American swimmer Michael Phelps with 23.
The all-time record for the most Olympic gold medals is held by American swimmer Michael Phelps. Throughout his illustrious career, Phelps dominated the world of swimming and has been aptly dubbed the “Flying Fish” and the “Greatest Olympian of All Time.”
Born on June 30, 1985, in Baltimore, Maryland, Michael Phelps showcased an affinity for swimming from a young age. By the time he was 15, he had already qualified for his first Olympics, participating in the 2000 Sydney Games. While he didn’t win a medal at that event, it marked the beginning of what would be a record-breaking career.
Phelps truly began to shine on the global stage during the 2004 Athens Olympics, where he secured six gold medals and two bronze. Four years later, in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he outdid himself by winning eight gold medals, breaking the previous record for the most golds in a single Olympics held by Mark Spitz since 1972.
In the 2012 London Olympics, Phelps added another four gold medals and two silver medals to his tally. After initially retiring post the London Games, Phelps made a comeback for the 2016 Rio Olympics. There, he clinched five gold medals and one silver, cementing his status as the most decorated Olympian ever.