Multiple medalists in Summer Olympics

For many, participating in the Olympics itself is a dream come true, for some getting a medal fulfills their life and then there are those who repeat this achievement again and again. They are many such multiple medalists in Olympics.

 

Every dot is a medallist and the color shows their nationality.

Of all these multiple medalists seem most intriguing just because it seems very hard to get one medal that it is astonishing that so many have made their mark on the Olympics winning more than one. Let us analyze the multiple medalists over the period of 116 years of history. Anyone who gets more than one medal in any number of Olympic Games in any number of events has been considered as a multiple medalists for our analysis.

  • Michael Phelps (Swimming) leads the list of all time multiple medalists leaving others leagues behind with a magnificent tally of 28 medals including 24 Gold medals over 5 Olympic Games.
  • Lariza Latynina (Gymnastics) comes second with 18 medals including 9 Gold medals.

Here we answer 3 questions:

1.Which sport/event creates most number of multiple medal holders and why?

Swimming

The reason behind this is that good swimmers can participate in multiple events (various distances and strokes) to enhance opportunities at medals. Athletics comes a distant second followed by Gymnastics.

2.Which country has the most number of multiple medalists?

USA.

Being the powerhouse in Olympics, it was not surprising that USA topped the list of having most number of multiple medalists over 120 years. The rivalry between USA and Soviet Union in every field is common knowledge, so it comes as to no surprise that Soviet Union comes second and a split Russia comes fifth. Hungary with its dominance in Fencing, Canoeing, Water Polo and Modern Pentathlon comes fourth after Germany.

India is present in this list solely because of the Hockey medalists like Dhyan Chand who has scored Golds in multiple games.

3. Are Men or Women dominating the multiple medalist tally? Women are quickly edging out the Men. 

Men. Just because of the sheer number of events for men in the Olympics. In the recent times (1980-Present), more multiple medalists are women with the introduction of most events for women also. Interestingly, since the 80’s it is in fact there has been a higher percentage of women multiple medallists than men.

Although the competition is rising, number of countries participating in increasing over the years, the number of unique multiple medalists has also gone up. Most likely reason being increasing number of events in the Olympics.