The Indian hockey team recently penned history by surpassing Germany in the long haul of Olympics. Both the teams were tied at the same number of medals, with 11 in total. India thumped them in a thrilling contest in the third-place play-off, coming back from behind to clinch the bronze and once again claim the ace in the number of medals claimed in the history of hockey in the Olympics.
In the glittering antiquity of the sport at the quadrennial extravaganza that spawned since 1908, the initial couple of years saw Great Britain walking away with the bragging rights. It was since 1928 when the dynamics shifted and India started dominating the sport with unprecedented swagger.
Until 1960, India kept on defending the ace to be finally toppled off the perch by their arch-rivals, Pakistan. However, they didn’t waste much time in regaining the top spot. Sadly, that was the era when other forces in the world started coming up and India was denied unchecked ascent.
In this story, we will take a quick glance at the four nations with the highest number of Olympic medals.
1. India – 12 medals
India has managed to bag 12 medals, the latest of which arrived in the recently concluded Olympics. They started their dominance early as their first Gold came in 1928.
This was followed by a period of relentless domination. They have managed to bag 8 golds, three silvers and one bronze. Stars of the triumphs included illustrious monikers like Major Dhyan Chand, Leslie Claudius, Rupinder Singh and the list goes on.
2. Germany – 11 medals
It took the Germans a while to manifest in the bigger picture of the sport. Despite bagging silver in 1936 and bronze in 1928 it was the post-India-dominant era when Germany started ruling the roost.
The turn of the century saw Germany coming with all guns blazing at the other major forces. Their haul boasts of 4 gold medals, 3 silvers and 4 bronze medals. For a second there in the third-place play-off, there was a thought that this could very well have been Germany’s 12th
4. Australia – 10 Medals
Australia is one of the most successful teams in the world when it comes to hockey. They are the ones who defined modern aggression and introduced relentless passing, leaving the world in awe.
It took them a while and a lot of effort to hang in the middle and with the turn of the century, their dominance was once again on the rise. They managed to bag 10 medals which star one gold, four silvers and five bronze medals.
4. Netherlands – 9 medals
Though their recent showdown in the arena of hockey has been very limited and ordinary, the Netherlands has shown spasmodic bursts of excellence, spawning relentless rampage on occasions.
They have won two gold medals, four silvers and three bronze. The team has been sublime in patches, while there were occasions when the entire contingency crumbled like skittles.