Olympics Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners

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List of famous Olympic gold medal winners from every event, with photos of the athletes when available. These historic Olympic gold medal winners are listed by popularity, so the most historic Olympians are at the top of the list. Olympic medalists who have won the gold medal are among an elite group, as many athletes who train their entire lives will never even qualify for the Olympics. The famous Olympic competitors on this list may have either competed in the Summer Olympics or Winter Olympics, but what they all have in common is that they each took home a gold medal.

The list you're viewing contains people like Michael Phelps and Kobe Bryant.

If you're trying to answer the questions, "Which Olympians have won a gold medal?" and "How many people have won an Olympic gold medal?" then this list has you covered.

This list includes notable gold medal winners from almost every Olympics. They didn't all get their own Wheaties boxes, but every person who has ever won a gold medal is impressive enough to be included in this list.

1
Michael Phelps is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Swimming Michael Fred Phelps II is an American competition swimmer and the most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 22 medals. Phelps also holds the all-time records for Olympic gold medals, ...more

2
Carl Lewis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Frederick Carlton "Carl" Lewis is an American former track and field athlete, who won 10 Olympic medals, including nine gold, and 10 World Championships medals, including eight gold. ...more

3
Mark Spitz is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Swimming Mark Andrew Spitz is an American former competition swimmer, nine-time Olympic champion, and former world record-holder in multiple events. He won seven gold medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics ...more

4
Jackie Joyner-Kersee is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Track and field athletics Jacqueline "Jackie" Joyner-Kersee is a retired American athlete, ranked among the all-time greatest athletes in the women's heptathlon as well as in the women's long jump. She won ...more

5
Clara Hughes is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Speed skating, Road cycling Clara Hughes, OC OM MSC is a Canadian cyclist and speed skater, who has won multiple Olympic medals in both sports. Hughes won two bronze in the Summer Olympics in 1996 and four medals over the ...more

6
Jesse Owens is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Track and field athletics James Cleveland "Jesse" Owens was an American track and field athlete and four-time Olympic gold medalist. Owens specialized in the sprints and the long jump and was recognized in his ...more

7
Ole Einar Bjørndalen is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Biathlon Ole Einar Bjoerndalen is a biathlete.

8
Shawn Johnson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Artistic gymnastics Shawn Machel Johnson is a retired American artistic gymnast. She is the 2008 Olympic balance beam gold medalist and team, all-around and floor exercise silver medalist. Johnson became a member ...more

9
Angela Ruggiero is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Ice Hockey Angela Marie Ruggiero is an American ice hockey defenseman. She is a member of the International Olympic Committee and was a member of the United States women's national ice hockey team, ...more

10
Matt Biondi is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Swimming Matthew Nicholas Biondi is an American former competition swimmer, eleven-time Olympic medalist, and former world record-holder in five events. Biondi competed in the Summer Olympic Games in ...more

11
Halvard Hanevold is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Biathlon Halvard Hanevold, is a Norwegian biathlete and Olympic champion. Hanevold won the bronze medal in the men's 20 km individual and the silver medal in the men's 10 km sprint at the 2006 Winter ...more

12
Paavo Nurmi is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Paavo Johannes Nurmi was a Finnish middle- and long-distance runner. He was nicknamed the "Flying Finn" as he dominated distance running in the early 20th century. Nurmi set 22 ...more

13
Armin Zöggeler is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Luge Armin Zöggeler is a retired Italian luger and double Olympic champion. He is one of the most successful men in the sport, nicknamed Il Cannibale, for his notable series of victories, or The ...more

14
Natalie Coughlin is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Swimming Natalie Coughlin Hall, née Natalie Anne Coughlin, is an American competition swimmer and twelve-time Olympic medalist. Ten days before her 20th birthday in 2002, she became the first ...more

15
Apolo Ohno is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Short track speed skating Apolo Anton Ohno is a retired American short track speed skating competitor and an eight-time medalist in the Winter Olympics. Raised by his father, Ohno began training full-time in 1996. He has ...more

16
Jason Lezak is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Swimming Jason Edward Lezak is an American competition swimmer who is a four-time Olympic gold medalist. He formerly swam for Irvine Novaquatics. He graduated from Irvine High School in 1994, and then ...more

17
Anja Pärson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Alpine skiing Anja Sofia Tess Pärson is a Swedish former alpine skier. She is an Olympic gold medalist, seven-time gold medalist at the World Championships, and two-time overall Alpine Skiing World Cup ...more

18
Dmitri Sautin is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Dmitri Ivanovich Sautin is a Russian diver who has won more medals than any other Olympic diver. He was born in Voronezh. Sautin started diving at age seven; however, his diving career almost ...more

19
Greg Louganis is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Gregory Efthimios "Greg" Louganis is an American Olympic diver and author who won gold medals at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games on both the springboard and platform. He is the only ...more

20
Dara Torres is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Swimming Dara Grace Torres is an American former competition swimmer who is a twelve-time Olympic medalist and former world record-holder in three events. Torres is the first and only swimmer to ...more

21
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Basketball LeBron Raymone James is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. Standing at 6 ft 8 in and weighing 250 lbs., he has started ...more

22
Amanda Beard is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Swimming Amanda Ray Beard is an American swimmer and a seven-time Olympic medalist. She is a former world record holder in the 200-meter breaststroke. Beard's success has earned her the American Swimmer ...more

23
Jenny Thompson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Swimming Jennifer Beth Thompson is an American former competition swimmer, and one of the most decorated Olympians in history, winning twelve medals, including eight gold medals, in the 1992, 1996, 2000, ...more

24
Cathy Freeman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Track and field athletics Catherine Astrid Salome "Cathy" Freeman, OAM is a former Australian sprinter, who specialised in the 400 metres event. Her personal best of 48.63 currently ranks her as the sixth ...more

25
Klete Keller is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Swimming Klete D. Keller is an American former competition swimmer who won medals at the 2000 Summer Olympics and the 2004 Summer Olympics in the 400-meter freestyle and the 4×200-meter freestyle ...more

26
Gary Hall, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Swimming Gary Wayne Hall, Jr. is an American former competition swimmer who represented the United States at the 1996, 2000, and 2004 Olympics and won ten Olympic medals. He is a former world ...more

27
Mary Lou Retton is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Mary Lou Retton is a retired American gymnast. At the 1984 Summer Olympics, she won a gold medal in the individual all-around competition, as well as two silver medals and two bronze medals. Her ...more

28
Nastia Liukin is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Artistic gymnastics Anastasia Valeryevna "Nastia" Liukin is a retired Russian-American artistic gymnast. She is the 2008 Olympic individual all-around Champion, the 2005 and 2007 World Champion on the ...more

29
Lindsey Vonn is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Alpine skiing Lindsey Caroline Vonn is an American World Cup alpine ski racer on the United States Ski Team. She has won four World Cup championships—one of two female skiers to do so, along with Annemarie ...more

30
Claudia Pechstein is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Speed skating Claudia Pechstein is a German speed skater. She has won five Olympic gold medals. With a total of nine Olympic medals, five gold, two silver and two bronze, she is the most successful Olympic ...more

31
Ian Thorpe is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Swimming Ian James Thorpe, OAM is an Australian swimmer who specialises in freestyle, but also competes in backstroke and the individual medley. He has won five Olympic gold medals, the most won by any ...more

32
Cindy Klassen is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Speed skating Cindy Klassen, OM is a Canadian long track speed skater. She is a six-time medalist having achieved one gold, two silver, three bronze at the Winter Olympics. Klassen is tied with Clara Hughes ...more

33
Grant Hackett is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Swimming Grant George Hackett OAM is an Australian swimmer most famous for winning the men's 1500 metres freestyle race at both the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney and the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. ...more

34
Andrea Henkel is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Biathlon Andrea Henkel is a retired German professional biathlete and the younger sister of Manuela Henkel, a successful cross-country skier. She trained at SV Großbreitenbach. Andrea Henkel ...more

35
Kjetil André Aamodt is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Kjetil André Aamodt is a former World Cup alpine ski racer from Norway, a champion in the Olympics, World Championships, and World Cup. He is the most decorated ski racer from Norway. ...more

36
Kati Wilhelm is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Biathlon Kati Wilhelm is a German former professional biathlete. Like most German biathletes she is also a member of the German Armed Forces with the rank of master sergeant. She currently resides in ...more

37
Mika Myllylä is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Mika Kristian Myllylä was a Finnish cross-country skier who competed from 1992 to 2005. He won six medals at the Winter Olympics, earning one gold, one silver, and four bronzes. ...more

38
Kelly Holmes is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Track and field athletics Dame Kelly Holmes, DBE, MBE, born 19 April 1970, is a retired British middle distance athlete. Holmes specialised in the 800 metres and 1500 metres events and won a gold medal for both distances ...more

39
Tirunesh Dibaba is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Track and field athletics Tirunesh Dibaba also known as Tirunesh Dibaba Kenene is an Ethiopian long distance track athlete and the outdoor 5000 metres world record holder. She is the current World and Olympic 10,000 ...more

40
Marit Bjørgen is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Cross-country skiing Marit Bjørgen is a Norwegian cross-country skier and six times Olympic champion from Midtre Gauldal, Norway. She is ranked first in the all-time Cross-Country World Cup rankings with ...more

41
Ryoko Tani is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Judo Ryoko Tani is a politician and former judoka.

42
Hélia Souza is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Hélia Rogério de Souza, nicknamed Fofão, is a Brazilian female volleyball player who competed for the her country's national team in five consecutive Summer Olympics, ...more

43
Wang Meng is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Short track speed skating Wang Meng is a Chinese short track speed skater. She is a four-time Olympic Champion and 2008 and 2009 Overall World Champion. She is the most decorated Chinese Winter Olympic athlete ever with ...more

44
Kurt Angle is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Freestyle wrestling Kurt Steven Angle is an American professional wrestler, amateur wrestler and actor currently signed with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, where he is the current TNA World Heavyweight Champion in ...more

45
Ryan Lochte is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Swimming Ryan Steven Lochte is an American competitive swimmer and an 11-time Olympic medalist. His seven individual Olympic medals ranks near the top in men's swimming. As part of the American team, he ...more

46
Frank Shorter is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Frank Charles Shorter is an American former long-distance runner who won the gold medal in the marathon at the 1972 Summer Olympics. His victory is credited with igniting the running boom in the ...more

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Leontien van Moorsel is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Road cycling, Track cycling Leontien Martha Henrica Petronella Zijlaard-van Moorsel is a Dutch retired racing cyclist.

48
Becky Kellar-Duke is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Ice Hockey Rebecca Kellar is a women's ice hockey player. She currently plays for Burlington in the Canadian Women's Hockey League. Kellar played defence for the Canadian women's team at the 2006 Winter ...more

49
Fernando González is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Tennis Fernando Francisco González Ciuffardi is a retired professional tennis player from Chile. During his career he made it to the quarterfinal round of all four Grand Slam tournaments. He ...more

50
Alexander Dityatin is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners
Aleksandr Nikolaevich Dityatin is a Russian gymnast, three-time Olympic Champion, and Honoured Master of Sports of the USSR. Winning eight medals at the 1980 Summer Olympics, he set the record ...more