Have you ever wondered what the all time Olympic medal count per sport is? The Olympics are an international event that occurs every two years alternating between the winter and summer games. The tradition of the Olympics dates back to the eighth century B.C. As of 2010, more than 13,000 athletes compete in these events.
The Start of the Olympics
The Olympics began as a series of games between different city states in Ancient Greece. For example, Athens competed against Sparta. The exact origins behind the games are unclear. One theory states that Hercules and Zeus were the creators of the games with Hercules naming the games the "Olympics." Another legend states that Hercules built the Olympic stadium after he completed his twelve tasks in honor of Zeus.
Most historians believe that the Olympics started as a footrace and series of running events that were held every four years. Some sources state that Coroebus, a cook from the city state of Elis, was the first official Olympic champion.
Regardless of how the Olympics were inspired, they evolved into a major event in Ancient Greece. The Olympics served both religious and recreational purposes alongside other rituals and sacrifices that were performed every four years.
Once the Romans gained more and more power in Greece, the games became less important. No one is quite sure when the last Olympics were held in ancient Greece, but some historians believe that they ended in 393 A.D. After the Olympics ended in Greece, they were not held again until the end of the nineteenth century.
Which Country Has Won the Most Medals?
As of the 2010 Winter Olympics, the United States has the most medals of any country with 2,196 medals. Of those, 897 are gold, 693 medals are silver, and 606 are bronze. The country with the second highest count is the Soviet Union with 1,122 medals.
What is the All Time Olympic Medal Count Per Sport?
The answer for the all time Olympic medal count per sport, of course, depends on the sport that you are considering. For example, the sport of baseball has only been in the Olympics since 1992. Cuba has the most gold medals in the sport, and has won the gold three times. Cuba also holds the most medals in the sport, placing in each Olympic baseball event.
For men’s basketball, the United States leads with both the most medals and the most gold medals. The United States basketball has won the gold medal 13 times, followed by the Soviet Union.
For women’s basketball, the United States also has the most medals and the most gold medals. The United States has won six gold medals and has won the gold medal at every woman’s basketball event in the Olympics.
Since different sports have been added to the games over the years, it's hard to pin down a comparable list of which sports have the highest medal count.
What Sports are in the Summer Games and What Sports are in the Winter Games?
As of the 2008 summer games, the following athletic events included: aquatics (such as diving, swimming, synchronized swimming, and water polo), archery, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, canoeing, cycling, equestrian, fencing, field hockey, football, gymnastics, handball, judo, modern pentathlon, rowing, sailing, shooting, softball, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, volleyball, weightlifting, and wrestling.
As of the 2010 winter games, the sports included: alpine skiing, biathlon, bobsleigh, cross country skiing, curling, figure skating, freestyle skiing, ice hockey, luge, Nordic combined, short track speed skating, skeleton, ski jumping, snowboarding, and speed skating.