Olympics or we can say the modern Olympic games are the leading international sporting competition which consists of two different parts named Summer Olympics and Winter Olympics. In the Olympic games, a thousand athletes from the World used to take part in different types of competitions. The Olympic event is also considered as the most foremost sporting event in the World where more than 200 nations take part. Generally, an Olympic event used to take place once in every four years where summer and winter Olympics are alternating. The competitions of Olympic games used to attract a huge number of people. If we want to see the leading stars of Olympic history, we must analyze the top 10 most successful athletes in Olympic history.
Most Successful Athletes in Olympic History
Olympics are the largest sporting event where top-rated athletes used to take part and so, the fans of the athletes have fixed their eye to their favorite athletes. On the other side, the athletes are also not disappointing their fans and they used to present their best at the stage.
But, when we consider the top 10 most successful athletes in Olympic history, we must see how many medals did they win and through them, we will come to the final list. So, let’s check the details below where we can find the top 10 most successful athletes in Olympic history.
# 10. Birgit Fischer (Germany)
Birgit Fischer is a former German professional canoe racer who was born on 25th February 1962 at Brandenburg an der Havel, East Germany. She is one of the most successful athletes in Olympic history.
Birgit Fischer won eight gold medals in six different Olympic games and also won four silver medals. With the twelve medals, Birgit Fischer is standing on the 10th position considering the top 10 most successful athletes in Olympic history.
# 9. Paavo Nurmi (Finland)
Paavo Johannes Nurmi who is commonly known as Paavo Nurmi who was born on 13th June 1897 at Turku, Finland and at the age of 76, he died. He died on 2nd October 1973.
Paavo Nurmi was one of the most decorated athletes in Olympic games and still considered as the 9th most successful athletes in Olympic history. He represented Finland in Olympic games where he won twelve medals in his professional career.
Among them, nine gold medals and three silver medals so far. His best time was from 1920 to 1928. Paavo Nurmi was a middle distance and short distance runner in Finland who was nicknamed as ‘Flying Finn’.
# 8. Takashi Ono (Japan)
Takashi Ono is currently 87 years old and a Japanese retired professional gymnast. He used to take part in the competition of Olympics and also earned his place among the most successful athletes in Olympic history.
The Japanese former gymnast was born on 26th July 1931 and took part in Olympic games in 1952, 1956, 1960 and 1964. He has won five gold medals, four silver medals and four bronze medals in his professional career.
So, Ono is placed on the 8th position in the top 10 most successful athletes in Olympic history. Takashi Ono was also the flag bearer for Japan in 1960 Olympic games and took the oath in 1964 games so far.
# 7. Edoardo Mangiarotti (Italy)
Edoardo Mangiarotti is a former professional Italian fencer who was born on 7th April 1919 and died on 25th May 2012 at the age of 93. He won 19 Olympic titles and World championships more than any fencer in history.
However, Edoardo Mangiarotti also earned his place among the most successful athletes in Olympic history where he won total thirteen medals. Among them, he won one individual gold medal along with five team gold medals, five silver medals and two bronze medals and he won all of them during the period from 1936 to 1960.
In all Olympic games, Edoardo Mangiarotti represented Italy and still the most successful fencer in history.
# 6. Boris Shakhlin (Soviet Union)
Boris Anfiyanovich Shakhlin who was simply called as Boris Shakhlin was a professional gymnast in the Soviet Union and he was born on 27th January 1932.
At the age of 76, he left the World on 30th May 2008 in Ukraine. He was a reputed gymnast and in 1960 Olympic Boris became the all-around champion and in 1958 he was also the all-around champion in the World. The Soviet man won thirteen medals total in Olympic games and he was also the most successful athlete in the 1960 Summer Olympics.
Bori won seven gold medals, four silver medals and two bronze medals in his professional career. So, earned his place among the top 10 most successful athletes in Olympic history and standing on the 6th position so far.
# 5. Ole Einar Borndalen (Norway)
Ole Einar Borndalen is a retired professional biathlete and he is currently 44 years old. Due to his brilliant performance in the competition, he is nicknamed as ‘King of Biathlon’. With the thirteen Olympic games medals, Ole Einar is the 5th most successful athletes in Olympic history.
On 27th January 1974, he was born in Drammen, Norway and he made his World Cup debut on 18th March 1993. The Norwegian took part in Olympic games total six times in 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014.
He is also the most successful biathlete of all time considering the Biathlon World Championships where he won the highest 45 medals. Among thirteen medals in Olympic games, Ole Einar achieved eight gold medals, four silver medals, and one bronze medal so far.
# 4. Nikolai Andrianov (Soviet Union)
Nikolai Andrianov was the retired Soviet Union professional gymnast and also widely considered as the best gymnast of all time. He won fifteen Olympic games medals which makes him as the 4th most successful athletes in Olympic history.
Among them, seven goal medals, five silver medals, and three bronze medals. The Soviet man was born on 14th October 1952 and died on 21st March 2011 at the age of 58. With six individual medals, Andrianov achieved most medals in the 1976 Summer Olympics.
Along with his Olympic history, he also won four gold medals and six silver medals in World Championships. The man also won 10 gold medals, six silver medals and 2 bronze medals in European Championships as we speak.
# 3. Marit Bjorgen (Norway)
Marit Bjorgen is a retired professional cross-country skier. She is holding the first position in all-time Cross-Country World Cup ranking considering the highest 114 individual victories.
Marit Bjorgen is the most successful sprinter in Cross-Country World Cup history where he achieved twenty-nine victories. Besides, she is one of the most successful athletes in Olympic history as we know with fifteen medals. She achieved eight gold medals, four silver medals, and three bronze medals in her professional career which placed her on the 3rd position on the top 10 most successful athletes in Olympic history.
Marit Bjorgen was born on 21st March 1980 and now, she is 38 years old. On 6th April 2018, this Norwegian athlete announced her retirement from cross-country skiing.
# 2. Larisa Latynina (Soviet Union)
Larisa Latynina is a retired professional gymnast who was born on 27th December 1934 in Kherson, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union. She is completely known as Larisa Semyonovna Latynina and standing on the 2nd position on the top 10 most successful athletes in Olympic history.
She achieved 18 Olympic medals totally and among them, nine were gold medals, five were silver medals and four were bronze medals. However, she is holding the record of most Olympic gold medals as a gymnast considering male and female. Larisa Latynina took part in just three seasons of Olympic games in 1956, 1960 and 1964 and the Soviet Union gymnast is the 2nd most decorated Olympic athlete till now.
Alongside her Olympic career, she also achieved nine gold medals, four silver medals and a bronze medal in World Championships and considering the European Championships, she won seven gold medals, six silver medals and a bronze medal so far.
# 1. Michael Phelps (United States)
Michael Fred Phelps II who is simply known as Michael Phelps is a retired professional swimmer in the United States and also the most successful athlete in Olympic history with a total 28 medals.
33 years old Michael Phelps is holding the record of highest gold medals winner in Olympic games with 23 medals so far. he used to represent the United States in Olympic games. The man Michael Phelps is also known as “The Baltimore Bullet” and “Flying Fish” and he was born on 30th June 1985 in Baltimore, Maryland, United States.
When he won his 8th gold medals in the 2008 Beijing games, he broke the record of another American swimmer Mark Spitz. However, among his 28 Olympic games medals, gold medals are 23, silver medals are three and bronze medals are two. The man was honoured with the World Swimmer of the Year awards seven times so far. Undoubtedly, he is the most decorated Olympic games athlete in the World now.
As stated by the above-listed details, we can see the details of the top 10 most successful athletes in Olympic history. Alongside them, there are also a number of top-rated and most successful athletes are well known like Bjorn Daehlie who won also twelve medals, Japanese athlete Sawao Kato who won also twelve medals in Olympic games. Jenny Thompson, Ryan Lochte, Dara Torres, and some other athletes are also listed among the most successful athletes in Olympic history.