As the Summer Olympics are almost upon us, a total of 15683 medals have been awarded till date in the glittering antiquity of the glamorous quadrennial extravaganza. The aforementioned number has been assorted into 5116 gold medals, 5080 silver medals and 5487 bronze medals.
N the last edition of this grand extravaganza, a whopping total of 971 medals were awarded. There have been athletes who have spent their lives to win a solitary medal in this glorious event, while there have been others who were simply not assuaged with a solitary piece of triumph.
They kept on coming back and ensured the fact that their repertoire was filled unto the very brim. That is exactly what made them so special in this quadrennial rendezvous of gods, legends, humans and most importantly God-killers.
In this story, we will be looking at five athletes with the highest number of medals in the illustrious history of the Olympics.
1. Michael Phelps – USA
Phelps has penned an almost untouchable record for himself, which will most likely take some Godly effort to be rattled or may even be touched. He has managed to win 28 Olympic medals that also showboats a staggering 23 gold medals. The other five were divided between 2 silvers and 3 bronze.
He has also managed to win 8 medals in a single showdown which was in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and has set a total of 39 world records, an astronomical feat for even an extra-terrestrial entity to achieve. Unlike others, his career hasn’t been plagued with controversy, and his clean records and emphatic triumphs make him an exemplary sportsperson.
Another unknown fact about Phelps that he had to battle the monstrous likes of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) while he was a kid and post-retirement he went into severe depression. However, the man continues battling with depression even today and yet takes up the podium to continue stoking young swimmers to achieve their lifelong dream.
2. Larisa Latynina – USSR
It was riding on the back of some stellar performances of Larisa over the span of three Olympics that the USSR could successfully impose itself as a reckoning force in gymnastics. A graceful and elegant dancer, Larisa bagged four gold medals on her very debut Games in Melbourne.
The last six medals of her career came at the ripe age of 29 which is deemed as a number that has already extracted the best from the most illustrious gymnasts. This enduring resilience of Latynina was a burning ode to her brilliance. She went onto grab a total of 18 medals that comprised 9 golds, 5 silvers and 4 bronzes.
Her astonishing record withstood the test of time, only for Phelps to conquer it with an even better showdown 40 years later.
3. Nikolai Adrianov – USSR
If Larisa played a crucial role in establishing USSR in the early 1960s, Adrianov cemented USSR’s concrete position in the Olympics in the 70s. He started his starry campaign in 1972 bagging gold in gymnastics but his glam skyrocketed in the 1976 Montreal games where he went onto win 4 gold medals, 2 silver medals and 1 bronze medal to manifest himself as a gymnastic icon.
He won a total of 15 medals that saw him bagging 7 golds, 5 silvers and 3 bronzes over his glorious span in the magnificent Olympics. Adrianov pulled the plug on his career shortly after the 1980s Olympics, becoming a coach for the junior and senior Russian teams.
He later also went onto mentor the Japan Olympics team. Despite such heightened achievements, Adrianov passed away at the unripe age of 58 years due to a rare neurological disorder.
4. Boris Shakhlin – USSR
Boris was Latynina’s male counterpart in the 1960s, proliferating USSR’s medal tally. He was an eminent gymnast who peaked in the 1960 Olympics with 4 golds, 2 silvers and 1 bronze.
His total medal tally read 13 medals that were divided into 7 gold medals, 4 silver medals and 2 bronze medals. He earned the nickname of “Iron Man” for his steely tenacity and reposed consistency. Shaklin’s robust frame helped him to establish himself as a reckoning force in the horizontal bar and the ring events. Sadly for an eminent star like him, he was compelled to retire from gymnastics due to a sudden heart attack.
5. Edaordo Mangiarotti – Italy
Edoardo Mangiarotti was born in a famous Italian fencing family. In a captivating tale, Edoardo was forced to change his stance from being a right-hander to being a left-hander so that he gets very tough to defend against.
After surpassing his initial awkwardness, he soon mastered not one but two disciplines of fencing, namely epee and foil. He made his footfall in the Olympics in 1936, bagging gold for team epee. He then also went on to star in four more Olympics after the World War, underlining his longevity.
He won 13 medals in the Olympics that featured the likes of 6 gold medals, 5 silver medals and 2 bronze medals. It was in the 1952 Helsinki games that saw Edoardo soaring high. He won both golds in the individual epee contest and also in the team epee showdown. He also joined forces with his elder brother, Dario and competed in the Olympics.