Which Country Has Won the Most Medals in Swimming at the Olympics?

Published 06/25/2021, 10:00 AM EDT
Jun 19, 2021; Omaha, Nebraska, USA; Katie Ledecky and Katie Grimes celebrate during the medal ceremony for the Women’s 800m Freestyle in during the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Swimming competition at CHI Health Center Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports


The Tokyo Olympics 2021 is right around the corner. There is less than a month to go for the summer games and swimming is expected to garner maximum attention from the fans. Swimming has always been a part of every modern Olympics; so which country has the highest medal count in this sport? 

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Before we get into that it is important to know the depth of swimming. Just like one can wonder, the sport has a lot of disciplines under it, in which both and women take part in their respective events. 

As for the Tokyo Olympics 2021, swimming will include a total of 37 events. This is an increase from the previous edition, as there are three new events added to the schedule (men’s 800m freestyle, women’s 1500m freestyle, and the mixed 4x100m medley relay). 

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Swimming: Top medal-winning countries at the Olympics

Before we even dive into the details, it is essential to know that one country absolutely dominates swimming at the Olympics. It should come as no surprise knowing that it is the United States of America. 

The United States has won a total of 552 Olympic medals in swimming so far. This is an astonishing number as the second and third-placed nations on the list cannot even come close to this tally even with their medal counts combined.

Jun 18, 2021; Omaha, Nebraska, USA; Caeleb Dressel reacts after swimming in the Men’s 100m Butterfly prelims during the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Swimming competition at CHI Health Center Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Australia is the second leading medal scorer in swimming at the Olympics. The sixth-largest nation in the world has 188 medals in this sport, which includes 60 golds and 64 silvers. 

Top five medal-winning countries in Olympics (updated till Rio 2016)

RankNationGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1United States (USA)246172135553
2Australia (AUS)606464188
3East Germany (GDR)38322292
4Hungary (HUN)28252073
5Japan (JPN)22263280

Who dominated in the pool at the 2016 Rio Olympics?

The previous Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro grabbed center stage upon its commencement in 2016. Of course, swimming was very special for its own reasons. Michael Phelps returned to the sport for the one last time at the grandest stage and bid farewell in style. 

Yet again, the United States dominated the events at the 2016 Olympics. Phelps bowed out of the sport by winning six medals (five golds and one silver), and the U.S. finished with 33 medals in swimming. 

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The United States stood out with 33 medals (16 gold,8 silver, 9 bronze), while Australia finished second with 10 overall medals (3 gold, 4 silver, and three bronze). Hungary finished third with a seven-medal tally (3 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze). 

Which country are you backing to dominate the events at Tokyo Olympics 2021?

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Arjun Athreya

2029 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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