The Olympics have been going on ever since 1896 and it has been 127 years and next year is the Paris Olympics. In the 127 years history of The Olympics, there have been truly some remarkable and incredible athletes who have graced the biggest stage in world sport. To make a Top 5 list of the Greatest Olympians of all time is one of the hardest things to do and the most fun as well. This list will contain athletes who have won a number of medals as well as the impact they have had on the sport
Who are the Top 5 Greatest Olympians of all time?
Topping the list is Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian with 23 Gold Medals in swimming. Followed by Larissa Latynina in gymnastics, Carl Lewis in athletics, Nadia Comaneci, and the iconic Usain Bolt, the face of modern Olympics.
Let’s look at the Top 5 Greatest Olympians of all time one by one:
1) Michael Phelps – Swimming
The most decorated Olympian of all time and the face of swimming in the world over a decade. Michael Phelps is the greatest Olympian of all time. Michael Phelps has won 23 Gold Medals In swimming and that is more than double the next best. Winning 23 Gold Medals across multiple Olympic Games is a feat that no one will be able to replicate again. His best performance was In the 2008 Beijing Olympics where he won a record 8 Gold Medals. Michael Phelps has been the poster boy of swimming and countless young swimmers have taken up swimming looking up to him. He won 6 Gold Medals at the 2004 Olympics, 8 in 2008, 4 Gold in 2012 and 5 in 2016 Rio Olympics. He has also won 3 Silver Medals and 2 Bronze Medals.
2) Larissa Latynina - Gymnastics
This gymnast from Ukraine is at the number 2 spot when it comes to the greatest Olympians of all time. She has won 9 Gold Medals as well as 5 Silver Medals and 4 Bronze Medals in Gymnastics. She has won a total of 18 Medals and is the most decorated female Olympian of all time. She won all these Medals in the 1956, 1960 and 1964 Olympics. She was dominant in all 3 editions. One of the greatest Gymnasts of all time.
3) Carl Lewis - Athletics
One of the greatest track and field athletes of all time Carl Lewis is at number 3 on this list. He was the poster boy of world athletics during his time. He has won 9 Olympic Gold Medals and 1 Silver Medal which makes it 10 Medals in total. He was an expert in 4 different categories which were the 100M, 200M, 4*100M Relay and Long Jump. The difference between Usain Bolt and Carl Lewis is the long jump. He won 4 Gold Medals at the 1984 Olympics and they were in all the 4 events he took part in. In 1988 he won 3 Gold Medals and 1 Silver Medal and in 1992 he won 2 Gold Medals.
4) Nadia Comaneci – Gymnastics
The second female athlete in this list and the second gymnast in this list as well. This list would not be complete without the incomparable Nadia Comaneci. She has won 9 Olympic Medals out of which 5 are Gold. She is the first athlete to achieve a perfect 10 in Gymnastics. She won 3 Gold Medals at the 1976 Olympics, 2 at the 1980 Event. She also won 3 Silver Medals and a bronze medal in her Olympics career. Nadia Comaneci is the standard bearer for every gymnast who has come after her.
5) Usain Bolt – Gymnastics
At number 5 is the face of modern Olympics and he has been the greatest in the last 15 years. He has been the man That has been synonymous with the Olympics since 2008. He has won 8 Gold Medals at the Olympics. He had won 9 but one hit canceled as his teammate failed a drug test. In the 2008 Olympics he won 2 Gold medals and he broke the world record for running the fastest 10 seconds in history at 9.58 seconds. He won 3 Gold Medals in the 2012 Olympics in the 100M, 200M and 4*100M events. Then what was his last Olympics and the other athletes were younger than him, he still won 3 Gold Medals in the 2026 Olympics to finish off on a high. Without Usain Bolt , track and field would have lost the box office appeal.