Michael Phelps Has 18 lbs Of Olympic Medals

Following the 2016 Rio Olympic Games Michael Phelps called it quits on his historic 16-year international swimming career where he earned an astounding 28 Olympic medals – 10 more than anyone else in history.

Phelps has surpassed every medal-record there is at the Olympic Games. He earned the most golds at one edition of the games in 2008 where he was a perfect eight for eight, he has the most overall medals, he has the most overall golds, and he has the most overall golds in individual events.

His records make him the most decorated Olympian of all time which begs the question, how much do the greatest Olympians medals weigh? In total, his medals weigh approximately 18 lbs, 17.97 lbs to be exact.


In Athens, Phelps won his first Olympic gold medal by winning the 400m IM. He added to that impressive number by taking home five more golds and two bronzes at that games in order to become the first athlete to ever win eight medals at one Olympic Games. Those eight medals were his first Olympic medals and all weighed 135g, or 0.30 lbs.

Weight of medals: 135g/0.30 lbs

  • SIX GOLD: 135g/0.30 lbs –> 810g/1.78 lbs 
  • TWO BRONZE: 135g/0.30 lbs –> 270g/0.60 lbs 
  • ATHENS TOTAL: 1080g/2.38 lbs 


Beijing was Phelps’ most historic Olympic run where he broke Mark Spitz’s record of earning the most gold medals at one edition of the Olympic Games. Phelps won five individual events and a total of eight gold medals to add to his six from Athens.

Weight of medals: 200g/0.44 lbs

  • EIGHT GOLD: 200g/0.44 lbs –> 1600g/3.53 lbs  
  • BEIJING TOTAL: 1600g/3.53 lbs 


Although London was arguably the least significant of his five Olympic runs, it means a lot because it officially established Phelps as the most decorated Olympian of all time. Earning four golds and two silvers there allowed him to move towards a total 18 gold medals and 22 total Olympic medals, passing Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina who had 18 total medals.

Weight of medals: 412g/0.91 lbs

  • FOUR GOLD: 412g/0.91 lbs –> 1648g/ 3.63 lbs
  • TWO SILVER: 412g/0.91 lbs –> 824g/ 1.82 lbs 
  • LONDON TOTAL: 2472g/5.45 lbs 

RIO 2016

Rio 2016 was Phelps’ last Olympic run where he had his third best Olympic showing ever with a total of five gold medals and one silver. Adding to his total 22 Olympic medals and 18 golds from before, Phelps now has a total of 23 golds and 28 total medals. He has 10 more total medals than any other Olympian and 14 more golds than any other Olympian. This run established him as having the most individual gold medals of any Olympian.

Weight of medals: 500g/ 1.10 lbs

  • FIVE GOLD: 500g/1.10 lbs –> 2500g/ 5.50 lbs
  • ONE SILVER: 500g/1.10 lbs –> 500g/ 1.10 lbs 
  • RIO TOTAL: 3000g/6.61 lbs 

Almost half the weight of his gold medals comes from the Rio Olympic Games where they were the heaviest medals of his career. His five Olympic golds in Rio weigh almost the same as his 14 Olympic golds from both Athens and Beijing combined.

With a total of 18 lbs of Olympic medals, Phelps will now happily retire.



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He had two bronze in Athens not silver


Was listening to a debate today on the XM radio Olympic channel about whether Usain Bolt should be considered the greatest Olympian of all time, or greatest athlete of all time, if he wins the 200m dash and 4x 100m relay to give him a perfect 9 for 9 golds over three Olympics. The argument they were trying to make for him over Phelps was that he would be perfect in his attempts where Phelps fell short in some of his. First of all, I don’t recall seeing Bolt in the starting blocks of the 100m final when he was 15 years old, advantage Phelps. Second, Bolt does one thing, which is run faster than anyone else for up to… Read more »


between Phelps and Bolt, as great as Bolt is, Phelps is a clear winner according to me because the schedule that Phelps has taken up in Athens, Beijing, London and Rio even are much harder than what Bolt had/has. Furthermore, Phelps has shown that he is more versatile by swimming Fly, Freestyle (would have been even more awesome if he actually did a backstroke event). That said, many olympians don’t even have to medal as much as phelps because their disciplines might not have as many events. So, it is kind of hard to decide who is best when we compare between disciplines. And then there is always an argument whether phelps would medal as much if Spitz were swimming… Read more »

Lennart van Haaften

Good points. Since it is hard to compare between sports, let’s compare how far athletes are ahead of others in their own sport. Ignoring relays for a minute, Phelps has 13 gold medals vs 4 for the next male swimmers (5 for Egerszegi), over three times as many. Bolt has 5 gold medals (maybe 6 this week), vs 8 for Ewry, 7 for Lewis, 6 for Nurmi. So he’s right up there, but not far ahead at all. He never tried even his 3rd best event at a major meet, or in a smaller meet in his prime, to put up a good time, as far as I know (like Phelps backstroke at nationals in 2007). Moreover, Phelps won 13… Read more »


The whole argument to me seems silly, I’d love to see Bolt do 8 different events and do it over the span of 5 Olympics. Michael Phelps won 8 gold medals by placing first in two events for 4 Olympics. Bolt would never have that consistency.


Phelps is the GOAT, no question in my mind. I think only Paavo Nurmi (first athlete ever to win five gold medals at the same Olympics) and Larisa Latynina (most successful female Olympian of all time– 18 total medals–and only woman to win an all-around medal in 3 Olympics) compare. But seriously, no one really compares to Phelps. No one has the longevity, and not in the sense of simply competing in many games. Competing in many games and WINNING, A LOT, is what sets Phelps apart, IMO.


That’s $310,286 worth of gold medals!
14.44 lbs of gold medals x 16 ounces per lb = 231.04 oz of gold.
Current spot price of gold = $1,342/oz.
231.04 x $1,342 = $310,286

John – tragically, they’re not solid gold. The metal value of a Rio medal when we calculated it in July was about $508.42. https://swimswam.com/monetary-worth-rio-medals/

About Mitch Bowmile

Mitch Bowmile

Mitch Bowmile is a former Canadian age group swimmer who was forced to end his career early due to a labrum tear in his hip and a torn rotator cuff after being recognized as one of the top 50 breaststrokers his age in Canada. He competed successfully at both age …

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