Most Olympic Medals
Olympic history was made on Wednesday when the U.S. men's swimming team won the gold medal in the 4x200 freestyle relay.
It was the 19th total medal for Michael Phelps in his Olympic career, putting him one spot above gymnast Larisa Latynina on the all-time list. Phelps also extended his record by winning his 15th gold medal.
Only a select number of athletes in the Games' history have come close to achieving the same kind of success. Just 30 athletes have won at least 10 medals in the Olympics, with Phelps being the only one to achieve double-digit gold medals.
While Phelps has dominated this decade, the 50's, 60's and 70's saw athletes from countries other than the USA be almost as good.
Here is a list of the Olympians with the most career medals in the history of the Games:
Michael Phelps (USA)
Phelps’s dominance has raised the question of whether or not he is the greatest Olympian of all time. Of the swimmer’s 20 total medals, he has placed first in 16 of those events. That’s seven more than the person closest to him on the list.
Larisa Latynina (Soviet Union)
The woman who Phelps recently passed amassed an astonishing 18 total medals from 1956-1964. The Soviet won 14 of those in individual competition. Latynina helped the Soviet Union dominate gymnastics for years at the Olympics.
Nikolai Andrianov (Soviet Union)
Andrianov won 15 total medals from 1972-1980. The seven-time gold medal winner was most dominant in 1976, when he came in first in four gymnastics events: floor exercises, rings, vault and the all-around competition.
Boris Shakhlin (Soviet Union)
The third Soviet on the list, Shakhlin won 13 total and seven gold medals from 1965-1964. The gymnast was also very successful outside of Olympic competition, setting records in the world championships.
Edoardo Mangiarotti (Italy)
Perhaps the most successful fencer in this history of the Games, Mangiarotti competed in the Olympics over a 24-year period. He took home the first of his six gold medals in 1936, and earned his final medal in 1960, finishing his career with 13 in all.
Takashi Ono (Japan)
Ono won 13 medals between 1952-1964. He managed to win five gold medals over four different Olympic Games, and was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1998.