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Famous Olympic Gold Medal Winners

Updated October 13, 2018 18.1k views2.1k items

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.
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    Michael Fred Phelps II (born June 30, 1985) is an American retired competitive swimmer and the...  more

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  • 2
    Frederick Carlton "Carl" Lewis (born July 1, 1961) is an American former track and field...  more

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  • 3

    Mark Spitz

    Mark Andrew Spitz (born February 10, 1950) is an American former competitive swimmer and...  more

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    #2 of 70 The Greatest Jewish Athletes Of All Time#114 of 116 The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

  • 4

    Jackie Joyner-Kersee

    Track and field athletics
    Jacqueline Joyner-Kersee (born March 3, 1962) is an American retired track and field athlete,...  more

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  • 5

    Clara Hughes

    Speed skating, Road cycling
    Clara Hughes, (born September 27, 1972) is a Canadian cyclist and speed skater who has won...  more
  • 6

    Jesse Owens

    Track and field athletics
    James Cleveland "Jesse" Owens (September 12, 1913 – March 31, 1980) was an American track and...  more

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  • 7
    Ole Einar Bjørndalen (born 27 January 1974) is a retired Norwegian professional biathlete,...  more
  • 8

    Shawn Johnson

    Artistic gymnastics
    Shawn Machel Johnson East (born January 19, 1992) is an American former artistic gymnast. She...  more

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  • 9

    Angela Ruggiero

    Ice Hockey
    Angela Marie Ruggiero (born January 3, 1980) is an American former ice hockey defenseman. She...  more
  • 10

    Matt Biondi

    Matthew Nicholas Biondi (born October 8, 1965) is an American former competition swimmer,...  more
  • 11
    Halvard Hanevold (born 3 December 1969) is a former Norwegian biathlete....  more
  • 12
    Paavo Johannes Nurmi (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈpɑːʋo ˈnurmi] (listen); 13 June 1897 – 2...  more
  • 13
    Armin Zöggeler OMRI (born 4 January 1974) is a retired Italian luger and double Olympic...  more
  • 14
    Natalie Anne Coughlin Hall (born August 23, 1982) is an American competition swimmer and...  more
  • 15

    Apolo Ohno

    Short track speed skating
    Apolo Anton Ohno (; born May 22, 1982) is an American retired short track speed skating...  more
  • 16

    Jason Lezak

    Jason Edward Lezak (born November 12, 1975) is an American former competition swimmer and a...  more
  • 17

    Anja Pärson

    Alpine skiing
    Anja Sofia Tess Pärson (Swedish pronunciation: [²anːja ˈpæːʂɔn]; born 25 April 1981) is a...  more
  • 18
    Dmitri Ivanovich Sautin (Russian: Дмитрий Иванович Саутин; born 15 March 1974) is a Russian...  more
  • 19
    Gregory Efthimios Louganis (;born January 29, 1960) is an American Olympic diver, LGBT...  more

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  • 20

    Dara Torres

    Dara Grace Torres (born April 15, 1967) is an American former competitive swimmer, who is a...  more

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  • 21

    LeBron James

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  • 22

    Amanda Beard

    Amanda Ray Beard (born October 29, 1981), also known by her married name Amanda Brown, is an...  more
  • 23
    Jennifer Beth Thompson (born February 26, 1973) is an American former competition swimmer and...  more

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  • 24

    Cathy Freeman

    Track and field athletics
    Catherine Astrid Salome Freeman, (born 16 February 1973) is an Australian former sprinter,...  more
  • 25

    Klete Keller

    Klete D. Keller (born March 21, 1982) is an American former competition swimmer who won medals...  more