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.

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