Olympics Facts, Figures, and Records

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Results from the Summer Olympics contain many records, for both individuals and for countries.

The Summer Olympics, in modern times, began in 1896, in Athens. Since then, the Olympics have taken place in the North American summer months every four years, with a few exceptions because of world wars.

During that time, certain individuals and countries have stood out more than others.

The individual athlete who has won the most medals is American swimmer Michael Phelps, whose haul is 22 in total (18 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze). Of those 22, 13 of those were in individual events. Phelps wons medals in 2004, 2008, and 2012.

The individual athlete who has won the most individual medals is Larisa Latynina, a gymnast who competed for the Soviet Union in 1956-1964. Latynina won 14 medals (6 gold, 5 silver, 3 bronze).

Phelps also has won the most medals at one individual Olympic Games. He won 8 medals twice, once in 2008 (all gold) and once in 2004 (6 gold, 2 silver).




Also winning 8 medals at one individual Olympics was Soviet gymnast Alexander Dityatin, who 8 medals (3 gold, 4 silver, 1 bronze) at the 1980 Olympic Games.

Far and away the country that has won the most overall medals is the United States. American athletes have won 2399 medals (976, 757, 666). The Soviet Union won 1010 overall medals (395, 319, 296). Third-most is Great Britain, with 780 total (235, 272, 272).

America boosted its medal total significantly in the 1904 St. Louis Olympic Games; in that year, only 12 countries sent athletes and American athletes won 239 of the 280 medals on offer (78 gold, 82 silver, 79 bronze).

The Soviet Union won 195 medals (80 gold, 69 silver, 46 bronze) at the 1980 Moscow Olympics. In that year, 80 countries sent athletes and 65 did not; the countries that did not send athletes did so in protest for the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan.

The country with the third-most medals in a single Summer Olympics was Great Britain, which won 145 medals (56 gold, 51 silver, 38 bronze) at the 1908 London Olympics.

In terms of where the Summer Olympics have taken place, London has been the host city for the most Games, having served in that capacity in 1908, 1948, and 2012. Three cities have been the host city twice: Athens (1896 and 2004), Los Angeles (1932 and 1984), and Paris (1900 and 1924).

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