US Summer Olympic Medals: Which State Has the Most Gold?

US Summer Olympic Medals: Which State Has the Most Gold?

Are you interested in learning about the most US Olympic medals by state from over the last century for summer events? The team at The Sports Geek has crunched the data and is revealing which states have produced the most Olympic gold medalists! 

As the winningest country at the Summer Olympics, athletes have come from all walks of life and corners of the United States. However, which state has bragging rights for the most gold Olympic medals by state? 
Before you place your bets at Olympic betting sites, consider checking out which states have had the most success in the past!

US Olympic Gold Medals by State Map

From the first Summer Olympics in 1896 to Tokyo 2020, the United States has won the most Summer Olympic medals in the world with 2,635. How many Olympic gold medals by state have been awarded, per the birthplace of each athlete? 

Following research from available data from the IOC, we discovered these astonishing results: 

Blog 825x400 – single image

*Note team sport gold medals are excluded due to athletes from two or more states combining to win, in some instances.

Top 5 US States in the Olympics and Their Top Performers

California has by far the most successful all-time Olympic medals by US state. With 127 individual gold medals, Californian athletes have won 57 more than second-place New York! 

Additionally, 127 individual gold medals are more than Finland, South Korea, Poland, Canada, the Netherlands, and many more countries have collected, including their team sports. 

If you are wondering: “What about per capita?” 

Note that measuring USA Olympic medals by state on a per capita basis is not an accurate barometer. The populations of each state have changed significantly since 1896 for each Olympic Games, so calculating medals per capita is a very complicated task.

Now that you are familiar with the most Olympic gold medals won, let’s check out the most decorated and famous athletes from the top 5 states! 

1. Mark Spitz – California (Swimming)

Before Michael Phelps, there was Mark Spitz. At the 1972 Munich Games, the Modesto, CA, native won seven gold medals — breaking all seven world records along the way!

Four gold medals were individual wins in the 200m butterfly, 200m freestyle, 100m butterfly, and 100m freestyle. Another three were captured in team relay events.

Fun Fact:

Spitz informed Russian swimmers that the secret to his success was due to his mustache. He explained that it deflected water away from his face. The next year, the entire Russian swim team had mustaches. 

Spitz’s medal record in a single Olympics was not broken until Phelps won eight in 2008 at the Beijing Summer Games. In total, Spitz retired with nine gold medals, one silver, and one bronze.

Spitz is one of many prolific swimmers to hail from California. Dara Torres, who won four golds, four silvers, and four bronze medals, was highly regarded in the pool. Also, Matt Biondi came only one gold short of matching Spitz’s nine.

2. Ryan Lochte – New York (Swimming)

Ryan Lochte is well-known for his success as a swimmer alongside Michael Phelps. Despite living in his shadow and having legal issues out of the pool in Rio, Lochte is still considered one of the most popular Summer Olympic athletes born in New York.

His accomplishments would likely be more well-known if he weren’t swimming in the same era as Phelps.

Lochte has been successful in individual events and as part of the American swim squad. He has the medals to back up his work.

The native of Rochester, NY, is tied in tenth for all-time Olympic medals won and the second-most decorated Team USA athlete. Lochte is in possession of six gold, three silver, and three bronze medals!

3. Simone Biles – Ohio (Gymnastics)

Gymnastics star Simone Biles might call Texas home, but she was born in Columbus, OH, in 1997. Biles moved to the Lone Star State around 2000 to live with her grandparents, who ultimately adopted her. 

Considered by many pundits as the GOAT of women’s gymnastics, Biles has been a technician in her craft. In 2016, as a member of the “Fierce Five” at the Rio Summer Games, Biles introduced herself to the world.

Biles won three individual gold medals, including the floor exercise, vault, and all-around. She won a fourth gold medal in the team event. Moreover, the 27-year-old added a bronze to her portfolio on the balance beam.

Despite battling mental health concerns at Tokyo 2020, Biles won a bronze on the balance beam and a silver in the team event. With her eyes set on Paris 2024, she will likely add more medals to her count.

4. Jackie Joyner-Kersee – Illinois (Track and Field)

Many great athletes and teams have come from the state of Illinois. Perhaps none larger than three-time gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee. 

Regarded as one of the legends and all-time best in the heptathlon and long jump, Joyner-Kersee won three gold, one silver, and two bronze medals from 1988 to 1996. 

At the Seoul Games in 1988, she broke the world record in heptathlon, and then won the gold in the long jump. Still, Joyner-Kersee remains the only woman to win two heptathlon gold medals and record 7,000 points.

For her number of incredible accomplishments, Sports Illustrated named Joyner-Kersee the Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century. Before becoming a track star, Joyner-Kersee was a highly regarded basketball player at Lincoln High School in East St. Louis and then in college at UCLA.

In 2004, Joyner-Kersee joined the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame. Today, she is busy spending time as a motivational speaker and philanthropist. 

Additionally, Joyner-Kersee is the founder of the Jackie Joyner Kersee Foundation, which advocates and supports children in their pursuit of academics and athletics.

5. Carl Lewis – Texas (Track and Field)

Texas is one of the most diverse states for sports and athletic achievements. They’ve produced some of the best basketball, football, and Olympic athletes in the world, most notably on the track. 

Carl Lewis was a fixture on the track at Los Angeles 1984, Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992, and Atlanta 1996. His dominance spanned more than a decade!

He is one of only four Olympic athletes to win nine gold medals, with his best success coming in the Los Angeles Summer Games. Lewis won the gold medal in the 100m, 200m, long jump, and 4×100 m relay. 

Lewis is an all-around talent who excelled at multiple disciplines in track and field. In addition to a silver medal in the 200m at the Seoul Games, Lewis concluded his Olympic career with 10 medals!

In 1999, the International Association of Athletics Federation named Lewis the “Sportsman of the Century”. Currently, he is the head coach of the University of Houston’s track and field team.

What US Olympians Will Win Medals Next?

What do you think about the Olympic medals by state? With Paris 2024 nearing this summer, the all-time Olympic medal count in the US is about to change. 

If you want to bet on your favorite athletes at Paris 2024, we recommend Bovada for the Olympic Games. The sportsbook offers a wide selection of Olympic odds for Paris, including the medal count, individual events, and even prop bets.

Place your wagers at one of the safest online sportsbooks and take advantage of a strong sign-up bonus. New customers are eligible for a 50% match bonus of up to $250 on first-time deposits. Deposit with cryptocurrency to get even more, with a 75% match bonus of up to $750

Bovada Sportsbook
Ready to play at Bovada?
About the Author
Kyle Eve profile picture
Kyle Eve
Sports/Casino Writer
Blog and News
FaceBook Twitter
Kyle Eve is a seasoned pro of The Sports Geek. Since joining the team in 2012, Kyle, has covered some of the biggest sporting events in the world. From the Super Bowl and World Series to March Madness, the NBA Finals, Kentucky Derby, and many more, Kyle has provided reliable analysis for millions of readers. After dedicating himself to hockey and football in high school, Kyle placed his first sports bet on his 18th birthday. Since then, he has spent his entire adult life devoting himself to becoming the best sports bettor and casino gambler possible. Kyle is from Windsor, ON, Canada

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *