
14
25
CRO
Croatia
6
6
10
22
MAR
Morocco
6
5
11
22
LTU
Lithuania
6
5
10
21
POR
Portugal
4
8
10
22
LAT
Latvia
3
11
5
19
NGR
Nigeria
3
8
12
23
UZB
Uzbekistan
5
5
10
20
MGL
Mongolia
2
9
13
24
SLO
Slovenia
4
6
9
19
TPE
Chinese Taipei
2
7
12
21
COL
Colombia
2
6
11
19
ALG
Algeria
5
2
8
15
TTO
Trinidad and Tobago
2
6
10
18
BAH
The Bahamas
5
2
5
12
CHI
Chile
2
7
4
13
ANZ
Australasia
3
4
5
12
PAK
Pakistan
3
3
4
10
TUN
Tunisia
3
3
4
10
ZIM
Zimbabwe
3
4
1
8
VEN
Venezuela
2
2
8
12
URU
Uruguay
2
2
6
10
DOM
Dominican Republic
3
2
1
6
UGA
Uganda
2
3
2
7
ARM
Armenia
1
2
9
12
RU1
Russian Empire
1
4
3
8
CMR
Cameroon
3
1
1
5
SRB
Serbia
1
2
4
7
PER
Peru
1
3
0
4
PHI
Philippines
0
2
7
9
ISR
Israel
1
1
5
7
MAS
Malaysia
0
3
3
6
NAM
Namibia
0
4
0
4
PUR
Puerto Rico
0
2
6
8
MDA
Moldova
0
2
5
7
CRC
Costa Rica
1
1
2
4
SYR
Syria
1
1
1
3
HKG
Hong Kong
1
1
1
3
LIB
Lebanon
0
2
2
4
LUX
Luxembourg
1
1
0
2
ISL
Iceland
0
2
2
4
SIN
Singapore
0
2
2
4
ECU
Ecuador
1
1
0
2
PAN
Panama
1
0
2
3
SCG
Serbia and Montenegro
0
2
0
2
TAN
Tanzania
0
2
0
2
GHA
Ghana
0
1
3
4
VIE
Vietnam
0
2
0
2
SRI
Sri Lanka
0
2
0
2
BOH
Bohemia
0
1
3
4
SUR
Suriname
1
0
1
2
MOZ
Mozambique
1
0
1
2
BDI
Burundi
1
0
0
1
GRN
Grenada
1
0
0
1
UAE
United Arab Emirates
1
0
0
1
TJK
Tajikistan
0
1
2
3
IOP
Independent Olympic Participants
0
1
2
3
KGZ
Kyrgyzstan
0
1
2
3
KSA
Saudi Arabia
0
1
2
3
HAI
Haiti
0
1
1
2
ZAM
Zambia
0
1
1
2
QAT
Qatar
0
0
4
4
SUD
Sudan
0
1
0
1
GAB
Gabon
0
1
0
1
CYP
Cyprus
0
1
0
1
MNE
Montenegro
0
1
0
1
AHO
Netherlands Antilles
0
1
0
1
CIV
Côte d'Ivoire
0
1
0
1
BOT
Botswana
0
1
0
1
TGA
Tonga
0
1
0
1
GUA
Guatemala
0
1
0
1
ISV
US Virgin Islands
0
1
0
1
PAR
Paraguay
0
1
0
1
SEN
Senegal
0
1
0
1
BWI
British West Indies
0
0
2
2
AFG
Afghanistan
0
0
2
2
KUW
Kuwait
0
0
2
2
TOG
Togo
0
0
1
1
DJI
Djibouti
0
0
1
1
NIG
Niger
0
0
1
1
GUY
Guyana
0
0
1
1
BER
Bermuda
0
0
1
1
BRN
Bahrain
0
0
1
1
MKD
Macedonia
0
0
1
1
MRI
Mauritius
0
0
1
1
BAR
Barbados
0
0
1
1
IRQ
Iraq
0
0
1
1
ERI
Eritrea
0
0
1
1
* The 'Golds first' denomination puts the nation with most golds ahead, counting silvers and bronzes only when there's a tie at gold medals. The 'point system' values golds with 5 points, silvers with 3, and bronzes with 1.

Loading

How politics helped the United States

One of the reasons why the U.S. lead is so huge is not just volume (more people, more athletes), but also consistency. Some of its biggest competitors, like Russia or Germany, have suffered too many political changes to contest the title.

Former

Soviet Republics

USA

Germany

Soviet

Union

Germany

573

1,010

Unified

team

West

Germany

East

Germany

Unified

team

Belarus

1,304

Ukraine

Kazakh.

Russia

1,936

2,403

1 medal

5

10

Germany

1896

1900

1904

1908

1912

1916

1920

1924

1928

1932

1936

1948

1952

1956

1960

1964

1968

1972

1976

1980

1984

1988

1992

1996

2000

2004

2008

2012

The Russian Empire

is not an equivalent

to Russia. Its extension

was more similar to the

Soviet Union than it is to

the current nation.

Russian

Empire

Estonia

Latvia

89

Soviet Union

Unified team

71

For 1956 to 1964,

Germany competes as

a unified team, though

it’s already separated.

98

103

42

96

50

FRG

GDR

91

Many of the former

Soviet republics

participated in

Barcelona 1992 as

a unified team.

99

40

66

The Soviet Union and

other communist

countries didn’t

participate in

Los Angeles 1984.

125

39

90

198

126

60

Unified

team

132

47

102

GER

112

82

63

65

89

46

90

50

73

41

80

44

KGZ

LAT

EST

LTU

BLR

GEO

ARM

TJK

UZB

MDA

AZE

UKR

KAZ

RUS

USA

2,403

Former Soviet republics

Soviet Union

Russia

1,936

1,010

395

Germany

Germany

East

Germany

1,304

573

1 medal

5

10

Germany

1896

1900

1904

1908

1912

1916

1920

1924

1928

1932

1936

1948

1952

1956

1960

1964

1968

1972

1976

1980

1984

1988

1992

1996

2000

2004

2008

2012

The Russian Empire

is not an equivalent

to Russia. Its extension

was more similar to the

Soviet Union than it is

to the current nation.

Russian

Empire

Estonia

Latvia

89

Soviet Union

Unified team

71

For 1956 to 1964,

Germany competes as

a unified team, though

it’s already separated.

98

103

42

96

50

FRG

GDR

Baltic

republics

are the first

to compete

alone after

the Soviet

Union era

ends.

91

Many of the former

Soviet republics

participated in

Barcelona 1992 as

a unified team.

99

40

66

The Soviet Union and

other communist

countries decided

not to participate in

Los Angeles 1984.

125

39

90

198

126

60

Unified

team

132

Germany

47

102

112

82

63

65

89

56

90

49

73

41

80

44

KGZ

LAT

EST

LTU

GEO

ARM

TJK

UZB

MDA

AZE

UKR

KAZ

BLR

RUS

USA

2,403

Former Soviet republics

Russia

Soviet Union

1,936

1,010

395

Germany

Germany

West

Germany

East

Germany

1,304

573

Still, even counting all the medals ever won by nations once in the U.S.S.R., the United States would still be No. 1. On the other hand, if we add up all the medals ever won by Germany and the East and West Germanys of the Cold War, the nation would rise from seventh place historically to third place overall.

Citius, Altius, Fortius

If we break down the Summer Olympics disciplines to see what countries are the fastest, the highest (we're showing high and long jumping disciplines plus trampoline), and the strongest, the United States still leads all these categories.

The fastest

See all
Includes track and filed events with distances up to 400 m and swimming events up to 200 m.

The highest

See all
Includes track and field events (high jump, pole vault, long jump, triple jump and similar) and trampoline.

The strongest

See all
Includes track and filed throwing events (shot put, discus, hammer, javelin...), tug of war, judo, taekwondo, boxing, wrestling and weightlifting.

Athletes with the most medals

Michael Phelps is, by far, leading this classification, holding twice the golds of his closest competitor. And the swimmer from Baltimore can increase his advantage in Rio 2016.

Michael Phelps

United States

SWIMMING

1

18

2

2

Larisa Latynina

Soviet Union

GYMNASTICS

2

9

5

4

Paavo Nurmi

Finland

TRACK AND FIELD

3

9

3

0

Mark Spitz

9

 

1

 

1

 

9

 

1

 

0

 

Carl Lewis

8

4

0

Birgit Fischer

8

3

1

Sawao Kato

8

3

1

J. Thompson

8

2

1

Matt Biondi

8

0

0

Ray Ewry

1

2

3

Michael Phelps

United States

SWIMMING

Larisa Latynina

Soviet Union

GYMNASTICS

Paavo Nurmi

Finland

ATHLETICS

18

2

2

9

5

4

9

3

0

4th

 

USA

 

Swimming

 

9

 

1

 

1

 

Mark Spitz

9

 

1

 

0

 

5th

 

USA

 

Track and field

 

Carl Lewis

8

4

0

6th

 

Germany

 

Canoeing

 

Birgit Fischer

8

3

1

7th

 

Japan

 

Gymnastics

 

Sawao Kato

8

3

1

7th

 

USA

 

Swimming

 

Janny Thompson

9th

 

USA

 

Swimming

 

8

2

1

Matt Biondi

10th

 

USA

 

Track and field

 

Ray Ewry

8

0

0

As a matter of fact, Phelps has as many golds as countries like Austria have ever won, and more than countries like Jamaica (17) or Mexico (17). He has as many medals (22) as Portugal, and more than Lithuania or Colombia.

Out of the exclusive gold club

A single gold Olympic medal is a huge accomplishment. Most countries have never gotten one, and 75 of them have never won ANY medal in the Summer Olympics. Two (South Sudan and Kosovo) have not yet participated, but will have their debut in Rio.

Countries that have never

won a Summer Olympics medal

AFRICA

Angola

Liberia

Benin

Libya

Madagascar

Burkina Faso

Cape Verde

Malawi

Mali

Central African R.

Chad

Mauritania

Rwanda

Comoros

Congo

S. Tomé and P.

Dem. Rep. Congo

Seychelles

Equatorial Guinea

Sierra Leone

Gambia

Somalia

South Sudan

Guinea

Swaziland

Guinea-Bissau

Lesotho

ASIA

Bangladesh

Myanmar

Bhutan

Oman

Brunei

Palestine

Cambodia

Timor-Leste

Laos

Turkmenistan

Maldives

Yemen

EUROPE

Albania

Liechtenstein

Andorra

Malta

Bosnia and H.

Monaco

Kosovo

San Marino

NORTH AMERICA

Antigua and B.

Honduras

Aruba

Nicaragua

Belize

S. Kitts and N.

Cayman Islands

Saint Lucia

Dominica

S. Vincent & G.

El Salvador

British Virgin I.

OCEANIA

American Samoa

Nauru

Cook Islands

Palau

Micronesia

Papua New G.

Fiji

Samoa

Guam

Solomon I.

Kiribati

Tuvalu

Marshall I.

Vanuatu

SOUTH AMERICA

Bolivia

No medals

No gold medals

Atlantic

Ocean

Pacific

Ocean

Pacific

Ocean

Indian

Ocean

Countries that have never won a Summer Olympics medal

AFRICA

Angola

Liberia

S. Tomé and P.

Congo

Benin

Libya

Seychelles

Dem. Rep. Congo

Madagascar

Burkina Faso

Sierra Leone

Equatorial Guinea

Somalia

Cape Verde

Malawi

Gambia

Mali

South Sudan

Central African R.

Guinea

Swaziland

Chad

Mauritania

Guinea-Bissau

Rwanda

Lesotho

Comoros

ASIA

NORTH AMERICA

Bangladesh

Myanmar

Antigua and B.

Honduras

Bhutan

Oman

Aruba

Nicaragua

Brunei

Palestine

Belize

S. Kitts and N.

Cambodia

Timor-Leste

Cayman Islands

Saint Lucia

Laos

Turkmenistan

Dominica

S. Vincent & G.

Maldives

Yemen

El Salvador

British Virgin I.

OCEANIA

EUROPE

American Samoa

Nauru

Albania

Liechtenstein

Cook Islands

Palau

Andorra

Malta

Micronesia

Papua New G.

Bosnia and H.

Monaco

Fiji

Samoa

Kosovo

San Marino

Guam

Solomon I.

Kiribati

Tuvalu

SOUTH AMERICA

Marshall I.

Vanuatu

Bolivia

No medals

No golds

EUROPE

ASIA

NORTH

AMERICA

Pacific

Ocean

Atlantic

Ocean

AFRICA

SOUTH

AMERICA

Indian

Ocean

Pacific

Ocean

AUSTRALIA

AND OCEANIA

Countries that have never won a Summer Olympics medal

AFRICA

Angola

Liberia

S. Tomé and P.

Congo

Benin

Libya

Seychelles

Dem. Rep. Congo

Madagascar

Burkina Faso

Sierra Leone

Equatorial Guinea

Somalia

Cape Verde

Malawi

Gambia

Mali

South Sudan

Central African R.

Guinea

Swaziland

Chad

Mauritania

Guinea-Bissau

Rwanda

Lesotho

Comoros

ASIA

NORTH AMERICA

Bangladesh

Myanmar

Antigua and B.

Honduras

Bhutan

Oman

Aruba

Nicaragua

Brunei

Palestine

Belize

S. Kitts and N.

Cambodia

Timor-Leste

Cayman Islands

Saint Lucia

Laos

Turkmenistan

Dominica

S. Vincent & G.

Maldives

Yemen

El Salvador

British Virgin I.

OCEANIA

EUROPE

American Samoa

Nauru

Albania

Liechtenstein

Cook Islands

Palau

Andorra

Malta

Micronesia

Papua New G.

Bosnia and H.

Monaco

Fiji

Samoa

Kosovo

San Marino

Guam

Solomon I.

Kiribati

Tuvalu

SOUTH AMERICA

Marshall I.

Vanuatu

Bolivia

Many of these are remote countries or tiny islands. But some aren't. Most African countries have never received a gold medal. Bangladesh, one of the most populated countries in the world with 161 million inhabitants, hasn't even received a medal. But there's an explanation. Bangladesh, has only sent 36 athletes to the Games in all history. The Democratic Republic of Congo, with a population of 77 milliona and also without medals, only 65. Meanwhile, a small country like Norway (5 million inhabitants) sent 61 athletes to London 2012 only.

Burundi is the country with the fewest participants (20) to ever get a medal (and it was a gold!), if we don't count the West Indies Federation (two bronzes, both in 1960, with only 18 participants in history).

On the opposite side is Angola, which has never won a medal despite sending 148 participants to the Olympic Games, the highest number of all. The African nation has participated in all Games since 1980. Still waiting.

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