14 14 Photos

14 USA Women With the Most Olympic Medals

Simone Biles wowed with her golden feats at the Rio Olympics, but American women have been gracing the Olympic medal podium for decades. In the field of swimming alone, three US women are tied for the most Olympic medals won by an American woman. 

The rest of the country's top female medal holders have competed in everything from gymnastics and speed skating to track and field. Click to find out which female US Olympians -- past and present -- are the biggest record holders at the Games. 


Image via shannonmiller96/Instagram

3Dana Vollmer

Vollmer kicked off the 2016 Games in Rio with three medals -- a gold, silver, and bronze. The ace swimmer also won three Olympic gold medals in 2012, and one gold at the 2004 Games. Vollmer's winning swims in Rio came just over a year after she gave birth to son Arlen.  

More from CafeMom: Olympic Swimmer Dana Vollmer Is Going for Gold -- but Her Son Always Comes First

4Katie Ledecky

Ledecky scored her first gold medal at the 2012 Olympics. The powerful swimmer was on fire in Rio, winning four gold medals and one silver. That brings her total medal count to six. 

More From CafeMom: 22 US Female Athletes Who Are Bringing Major #GirlPower to the Rio Olympics

6Missy Franklin

Franklin took the Olympics by storm in 2012, winning four gold medals and a bronze at 17 years old. Her return to the Games in 2016 was disappointing. She scored a gold medal for swimming in the preliminary heat of the 800-meter freestyle relay, but did not swim in the final race. In total, Franklin has six Olympic medals to her name. 

7Jenny Thompson

She swam in four Olympics, from 1992 to 2004, and earned an incredible 12 medals. Jenny Thompson has eight golds, all from relay team events, plus three silver medals and one bronze. 

8Amanda Beard

She broke onto the Olympic scene at age 14 in 1996, winning one gold and two silver medals. The swimmer competed again in 2000 and 2004. Amanda Beard earned seven medals total in her Olympic career -- two gold, four silver, and one bronze.  

More from CafeMom: 13 Amazing Moms Who Won Olympic Medals

Happy Olympic Day!!

A photo posted by Dara Torres (@swimdara) on

9Dara Torres

Torres has competed in five Olympics, but she made her biggest splash at her last Games, in 2004, when she became the oldest swimmer ever to win an Olympic medal. The then-41 year old won three silver medals. In total, Torres has won 12 Olympic medals in her career -- four gold, four silver, and four bronze. 

TBT to 1988 #whitehousevisit, @danjansen, @brianboitano

A photo posted by Bonnie Blair (@bonnieblairc) on

10Bonnie Blair

Blair is the most decorated female US athlete in Winter Olympics history, having medaled six times -- five gold and one bronze. The speed skater competed in 1984, 1988, 1992, and 1994. In 1994, she became the first American to win gold in the same event in three consecutive Winter Games. She also became the first American with five Winter Olympics gold medals.

11Amy Van Dyken-Ruben

Van Dyken-Ruben far exceeded expectations at her first Olympics, in 1996. The swimmer earned four gold medals -- becoming the first US woman to win four golds in one Olympics. She won two more golds in 2000. Van Dyken-Ruben suffered a serious spinal cord injury in 2014 and is relearning to walk. 

13Shirley Babashoff

Sheswam her way to eight Olympic medals in just two Games -- 1972 and 1976. Shirley Babashoff raced the anchor leg of the 4x100 meter freestyle relay, helping Team USA upset East Germany for the gold. Babashoff has two gold and six silver medals. 

14Teresa Edwards

In 1984, 20-year-old Edwards won gold as the youngest member of the US basketball team. She returned to play in the next four Olympics. The veteran athlete earned three more golds and a bronze, bringing her medal count to five and making her the most decorated Olympic basketball player in US history, male or female. 

olympics sports

More Slideshows