Another amazing year of the Olympics has passed. It’s the only time when the world sets aside their differences to gather in one location, bringing their top athletes to compete and hopefully, take home the gold. The Summer Olympics includes 26 sports with nearly 300 events. So who dominated in overall medal counts? Let’s take a look.
Top Winning Countries
#10 Italy (Gold medals: 8/Total medal count: 28)
Placing eighth in the gold medal totals, Italy comes in tenth place for overall medal count in the 2012 Olympics. Having earned 228 gold medals since the Games were created, Italy is the fourth most successful country in Olympics history. They add to this impressive record by bringing home the gold in Fencing, Shooting, Archery, Taekwondo and Canoe Slalom.
#9 Republic of Korea (Gold medals: 13/Total medal count: 28)
Korea placed fifth in the overall gold medal count this year, as well as giving us a spotlight moment. Un Guk Kim broke a world record by lifting an astonishing 327kg in the 62kg event. The last record holder was Zhang Jie, who failed to capture a medal at all during the Games. Om Yun-Chol and Rim Jong-Sim also took home the gold in weightlifting.
#8 France (Gold medals: 11/Total medal count: 34)
In 1904, the winners of the Olympic Games in Paris were awarded paintings instead of medals. Why? Because the French felt the artistic creations would be more valuable. Tying with Germany in gold medals this year, France focused their attentions on Swimming, Judo and Canoe Slalom. Yes, they took home the gold; instead of paintings.
#7 Australia (Gold medals: 24/Total medal count: 35)
Australia has hosted the Summer Olympics twice, once in Melbourne (1956) and once in Sydney (2000). With a national population of only 20 million, their consistent placing in the top medal ranks is impressive. This year, Australia continued to place well in water sports, taking home gold in Swimming and Canoe Sprint and three more in Sailing.
#6 Japan (Gold medals: 7/Total medal count: 38)
First participating in the 1912 Olympic Games, Japan won their first gold medals in 1928 (Amsterdam). They were not invited to the Games, however, immediately following the Second World War (1948 Games). This year, Japan captured more silver and bronze than gold, finishing strong in Swimming and Judo—taking home four gold medals in Wrestling.
#5 Germany (Gold medals: 11/Total medal count: 44)
Did you know that the first Olympics ever cancelled (due to the 1st World War) were in Berlin, Germany? Coming in fifth for total medals, Germany tied with France for sixth place in gold medal counts. Taking home the gold in Canoe Sprint, Equestrian and Rowing, they did capture four silver and three bronze in track and field.
#4 Great Britain (Gold medals: 29/Total medal count: 65)
The host country of the 2012 Olympics comes in third for the most gold medals this year and fourth for overall count. With top wins in Rowing, Equestrian, Boxing and Athletics, they dominated in cycling this year, capturing seven gold victories. Winning nine out of the ten events, Team Pursuit throttled the USA in the 3,000 meters with 3 minutes, 14.051 seconds, while Team Spirit dominated the French in men’s cycling.
#3 Russian Federation (Gold medals: 24/Total medal count: 82)
Russians are known for their heart, determination and iron discipline in Olympic events. Did you know, however, that after the 1912 Olympics held in Stockholm, Sweden, Russia didn’t compete again until the 1952 Games? With eight golds in track and field, three in Judo and four in Wrestling, the Russian Federation came in fourth in overall gold medals.
#2 People’s Republic of China (Gold medals: 38/Total medal count: 88)
Again, there’s no surprise seeing China in the top tier of medal winners, especially in Gymnastics, Diving and Table Tennis; where they dominated the overall event. However, this year, China shined in Weightlifting, Badminton and Swimming with Sun Yang and his amazing 1500m world record at 14 minutes 31.02 seconds. That was eight seconds faster than his Canadian opponent, Ryan Cochrane!
#1 USA (Gold medals: 46/Total medal count: 104)
It’s no surprise that the United States joins the top ranks of winners in the Olympics. But did you know that the USA has won more all-time medals for the Summer Olympics than any other country in the history of the Games? It’s true—with 1018 golds, 824 silvers, 710 bronze, for a whopping total of 2552 Summer Olympic medals since 1896. 2012 yielded another astounding 46 gold medals, which included 9 in track and field and 16 from swimming events.
What country was your favorite in the 2012 Olympics?