Summer Olympic Games

summer olympics topic page

The first Summer Olympic Games (also known as the Games of the Olympiad) were held in 1896 in Athens, Greece, and featured 42 competitions with fewer than 250 male athletes.

Today, there are over 300 events with more than 11,000 competitors (male and female) from 206 countries. Since its inception, the Summer Games have been hosted by the United States four times, three times by Great Britain, and twice by Greece, France, Germany, and Australia.

The United States leads with the all-time medal count for the Summer Olympics with over 2,500 medals (Russia follows in second with just over 1,500).

First Summer Olympic Games: 1896 (Athens, Greece)

Most popular Summer Olympic Games sports:

  • Category A (athletics, aquatics, and gymnastics)
  • Category B (basketball, cycling, football, tennis, volleyball)
  • Category C (archery, badminton, boxing, judo, rowing, shooting, table tennis, weightlifting)

Athletes with the most Summer Olympic Games medals:

  • Michael Phelps (swimming) — 28 medals
  • Larisa Latynina (gymnastics) — 18 medals
  • Nikolai Andrianov (gymnastics) — 13 medals
  • Boris Shakhlin (gymnastics) — 13 medals
  • Edoardo Mangiarotti (fencing) — 13 medals
  • Takashi Ono (gymnastics) — 13 medals

When is the next Summer Olympics? The 2024 Summer Olympics will be held in Paris, France, followed by the 2028 Games in Los Angeles.

Most Recent

  • Phelipe Rodrigues and Rowan Crothers
    Sports

    This Is What the Acronym 'S13' Refers to in the Context of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

    By Leila Kozma
  • Melissa Stockwell and Chuck Aoki
    Entertainment

    Are the Paralympics Airing on TV? Here's How You Can Watch the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

    By Leila Kozma
  • Melissa Stockwell
    Entertainment

    Paralympic Triathlete Melissa Stockwell Talks Mental Health: "The Pressure Is There" (EXCLUSIVE)

    By Gabrielle Bernardini
  • Red Bull BC One Boston Cypher
    Entertainment

    B-Boys Talk Culture and the Significance of Breakdancing in the 2024 Summer Olympics (EXCLUSIVE)

    By Gabrielle Bernardini
  • Saint Boy and Annika Schleu
    Human Interest

    What Happened to Olympic Horse Saint Boy? Foul Play at the Pentathlon

    By Anna Garrison
  • Allyson Felix
    Entertainment

    The Most Decorated Track Athlete, Allyson Felix, Reflects on How She's "Completely Evolved" (EXCLUSIVE)

    By Gabrielle Bernardini
  • Brittney and Cherelle Griner
    Sports

    Basketball Star Brittney Griner's Wife Cherelle Is Her No. 1 Fan

    By Anna Quintana
  • MLB Players
    Sports

    If You’re Wondering Why MLB Players Aren’t in the Olympics, Here’s Why: $$$

    By Mustafa Gatollari
  • “Why Is Team USA Basketball So Bad?” Fans Shocked at Performance
    Sports

    No, Team USA Doesn’t Stink at Basketball — the World’s Just Catching Up

    By Mustafa Gatollari
  • olympic rings
    Sports

    There's a Strategic Reason Why Race Walkers Wiggle Their Hips

    By Pippa Raga
  • Allyson Felix, Olympian
    Sports

    Olympian Allyson Felix Has Her Own Shoe, Saysh One — Here's How to Get It

    By Anna Garrison
  • Alix Klineman and Teddy Purcell
    Sports

    Athletes Alix Klineman and Teddy Purcell Got Engaged Shortly Before the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games

    By Shannon Raphael
  • Emma Coburn
    Entertainment

    OK — so What Is the Point of the Steeplechase Again?

    By Pretty Honore
  • Carli Lloyd
    Entertainment

    Soccer Star Carli Lloyd Opens up About Reconnecting With Her Estranged Family After 12 Years

    By Gabrielle Bernardini
  • Swimmer Jeremy Desplanches at the Summer 2020 Olympics.
    Sports

    What Country at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics Is Abbreviated SUI?

    By Toni Sutton
  • Mondo Duplantis
    Sports

    Mondo Duplantis Competes for Sweden Because the Country Really, Really Wanted Him

    By Mustafa Gatollari
  • Olympic medalist Raven Saunders
    Sports

    Olympic Medalist Raven Saunders' Mom Passed Away Days After Her Win

    By Anna Garrison
  • These Are What Abandoned Olympic Stadiums Look Like
    Trending

    Haunting Photos of Abandoned Olympic Stadiums

    By Mustafa Gatollari
  • a diver midair
    Sports

    No, It's Not a Fashion Statement: Here's Why Olympic Divers Wear Tape

    By Pippa Raga
  • Volleyball players
    Sports

    Volleyball Players Celebrate After Every Point for Two Reasons

    By Mustafa Gatollari
  • Jade and Brian Carey
    Sports

    Jade Carey's Parents Have Coached Her for the Olympics Since She Was Little

    By Sara Belcher
  • Yokohama Stadium
    Sports

    Olympic Baseball Has a Few Noticeable Changes From the Game We All Know and Love

    By Chris Barilla
  • Lee Kiefer competes
    Sports

    Why Do Fencers Bend Their Swords? Historical Context Is Key

    By Anna Garrison
  • Olympic Swimming Pool
    Sports

    Why Do Olympic Swimmers Slap Themselves and Splash Water Before Swimming?

    By Dan Clarendon
  • Water polo players
    Sports

    Those Funny-Looking Water Polo Caps Serve an Important Purpose

    By Dan Clarendon
  • Jessica Long in Toyota's "Upstream" ad
    Sports

    Paralympic Swimmer Jessica Long Shares Her Adoption Story in Toyota’s “Upstream” Ad

    By Dan Clarendon
  • Rider performing dressage.
    Sports

    The Cost to Compete in Olympic Dressage Is Higher Than You Think

    By Anna Garrison
  • Robyn Stevens
    Sports

    Racewalking Is Not the Weirdest Sport to Have Ever Been at the Olympics

    By Sara Belcher
  • Sydney McLaughlin
    Sports

    Sydney McLaughlin and Her Former NFL Player Boyfriend Share a Love for Sports and Spirituality

    By Pretty Honore
  • Dave Mirra
    Sports

    BMX Bikes May Be Small, but There's a Good Reason for It

    By Kori Williams
  • Katie Ledecky
    Sports

    Katie Ledecky Is Known for Her Swimming, but That Isn't the Only Thing That Defines Her

    By Chris Barilla
  • Diver
    Sports

    Are Olympic Diving Pools Really as Deep as the Length of a School Bus?

    By Mustafa Gatollari
  • Netherlands athletes
    FYI

    The Real Reason the Netherlands' Athletes Wear Orange at the Olympics Is Quite Interesting

    By Mustafa Gatollari
  • Uneven bars
    Sports

    Gymnasts Rely on a Range of Tricks to Reduce Friction on Uneven Bars — Some of Which Involve Molasses

    By Leila Kozma
  • Rory McIlroy
    Sports

    The Reason That Rory McIlroy Isn't Wearing a Hat at the Olympics Is Pretty Hilarious

    By Pretty Honore
  • a horse
    Sports

    Horse Enthusiasts Claim Dressage Is Either the Best or Worst Sport in the World

    By Mustafa Gatollari
  • Suni Lee
    Sports

    Gold Medalist Suni Lee Is the First Hmong American to Represent Team USA

    By Pippa Raga
  • Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
    Entertainment

    What Do the Acronyms "OR" and "WR" Mean in the Context of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020?

    By Leila Kozma
  • Swimmer
    Sports

    What Does It Mean to "Scratch" a Match in Swimming? We Have the Answers You Need

    By Mustafa Gatollari
  • Ilona Maher
    Entertainment

    Why You Need to Follow Viral Olympic Rugby Player Ilona Maher on TikTok

    By Gabrielle Bernardini
  • Simone Biles
    Sports

    Simone Biles Says She Has the "Twisties" but What Does That Mean?

    By Kori Williams
  • Sky Brown
    Entertainment

    This Is the Real Reason Sky Brown Is Repping Team G.B. at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

    By Leila Kozma
  • Japan's Yui Ohashi
    Entertainment

    The Air Horns We Heard During the 2020 Olympics Swimming Events Were Totally "Obnoxious"

    By Pretty Honore
  • Hong Kong Olympics
    Sports

    Hong Kong Has Its Own Olympics Team Due to a Complicated History With China

    By Jamie Lerner
  • Michael Phelps swims in 2008
    Sports

    Why Do Olympic Swimmers Wear Two Caps? Your Swimming Questions, Answered

    By Anna Garrison
  • Lee Kiefer
    Entertainment

    Some Olympic Medalists Bite Their Medals During Medal Ceremonies — Why?

    By Leila Kozma
  • MyKayla Skinner, Simone Biles
    Entertainment

    MyKayla Skinner's Olympic Gymnastics Journey May Not Be Over Just Yet

    By Gabrielle Bernardini
  • Why Is There Controversy Surrounding Jade Carey in the Olympics?
    Sports

    Jade Carey Once "Snubbed" Team USA Gymnastics Offer: Here's Why

    By Mustafa Gatollari
  • Simone Biles
    Sports

    Simone Biles Gets Silver Medal After Leaving Olympics Final for Mental Health

    By Mustafa Gatollari
  • Hunter competing in the 2016 Paralympic Games.
    Sports

    Paralympian Hunter Woodhall Gave up His Division I Track Scholarship to Go Pro

    By Toni Sutton
  • Simone Biles
    Entertainment

    Will Simone Biles Compete in the Individual All-Around at the 2020 Olympics? Find out What She Said

    By Gabrielle Bernardini
  • serena williams
    Sports

    Serena Williams Has a Really Good Reason for Skipping the Tokyo Olympics

    By Toni Sutton
  • Erik Shoji
    Sports

    What Is a 'Libero' in Volleyball? Why One Player Wears a Different Color Jersey

    By Sara Belcher
  • Jade Carey
    Entertainment

    Jade Carey Will Replace Simone Biles in the All-Around Final

    By Pretty Honore
  • Athletes in the Olympic Village
    FYI

    These Athletes Are Sharing an Inside Look at the Olympic Village on TikTok

    By Sara Belcher
  • Puerto Rico fan at the Olympics
    Sports

    The Reason Puerto Rico Has Its Own Olympic Team Essentially Boils Down to Bureaucracy

    By Mustafa Gatollari
  •  Bela and Martha Karolyi
    Entertainment

    Where Are Former USA Gymnastics Coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi Now?

    By Distractify Staff
  • Zhou Luxin
    Sports

    Those Sprays of Water on the Olympic Diving Pools Are More Important Than You Realize

    By Kori Williams
  • Kerri Strug
    Sports

    Where Is Gymnast Kerri Strug Since Winning Gold at the 1996 Atlanta Games?

    By Pippa Raga
  • Lady Gaga
    Sports

    Some Viewers Think They See Lady Gaga Competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

    By Kori Williams
  • Simone Biles
    Sports

    Simone Biles' Olympic Stumble Isn't the Real Reason She Withdrew From the Games

    By Chris Barilla
  • Simone Biles
    Sports

    Simone Biles Is Already the Gymnastics GOAT, but Is Her Career Almost Over?

    By Joseph Allen
  • Bob Costas
    Entertainment

    The Real Reason Why Bob Costas Isn't Hosting Olympic Coverage This Year

    By Pretty Honore
  • Meghan and Caeleb Dressel
    Sports

    Caeleb Dressel and His Wife Meghan Have Been Together Since High School

    By Pretty Honore
  • Tom Daley and his son
    Sports

    Tom Daley and His Husband Have a Very Adorable Family Life

    By Jamie Lerner
  • Breakdancing
    Sports

    Breakdancing Will Make its Olympic Debut at the 2024 Games

    By Sara Belcher
  • Simone Biles and Alec Yoder
    Sports

    Gymnasts Simone Biles and Alec Yoder's Friendship Started on Twitter!

    By Pretty Honore
  • Simone Biles gymnast
    Sports

    Simone Biles May Be the GOAT, but One Event Stands Out Above the Rest

    By Jamie Lerner
  • Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky attends the 2018 Breakthrough Prize at NASA Ames Research Center.
    Sports

    Olympic Swimmer Katie Ledecky's Relationship Status Revealed

    By Toni Sutton
  • Lauryn Cribb and John John Florence
    Entertainment

    Olympian John John Florence Woke up One Day and Decided He Wanted to Marry His Girlfriend

    By Kori Williams
  • Simone Biles family
    Sports

    Simone Biles and Her Many Siblings Had a Complicated Childhood

    By Jamie Lerner
  • Caeleb Dressel
    Entertainment

    Olympic Gold Medalist Swimmer Caeleb Dressel Has Several Tattoos — What Do They Stand For?

    By Leila Kozma
  • Tokyo Summer Olympics
    Entertainment

    Olympians Must Adhere to a Strict Code of Conduct While Participating in the Tokyo Games

    By Chris Barilla
  • Sam Mikulak and Mia Atkins
    Sports

    Three-Time Olympian Sam Mikulak Is Engaged to Get Married on New Year's Eve 2021

    By Pippa Raga
  • Summer 2020 Olympics
    Entertainment

    Several Athletes Have Tested Positive for COVID-19 Inside the Olympic Village — Find out Who

    By Gabrielle Bernardini
  • Cat Osterman and her husband
    Sports

    Olympian Cat Osterman and Her Husband Have the Most Adorable Love Story

    By Pippa Raga
  • Why Do Us Gymnasts Wear Different Leotards? The Answer's a Simple One
    Sports

    The Reason Why Team USA Gymnasts Are Rocking Different-Colored Leotards

    By Mustafa Gatollari
  • Tinder
    Human Interest

    One TikTok User Decided to Go for the Gold by Setting His Tinder Location to the Olympic Village

    By Anna Garrison
  • Mike Tirico
    Sports

    Get to Know NBC’s Primetime Olympics Host Mike Tirico

    By Dan Clarendon
  • Mia Hamm, 2014
    Human Interest

    Olympic Gold Medalist and Soccer Star Mia Hamm Is Doing Just Fine

    By Anna Garrison
  • MyKayla Skinner
    Sports

    Controversial Gymnast MyKayla Skinner Set to Make Olympic Debut in Tokyo

    By Dan Clarendon
  • Tokyo Olympics Livestream
    FYI

    What Country Is ROC in the Olympics? Athletes From Banned Country Compete

    By Anna Garrison
  • Street skateboarding course
    Sports

    Confused About How Skateboarding at the Olympics Works? Park vs. Street Skating, Explained

    By Anna Garrison
  • Sky Brown
    Sports

    The Age of the Youngest Olympic Athlete Will Make You Feel Incompetent

    By Mustafa Gatollari
  • Tokyo 2020 Olympics
    Sports

    This Australian Equestrian Will Be the Oldest Competitor at the 2021 Olympics

    By Sara Belcher
  • Olympic Medal
    Sports

    This Sneaker Manufacturer Probably Loves the Olympic Medal Design

    By Mustafa Gatollari
  • Tokyo Olympic stadium
    Entertainment

    Who Will Be Performing at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 Opening Ceremony? Here's What We Know

    By Leila Kozma
  • tokyo 2020
    Sports

    The 2021 Olympics Are Referred to as the 'Tokyo 2020' Games for a Simple Reason

    By Kori Williams
  • Natalia Becker
    Sports

    Olympic Athletes Can Get Paid, but It's Usually Not Much

    By Kori Williams
  • Tokyo Summer Olympics Stage
    Human Interest

    Everything You Need to Know About the Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony

    By Anna Garrison
  • Summer Olympics
    Sports

    Find Out the Symbolic Meaning Behind the Iconic Olympic Rings!

    By Gabrielle Bernardini
  • woman in fun Olympics costume
    Humor

    21 Olympic Jokes for Kids to Celebrate the Summer Games

    By Pippa Raga
  • Tokyo Olympics
    FYI

    Yes, Athletes Will Still Get Condoms Despite Sex Ban at Tokyo Olympics

    By Anna Garrison
  • Tokyo 2020 stairs
    Sports

    What Happens to the Olympic Village After the Games? It Depends on the City

    By Pippa Raga
  • Michael Phelps
    Television

    Michael Phelps Will Be at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo as a Broadcaster for NBC

    By Shannon Raphael
  • Carissa Moore and her husband
    Sports

    Team USA Surfer Carissa Moore Had a Lovely Island-Themed Wedding in 2017

    By Sara Belcher
  • Becca Meyers
    Sports

    Becca Meyers' Parents Speak Out on Daughter's Decision to Withdraw From Paralympics

    By Pippa Raga
  • Olympic Village Food
    Sports

    The Olympic Village Is Stressing Over the Food Situation Due to COVID-19 Restrictions

    By Katie Garrity
  • Tokyo 2020 Olympics
    Sports

    There's Still a Possibility That the Olympics Could Be Canceled This Year

    By Chris Barilla
  • Are Olympians Required to Be Vaccinated?
    Sports

    Are Olympic Athletes Forced to Get Their COVID-19 Immunizations?

    By Mustafa Gatollari
    • CONNECT with Distractify
    • Link to Facebook
    • Link to Twitter
    • Link to Instagram
    • Link to Email Subscribe
    Distractify Logo
    Do Not Sell My Personal Information

    © Copyright 2021 Distractify. Distractify is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.