Michael Phelps is this man. He won 8 gold medals in the Beijing Olympics.
Most will say, especially after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, that Michael Phelps is the best male athlete. He won 8 gold medals; an Olympic record.
Michael Phelps of the US has the most olympic gold medals (14 total in 2004 and 2008) and the most medals by a male athlete (16 including his 2 bronze medals).
Prior to the start of the 2012 games, the most total medals won by a single athlete is 18 by Soviet gymnast Larisa Latyninawho competed in 1956, 1960, and 1964.The most held by a male athlete is 16 by Michael Phelpsof the US, who has 14 gold and 2 bronze. The 14 gold (2004 and 2008) are also the most by any Olympic athlete. 10 of his medals are in individual events and 6 in team competition.The male athlete with the most individual medals is Soviet gymnast Nicolai Andrianov with 12 medals, including 6 gold, between 1972 and 1980.
Michael Johnson (USA).
Larissa Latynina (USSR) has won the most number of medals in the Olympic Games with an incredible tally of 18 medals (9 gold, 5 silver and 4 bronze).Micheal Phelps (USA) has won the most medals by a male athlete with 16 (14 gold and 2 silver) and he has won the most Olympic Gold Medals with 14.
Brazil with 5
A male athlete. Usain Bolt. 9.58m in the 100m.
Jim Thorpe, named "Greatest male athlete of the first half century" by the Associated Press, won gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon in the 1912 olympics.
Taking all international athletes into consideration, the one with the most Olympic medals overall is a Russian-Ukranian, Larissa Latynina. A former Soviet gymnast, she won more Olympic medals than anyone in history, male or female, in any sport. She won 18 medals; nine gold medals, five silver and four bronze.