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Top 10 Olympic Gold Medalists

Written by: Editorial Staff

August 3, 2012
Filed Under Holidays, Sports 


Olympic gold medalistsContributed by Info Guru Jennifer Andrews

The Olympics is an international sporting event in which thousands of elite athletes worldwide compete in several sporting events.

The games are held every two years and alternate between winter and summer events rendering a winter and summer Olympics every four years. Each sporting event honors winners with gold, silver and bronze medals for placing first, second and third respectively. The Olympics has celebrated thousands of remarkable and outstanding gold medalists since its mark centuries ago. Most of these athletes display an intense drive to succeed, true athleticism and serve as an inspiration to all. Still others may have provoked scandals or been the source of controversy due to sportsmanship, play or external governing factors.

Check out the following top ten Olympic gold medalists below and see if any of your favorites make the list.

10. Larisa Latynina

Larisa Latynina

Gymnast Larisa Latynina may not be a well-recognized name to most spectators living in various countries. However, the USSR athlete tops the list of Olympic gold medalists due to the fact that, until Michael Phelps medal run in 2012, she ranked among the top Olympic gold medals holders with a total of 18.

9. Dara Torres

Dara Torres

The United States Dara Torres has an outstanding total of 12 gold medals going into the 2012 Olympic Games. Torres is well-known as being one of the oldest Olympic swimmers to compete in the pool at the age of 45.

8. Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps

US Olympian Michael Phelps was one of the most-talked about athletes in the 2008 Beijing summer Olympic Games, and then the 2012 London summer Olympics. The revered swimmer went on to win six gold medals and two bronze for a total of 8 medals in the swimming events in Beijing and by mid-point of the 2012 games, upped his medal count to a prodigious 20. This makes Michael Phelps the Olympian with the most medals won of all time.

7. Nadia Comaneci

Nadia Comaneci

Hailing from Romania, Olympic Gymnast Nadia Comaneci won five gold medals during the 1976 and 1980 games. In addition to also taking home three silvers and one bronze medal, Comaneci also scored the first ever perfect 10 in the Olympic Gymnastics.

6. Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Track and Field Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee has a record of three gold medals in the Olympic games. The United States track and field athlete set the world record for the heptathlon in 1998 where she placed first with 7,291 points.

5. Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt

Brazilian Usain Bolt took home three Olympic gold medals during the 2008 games in both individual and relay events. He also showed world dominance by setting world records in events including the 100 m sprint.

4. Sixten Jernberg

Sixten Jernberg

Sweden athlete Sixten Jernberg won nine Olympic medals in total in cross-country skiing during the years of 1956 to 1964. Of the nine, four medals were gold in the 50000m, 30000m and 4 x 10000m relay events.

3. Bhorn Daehlie

Bhorn Daehlie

Cross-country skiing has also been dominated by Swedish athlete Bhorn Daehlie. Daehlie has won eight gold medals over the course of his Olympic career for a grand total of twelve with the inclusion of silver and bronze as well.

2. Carl Lewis

Carl Lewis

US Olympian Carl Lewis has won nine gold medals in the track and field events of the Olympic Games. One silver medal rounds out his total medal count to ten.

1. Paavo Nurmi

Paavo Nurmi

Olympic athlete Paavo Nurmi represented Finland during the Olympic Games from 1920 to 1928. Participating in athletics, Nurmi won nine gold medals and three bronze for a grand total of twelve medals cumulative.

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