The United States owns the most Olympic swimming medals of all time: 230 gold, 164 silver and 126 bronze for a total of 520. That’s nearly a third of all Olympic swimming medals ever awarded. The next closest country, Australia, captured a total of 186 all-time medals.
Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time with 22 career medals, by himself is tied with West Germany on the medal table for 14th place.
The American swimmers brought 31 medals (16 gold, nine silver and six bronze) home from the London Games. Japan was next-closest in London, bagging 11 medals, though zero were gold. Australia, often seen as a rival for the U.S. in the pool, captured 10 medals (one gold, six silver and three bronze) in London for fourth place in the standings.
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the U.S. again earned 31 medals: 12 gold (boosted by Phelps’ eight golds), nine silver and 10 bronze medals. Australia came the closest they’ve ever been to the U.S.’ Olympic swimming medal total, winning 20 medals: six gold, six silver and eight bronze.
In 2004, the Americans captured 28 medals in Athens (Phelps won six gold and two bronze to contribute to the U.S. total of 12 gold, nine silver and seven bronze). Australia remained in second place on the medal table, capturing 15 medals: seven gold, five silver and three bronze.
At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, U.S. swimmers cracked the 30-medal mark, bringing 33 medals home to the States (14 gold, eight silver and 11 bronze). It would mark the last time that Phelps wouldn’t contribute to the U.S.’ medal count at an Olympic Games. Australia, competing on home soil, earned 18 medals (five gold, nine silver and four bronze) for a third-consecutive runner-up spot on the medal table.
In 1996, Team USA swimmers earned 26 medals in home soil: 13 gold, 11 silver and two bronze. Australia again was next closest, winning two gold, four silver and six bronze medals for a total of 12.
In 1992, the U.S. team won 27 Olympic swimming medals (11 gold, nine silver and seven bronze). Russia – competing as the Unified Team – played runner-up with 18 total medals: 11 gold, six silver and one bronze.