All-Time Olympic Games Medal Tally (Summer Olympics)

Which country is the most successful at the Olympic Games? Here are the top-ranked countries in terms of total medals won when all of the summer Games are considered (including results from the Tokyo 2020 Games). There are two tables presented, the first just lists the top countries based on the total medals won, the second table factors in how many Olympic Games the country appeared, averaging the total number of medals per Olympiad. A victory in a team sport is counted as one medal.

The USA Has Won the Most Medals

The US have clearly won the most gold medals and the most medals overall, more than doubling the next ranked country (these figures include medals won in Tokyo 2020, updated August 2021). Second-placed Soviet Union/USSR had fewer appearances at the Olympics, and actually won more medals on average (see the 2nd table). This top-10 includes one country no longer in existence (the Soviet Union), so their medal totals will obviously not increase, however, China is expected to continue a rapid rise up the ranks. With the addition of the 2021 data, China has moved up from 11th (in 2008) to 9th (2012) to 7th (2016) to 6th (2021). The country which has attended the most games without a medal is Monaco (21 Olympic Games), the country which has won the most medals without winning a gold medal is Malaysia (0 gold, 8 silver, 5 bronze).

rank Team total games gold silver bronze Total
1 United States 28 1061 836 739 2636
2 Soviet Union # 10 440 357 325 1122
3 Germany * 25 285 326 363 974
4 Great Britain 29 285 316 315 916
5 France 29 226 258 280 764
6 China 11 262 199 173 634
7 Italy 28 217 188 213 618
8 Australia 29 167 177 213 557
9 Hungary 27 181 154 176 511
10 Russia 10 170 157 178 505

# combining the results of USSR and the 1992 Unified Team (but Russia is separate)
* combining the results of Germany, West Germany, and the United Team of Germany (but not East Germany)

The USSR were the most successful on average

It seems unfair to rank countries on total medals won when some countries have appeared at the Olympic Games many more times. The following list averages the medals won per Olympiad, so the success of countries can be compared more directly. Based on this calculation, the former Soviet Union was the most successful country with 112 medals per appearance compared to the US with 94 medals per appearance. However, also to be fair, the USSR can be considered a combination of many countries.

East Germany has been listed separately from the results of Germany, highlighting how much more successful the East Germans were compared to the rest of the country. It is not surprising what a little state-sponsored doping program can do.

The ranking in this table is based on the average total medals per Olympiad, though whether using the figure of total gold medals or total all medals, the list order is essentially the same.

rank Country no. of Games gold total medals gold medals per Olympiad total medals per Olympiad
1 Soviet Union # 10 440 1122 44.0 112.2
2 United States 28 1061 2636 37.9 94.1
3 East Germany 5 153 409 30.6 81.8
4 China 11 262 634 23.8 57.6
5 Russia 10 170 505 17.0 50.5
6 Germany * 25 285 974 11.4 39.0
7 Great Britain 29 285 916 9.8 31.6
8 France 29 226 764 7.8 26.3
9 Italy 28 217 618 7.8 22.1
10 Japan 23 169 497 7.3 21.6
11 Ukraine 7 35 139 5.0 19.9
12 Australia 29 167 557 5.8 19.2
13 Hungary 27 181 511 6.7 18.9
14 Sweden 28 148 503 5.3 18.0
15 South Korea 18 96 287 5.3 15.9
16 Romania 22 90 308 4.1 14.0
17 Poland 22 72 298 3.3 13.5
18 Belarus 7 13 85 1.9 12.1
19 Canada 27 71 326 2.6 12.1
20 Netherlands 27 95 321 3.5 11.9

# combining the results of USSR and the 1992 Unified Team (but Russia is separate)
* combining the results of Germany, West Germany, and the United Team of Germany (not East Germany)

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Olympics Extra

The next Olympic Games are the Winter Olympics in Beijing 2022, followed by the Summer version in Paris 2024. Check out the list of Olympic Games sports, as well as discontinued and demonstration sports.

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