Michael Phelps’s 23 Gold Medals
You read that right. The American swimmer is far and away the most decorated Olympian of all time. For a little added perspective, Phelps’ closest competitor, the Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina, is credited with nine gold medals. Phelps began his Olympic career in 2004 with six golds and followed that up with another eight in 2008’s Beijing meet. It’s safe to say that we’ll never meet another competitor as dominant as Phelps. A fact that the rest of the swimming field surely appreciates.