The 2024 Summer Olympic Games will begin on Friday, July 26 in Paris, France.

For 16 days, athletes will compete in various competitions to find out who is the best of the best, in the entire world. Some of these athletes are competing in their first Olympic competition and have waited for this moment their entire life. Others are trying to become repeat winners and bring home more medals to their respective countries.

The United States has dominated the Summer Olympics for the past century. Since 1896, when the first Summer Olympics were held in Athens, the United States has won 2,635 medals, according to NBC.

Germany is second with 1,211 total medals, the Soviet Union is third with 1,204 total medals, France is 4th with 1,039 total medals, followed by Great Britain at 5th, with 1,036 total medals. When it comes to countries, the U.S. dominates and is well above the rest.

AM 950 KOEL logo
Get our free mobile app


What if you compared each state? Which states have the most bragging rights for producing the most summer Olympic gold medal winners?

How many Summer Olympic gold medalists has Iowa produced? It might be more than you'd think!

Summer Olympic Gold Medal Winners from Iowa

The Sports Geek searched through the Summer Olympic record books and found out how many gold medals have been won by each state, per the birthplace of the olympian.

Iowa has produced 13 Summer Olympic gold medal winners over the history of the Summer Olympics, which is the 16th most of any state!

The Sports Geek
The Sports Geek

It should be noted that "team gold medals were excluded due to athletes from two or more states combing to win, in some instances."

The state that has produced the most summer Olympic gold medalists is California and it's not even close. 127 gold medalists have come from California. Californians have won more summer gold medals than some countries have. Finland, South Korea, Poland, Canada, and the Netherlands all have fewer summer golds than one of our country's biggest states.

New York has produced the second most Summer Olympic gold medalists, with 70. I would've never seen this coming but Ohio has produced the third most summer Olympic gold medalists, with 44.

Per Capita?

It makes sense that states with bigger populations are more likely to produce more gold medal winners...right? California is the most populated state in the country with roughly 38 million people.

Why wouldn't they have more chances of finding elite athletes than Delaware, Wyoming, or Iowa? Supposedly comparing gold medal winners per capita would not be an accurate barometer and with the changes of population throughout history, it would be incredibly complicated to figure out.

According to The Sports Geek, "the populations of each state have changed significantly since 1896 for each Olympic Games, so calculating medals per capita is a very complicated task."

Despite being 31st in population size, Iowa has still managed to produce plenty of world-class athletes and crack into the top 16 for most Summer Olympic gold medal winners. There must be something in the water!

Iowa Born Sports Stars

What do each of these stellar athletes have in common? They all hail from the Hawkeye State.

Gallery Credit: Johnny Marks

20 Fun Facts About The Olympics

The most shocking fact is #17, but I think everyone secretly knew #6.

Read on to see the complete list of 20 fun facts below.

Gallery Credit: Kadie Daye, Getty Images

More From AM 950 KOEL