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Track and Field Athletes who have won most medals in the history of the Summer Olympics

The origin of Athletics – track and field events – can be traced back to the Ancient Olympics from 776 BC. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Western Europe and North America established the guidelines and formats for modern sporting competitions, which later expanded to other continents. The majority of current top-level competitions are staged under the authority of World Athletics, the world’s governing organization of athletics, or one of its affiliated continental or national federations. 

The athletics events are the heart of the Summer Olympics. Since the 1896 Summer Olympics, which marked the beginning of the modern Olympic movement, athletics has been featured in every Summer Olympic competition. Track and field competitions, road races, and race walking competitions are all part of the contemporary schedule. In former editions, cross-country running was also included in the schedule. However, it was removed following the 1924 Summer Olympics. 

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Athletes who have collected the most medals in Summer Olympics

When it comes to track and field, athletes like Carl Lewis, Usain Bolt, Mo Farah, Allyson Felix, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and Jesse Owens are a few names who have established themselves in the sporting arena as some of the biggest and most prominent names. However, we will now look at the athletes who have collected the maximum medals (most in terms of gold) in the Olympics. The following table contains the names of those athletes who have accomplished it in the modern Olympics since their inauguration.

[Note: The data presents the number obtained till the culmination of the Tokyo Olympics 2020. It only includes the athletes who have collected at least five medals (four golds) at the Summer Olympic Games.]

RankAthleteGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1Paavo Nurmi (Finland)93012
2Carl Lewis (United States)91010
3Allyson Felix (United States)73111
4Usain Bolt (Jamaica)8008
4Ray Ewry (United States)8008
6Ville Ritola (Finland)5308
7Elaine Thompson-Herah (Jamaica)5106
8Evelyn Ashford (United States)4105
8Hannes Kolehmainen (Finland)4105
8Mel Sheppard (United States)4105
8Emil Zátopek (Czechoslovakia)4105
12Sanya Richards-Ross (United States)4015

In the list, one can find the names of elite athletes like Mo Farah and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce missing. Mo Farah has captured four gold medals in the Olympic games, while Fraser-Pryce has got three gold, four silver and a bronze medal. 

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