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Top 12 Countries That Have Won the Most Olympic Medals

Every two years, the Olympic Games create a global phenomenon. Since 1994, the Summer Olympics have been held every four years, and the Winter Olympics have alternated between years. The Olympics provide an opportunity for people all around the world to come together and watch athletes compete on behalf of their home nations. Watching gifted people compete in amazing sports is an opportunity for the world to unite in harmony. Naturally, since it’s a competition, the competing athletes receive medals. The top three place winners will get bronze, silver, or gold. Let’s examine the top 12 nations with the most medals earned at the Olympics.

United States

Out of all the nations in the globe, the United States has earned the most Olympic medals since 1896. With the exception of the 1980 Summer Olympics held in the Soviet Union, the nation has sent athletes to every Olympic Games from the beginning of the modern era. In 1979, Afghanistan was invaded by the Soviet Union. In the Summer Olympics, the United States has won 1,061 gold medals, and in the Winter Olympics, 113. Los Angeles will play host to the Summer Olympics in 2028, which will be held in the United States.

Soviet Union

From 1952 until communism collapsed, the now-defunct nation took part in the Olympic Games. In protest for the US-led 1980 Olympic boycott, the Soviet Union chose to boycott the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. The nation competed in the Winter Olympics for the first time in 1952 and 1956, and then in the Summer Olympics. In the Summer Olympics, the Soviet Union won 395 gold medals, and in the Winter Olympics, 78.

Great Britain

Great Britain has competed in the Olympic Games ever since they were first held in 1896. The three times the nation has hosted the games—1908, 1948, and 2012—all took place in London. World War II forced the cancellation of the games, which they were scheduled to organise in 1944. 12 gold medals from the Winter Olympics and 284 gold medals from the Summer Olympics have been won by Great Britain.

Germany

Over the years, Germany’s connection with the Olympic games has been extremely turbulent. Their participation was restricted in 1920 and 1924 following World War I, although they were allowed to return in 1996. They returned in 1928, but were outlawed once more in 1948. During the Cold War, the nation was split, and it remained together until 1992. In the Summer Olympics, Germany has won 201 gold medals, and in the Winter Olympics, 104 gold medals.

France

Since the modern Olympic Games were established by French historian Pierre de Coubertin, France has taken part in every competition since 1896. Because it is unclear whether athlete Albert Corey raced for the United States or France in 1904, there is considerable uncertainty regarding their participation. Additionally, France has hosted the Olympics five times: in 1900, twice in 1924, in 1968, and in 1992. In 2024, they will serve as hosts once more, this time in Paris.

Italy

With the exception of the Summer Olympics in 1904, Italy has competed in every modern Olympic Games from 1896. In addition, they have hosted the Olympics three times: in Cortina d’Ampezzo in 1950, in Rome in 1956, and in Turin in 2006. Milan will serve as the host city for the 2026 Winter Olympics. In the Summer Olympics, Italy has won 217 gold medals, and in the Winter Olympics, 42 gold medals.

China

When China was still known as the People’s Republic of China, it began competing in the Olympics in 1952. China participated as the Republic of China before to then. They boycotted the Olympics until the Los Angeles Summer Olympics in 1984 because to political unrest. China has twice served as an Olympic host nation: in Beijing in 2008 and 2022. Finally, in the Summer Olympics, China has won 263 gold medals, and in the Winter Olympics, 22.

Sweden

Sweden has competed in every modern Olympic Games since 1896, with the exception of the Summer Olympics in 1904. With the exception of 1896 and 1904, Sweden is one of the few nations to have medalled at every Olympic Games. Only once, in 1912, did Sweden serve as host country for the Summer Olympics, which took place in Stockholm. Due to quarantine issues in Melbourne (the site of the 1956 Summer Olympics), Stockholm once more hosted the Olympic horse competition.

Japan

Japan competed in the Olympic Games for the first time in 1912. The country has attended almost all Olympic games since then. The nation was not allowed to compete in the 1948 Olympics following World War II. In addition, Japan boycotted the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow along with the United States. Japan has four times hosted the Olympics: in 1964, in 1972, in 1998, and in 2020 (in 2021 because of the COVID-19 epidemic). In the Summer Olympics, Japan has won 169 gold medals, and in the Winter Olympics, 17 gold medals.

Norway

Norway took part in their first Olympic Games in 1900. Since then, they have not taken part in any of the games; in 1980, they joined the boycott of the Moscow games spearheaded by the United States. Norway has twice played host to the Olympics: in Lillehammer in 1994 and in Oslo in 1952. In the Summer Olympics, Norway has won 61 gold medals, and in the Winter Olympics, 148 gold medals.

Australia

The Oceanic nation has competed in every modern Summer Olympic Games; however, they chose to represent Australasia alongside New Zealand in the Games of 1908 and 1912. Although the nation began competing in the 1936 Winter Olympics, it did not take part in 1948. Australia has twice served as an Olympic host nation: in Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000. The 2032 Games, to be held in Brisbane, will be hosted by the country.

Canada

With the exception of the 1980 Summer Olympics, when they boycotted the Moscow games alongside the United States, Canada took part in the Olympic Games for the first time in 1900. Three times, in 1976 in Montreal, 1988 in Calgary, and 2010 in Vancouver, the country has hosted the Olympics. Finally, Canada finished first in the Summer Olympics with 71 gold medals and second in the Winter Olympics with 77 gold medals.

In summary

These are the top 12 nations that have won the most medals at the Olympics. The globe is currently anticipating the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, and it will be exciting to watch who wins. Ultimately, though, this will be an opportunity for the globe to unite as one.

Highlights of the Top Countries That Have Won the Most Olympic Medals

Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
United States 1174 952 833 2959
Soviet Union 473 376 355 1204
Great Britain 296 323 331 950
Germany 305 305 312 922
France 264 293 332 889
Italy 259 231 269 759
China 285 231 197 713
Sweden 212 228 239 679
Japan 186 178 209 573
Norway 209 186 173 568
Australia 170 180 216 566
Canada 148 182 221 551