Who won the most Olympic gold medals in swimming? Final medal count from 2021 Tokyo Games

By | July 31, 2021

Olympic swimming has come to an end after an exciting eight days of action. 

This year, there wasn’t a singular swimmer that dominated the world stage in the ways that Michael Phelps did every time he hit the water, but American Caeleb Dressel came close. Dressel racked up plenty of medals, collecting five in total — all gold — and Katie Ledecky came away with two golds and a silver in her third trip to the Summer Olympics. 

The United States, as expected, came away with the most overall medals, but it was a close fight for the most gold medals between the U.S. and Australia. 

Sporting News tracked who came away with the most gold medals, and which nations led the tally overall. 

MORE: Katie Ledecky says her Olympic career is not over

Which swimmers won the most gold medals?

Overall, 13 swimmers won multiple gold medals, but two swimmers stood above the rest. 

Caeleb Dressel made history in joining Mark Spitz, Matt Biondi and Michael Phelps as the only male swimmers to win five gold medals in the same Olympics. 

And he did so in dominant fashion. He set one individual world record in the 100-meter butterfly and was part of a world-record-setting relay team on the men’s 4×100-meter medley. He also set Olympic records in the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle races.

Australian Emma McKeown not only won the most gold medals of any female swimmer, with her four total, but she also tied the record with seven medals overall by a female athlete, matching the mark of Ukrainian gymnast Maria Gorokhovskya from 1952. No female swimmer has won seven medals in a single Olympics. 

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Which countries won the most gold medals? 

If this was about who has won the most medals overall, it wasn’t a competition. The U.S. was simply too deep and seemingly added a medal in every other event. 

The race for gold, however, came down to the wire between the United States and Australia. Coming into the final day in the pool, the U.S. had eight gold medals while the Aussies had seven. By the time the swimming competition was over, the Americans had given themselves some extra room in the gold medal tally, winning three to Australia’s two on the final day of races. The U.S. finished with 11 gold medals. 

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Olympic swimming recap

Want to relive the excitement of each day of the Olympics? Check out the highlights and results from each day during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games. 

For those needing a refresh, here’s how the events broke down each day of the Olympics. 

Saturday, July 24

Morning Evening
Men’s 400 Individual Medley (Heats) Men’s 400 Individual Medley (Finals)
Women’s 100 Butterfly (Heats) Women’s 100 Butterfly (Semifinals)
Men’s 400 Freestyle (Heats) Men’s 400 Freestyle (Finals)
Women’s 400 Individual Medley (Heats) Women’s 400 Individual Medley (Finals)
Men’s 100 Breaststroke (Heats) Men’s 100 Breaststroke (Semifinals)
Women’s 4×100 Freestyle Relay (Heats) Women’s 4×100 Freestyle Relay (Finals)

Sunday, July 25

Morning Evening
Women’s 100 Backstroke (Heats) Women’s 100 Butterfly (Finals)
Men’s 200 Freestyle (Heats) Men’s 200 Freestyle (Semifinals)
Women’s 100 Breaststroke (Heats) Women’s 100 Breaststroke (Semifinals)
Men’s 100 Backstroke (Heats) Men’s 100 Breaststroke (Finals)
Women’s 400 Freestyle (Heats) Women’s 400 Freestyle (Finals)
Men’s 4×100 Freestyle Relay (Heats) Men’s 100 Backstroke (Semifinals)
Women’s 100 Backstroke (Semifinals)
Men’s 4×100 Freestyle Relay (Finals)

Monday, July 26

Morning Evening
Women’s 200 Freestyle (Heats) Women’s 200 Freestyle (Semifinals)
Men’s 200 Butterfly (Heats) Men’s 200 Freestyle (Finals)
Women’s 200 Individual Medley (Heats) Women’s 100 Backstroke (Finals)
Women’s 1500 Freestyle (Heats) Men’s 100 Backstroke (Finals)
Women’s 100 Breaststroke (Finals)
Men’s 200 Butterfly (Semifinals)
Women’s 200 Individual Medley (Semifinals)

Tuesday, July 27

Morning Evening
Men’s 100 Freestyle (Heats) Men’s 100 Freestyle (Semifinals)
Women’s 200 Butterfly (Heats) Women’s 200 Freestyle (Finals)
Men’s 200 Breaststroke (Heats) Men’s 200 Butterfly (Finals)
Men’s 4×200 Freestyle Relay (Heats) Women’s 200 Butterfly (Semifinals)
Men’s 800 Freestyle (Heats) Men’s 200 Breaststroke (Semifinals)
Women’s 200 Individual Medley (Finals)
Women’s 1500 Freestyle (Finals)
Men’s 4×200 Freestyle Relay (Finals)

Wednesday, July 28

Morning Evening
Women’s 100 Freestyle (Heats) Men’s 800 Freestyle (Finals)
Men’s 200 Backstroke (Heats) Men’s 200 Breaststroke (Finals)
Women’s 200 Breaststroke (Heats) Women’s 100 Freestyle (Semifinals)
Men’s 200 Individual Medley (Heats) Men’s 200 Backstroke (Semifinals)
Women’s 4×200 Freestyle Relay (Heats) Women’s 200 Butterfly (Finals)
Men’s 100 Freestyle (Finals)
Women’s 200 Breaststroke (Semifinals)
Men’s 200 Individual Medley (Semifinals)
Women’s 4×200 Freestyle Relay (Finals)

Thursday, July 29

Morning Evening
Women’s 800 Freestyle (Heats) Men’s 100 Butterfly (Semifinals)
Men’s 100 Butterfly (Heats) Women’s 200 Breaststroke (Finals)
Women’s 200 Backstroke (Heats) Men’s 200 Backstroke (Finals)
Mixed 4×100 Medley Relay (Heats) Women’s 100 Freestyle (Finals)
Men’s 200 Individual Medley (Finals)
Women’s 200 Backstroke (Semifinals)

Friday, July 30

Morning Evening
Men’s 50 Freestyle (Heats) Men’s 100 Butterfly (Finals)
Women’s 50 Freestyle (Heats) Women’s 200 Backstroke (Finals)
Men’s 1500 Freestyle (Heats) Women’s 800 Freestyle (Finals)
Women’s 4×100 Medley Relay (Heats) Men’s 50 Freestyle (Semifinals)
Men’s 4×100 Medley Relay (Heats) Women’s 50 Freestyle (Semifinals)
Mixed 4×100 Medley Relay (Finals)

Saturday, July 31

Men’s 50 Freestyle (Finals)
Women’s 50 Freestyle (Finals)
Men’s 1500 Freestyle (Finals)
Women’s 4×100 Medley Relay (Finals)
Men’s 4×100 Medley Relay (Finals)