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The Greatest Wrestler at the Olympic Games

Who is the greatest wrestler of all time based on Olympic Games performances? We have used a weighted total medal count of each wrestler from all modern Olympic Games to rank their overall performance, using data from all Olympics including the Tokyo 2020 Games. olympic poster

The best performing wrestler ever at the Olympic Games is Japanese female Kaori Icho, who won a gold in 2016 to take her tally to four golds in four Olympic Games. The best all-time performing male wrestlers at the Olympic Games are Russian Alexander Karelin and Artur Taymazov from Uzbekistan, each with three gold medals and one silver. See the table below to see how other athletes are ranked.

See also the best athlete from each sport, and the best overall.

Top Olympic Games Wrestlers

Here are the top ranked athletes from the sport of wrestling (both greco-roman and freestyle) for performances at all Olympiads, using the Topend Sports Weighted Ranking System to order the athletes, awarding points for both gold (6 points) and other medals (silver 2 pts, bronze 1 pt). Only the athletes with at least three gold medals are listed.

Table: The Top Ranked Athletes from Wrestling at the Olympic Games (1896-2021)

rank name country   Gold Silver Bronze total
=1 Kaori Icho Japan F 4 0 0 4 24
=1 Mijaín López Cuba M 4 0 0 4 24
=3 Alexander Karelin Russia, Uzbekistan, Unified Team M 3 1 0 4 20
=3 Saori Yoshida Japan F 3 1 0 4 20
=5 Buvaisar Saitiev Russia M 3 0 0 3 18
=5 Ivar Johansson Sweden M 3 0 0 3 18
=5 Carl Westergren Sweden M 3 0 0 3 18
=5 Alexander Miadved Belarus , Soviet Union M 3 0 0 3 18

notes: initial data from wikipedia of multiple Olympic gold medalists (with at least 3 gold medals, including results from 2016). For the ranking order, we have used the Topend Sports Weighted Ranking System.

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Olympics Extra

The next Olympics will be in Paris 2024, followed by the Winter edition in Milan-Cortina 2026. Check out the list of Olympic Games sports, as well as discontinued and demonstration sports.

Major Events Extra

The largest sporting event in the world is the Olympic Games, but there are many other multi-sport games. In terms of single sport events, nothing beats the FIFA World Cup. To see what's coming up, check out the calendar of major sporting events.

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