The Gold Standard: History's Top Medalists

Jason English

Last night, Michael Phelps won his third gold medal of the Beijing Games—his ninth career Olympic gold. Phelps swims the 200m Butterfly tonight, and chances are good that he'll become the first member of the double-digit gold club—he's posted the five fastest times in the event's history. In case you're wondering with whom Phelps is (momentarily) tied, here's a look at the all-time Summer Olympic standings, courtesy of

9 Gold Medals Won
"¢ Carl Lewis (USA), track & field, 1984-1996
"¢ Paavo Nurmi (Finland), track & field, 1920-1928
"¢ Mark Spitz (USA), swimming, 1968-1972
"¢ Larisa Latynina (USSR), gymnastics, 1956-1964

8 Gold Medals Won
"¢ Matt Biondi (USA), swimming, 1984-1992
"¢ Ray Ewry (USA), track & field, 1900-1908
"¢ Sawao Kato (Japan), gymnastics, 1968-1976
"¢ Birgit Fischer-Schmidt (Germany), kayaking, 1980-2004

7 Gold Medals Won
"¢ Viktor Ivanovich Chukarin (USSR), gymnastics, 1952-1956
"¢ Nikolay Andrianov (USSR), gymnastics, 1972-1980
"¢ Aladar Gerevich (Hungary), fencing, 1932-1960
"¢ Reiner Klimke (Germany), equestrian, 1960-1988
"¢ Boris Shakhlin (USSR), gymnastics, 1956-1964
"¢ Vera Caslavska (Czechoslovakia), gymnastics, 1960-1968
"¢ Jenny Thompson (USA), swimming, 1992-2004

Other things we learned last night: Michael Phelps is eating 8,000 to 10,000 calories per day, and Mark Spitz seems really bitter about things.