The most celebrated event in the world of sports where athletes strive to win with their all blood and sweat for the honour of their nation. Olympics have seen miracles, prodigies, and some unbelievable world records.
If there is one thing harder than qualifying for the Olympics, it must be determining who the greatest Olympian of all-time. Here, we have picked up top 10 greatest Olympians considering their overall achievements, popularity, and a number of Olympic Games competed in. Have a look
The Baltimore Bullet or the Flying Fish, call him by any name, Phelps is certainly the most decorated Olympian of all-time. He holds the all-time records for Olympic gold medals (23), Olympic gold medals in individual events (13), and Olympic medals in individual events (16). He created a record-breaking haul that looks unlikely to be bettered for many years to come.
The American track and field athlete, Ray Ewry, won eight gold medals at the Olympic Games and two gold medals at the Intercalated Games (1906 in Athens). This puts him among the most successful Olympians of all time. Ewry proved to be the best standing jumper in the world. His finest moment came at the 1904 Games in St. Louis where he repeated his Paris Olympics (1900) moment after seizing three gold medals on one day.
American Carl Lewis is one of the few athletes who has won 9 gold medals during his Olympic career (2 in the 100m, 1 in the 200m, 2 in the 4x100m, and 4 in the long jump). Lewis participated in four Olympic Games and equaled to Jesse Owens’ legendary performance by winning 4 golds in a single Olympics in 1984. He is also the only man who has won the long jump Olympic title four consecutive times. Carl Lewis (USA) – Athletics – Los Angeles 1984, Seoul 1998, Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996
Undoubtedly the most naturally gifted athlete the world has ever seen, Usain Bolt, created history at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio when he achieved the ‘Triple Triple’, three gold medals at three consecutive Olympic Games. He enhanced his already legendary Olympic status with an unprecedented third consecutive 100m, 200m, and 4x100m triple at Rio 2016, a feat that may well never be repeated. An eight-time Olympic gold medallist is the reigning world and Olympic champion in the 100 meters and 200 meters and 4 × 100 meters relay.
Fischer dominated the sport with an amazing run of victories. By the time she graduated from her army sports boarding school, Fischer was already the youngest champion in the history of Olympic kayaking. She had won gold in the K1 500m at the 1980 Moscow Games aged just 20, setting the tone for her incredible career.
She won the World Championship in 1981, 1982 and 1983, only missing out at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games due to East Germany’s boycott.
Aladar Gerevich played a leading role in the Hungarian team’s 36-year dominance of the Olympic Sabre competition. Gerevich won seven gold medals in fencing, and he was the only person to have won a gold medal in the same sport at six different Olympics. Gerevich regarded as “the greatest Olympic swordsman ever”.
Known as “The Flying Finn” and “The King of Runners, Nurmi dominated long-distance running by setting 22 world records from distances ranging from 1km to 20km. He won 9 gold and 3 silver in his twelve events in the Olympic Games. Nurmi was the first athlete to win five gold medals at the same Olympics and notably ran with a stopwatch in hand to track his pace.
The Russian gymnast, Larisa Latynina has remained untouchable for 48 years in her career (Michael Phelps surpassed the record on 31 July 2012). The former Soviet gymnast’s record haul of 18 Olympic medals put her far above the reach of any other Olympian. She holds the record for the most Olympic gold medals by a gymnast, male or female, with 9. She is credited with helping to establish the Soviet Union as a dominant force in gymnastics
Sir Steve Redgrave
Sir Steve Redgrave is a retired British rower who won gold medals at five consecutive Olympic Games from 1984 to 2000. He is regarded as one of Britain’s greatest-ever Olympians, the most successful male rower in Olympic history, and the only man to have won gold medals at five Olympic Games in an endurance sport.
Competing at every edition of the Games from London 1948 through to Rome 1960, Sweden’s Gert Fredriksson won more Olympic medals than any other male kayaker in history. He was the most successful male canoeist ever, having gained medals in a succession of Swedish, Nordic, World and Olympic championships from 1942 to 1960. With six gold medals, Fredriksson remains the most successful Swede at the Olympics.