Japan’s Sawao Kato is one of the most successful male Olympic gymnasts of all time, winning eight gold, three silver and four bronze medals in three Olympic Games.
That tally puts Kato in elite Olympic company, being one of only 10 Olympians to win at least eight gold medals and one of only eight to win at least 12 overall. In terms of total gold medals, Kato is the best male Olympic gymnast of all time, although his total output of 12 medals is three fewer than Russian Nikolai Andrianov’s 15, which included seven golds.
Kato first competed in the 1968 Mexico Games, where he won golds in the team competition, all-around, and floor exercise, and a bronze in the rings. He upped that output to 3-2-0 in Munich, repeating as all-around champion while winning another gold in the team competition and his first gold in the parallel bars to go along with two silvers in the pommel horse and high bar. In Montreal, he again won golds in the team competition and the parallel bars, but had to settle for the silver in the all-around competition, with the gold going to Andrianov.
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