Olympics in numbers: which countries are the best at Summer Olympic sports - from athletics to volleyball

The 2021 Olympics ‘officially’ kicks off today with the Tokyo opening ceremony, as well as Team GB action

Tokyo is bracing for an opening ceremony like no other at the Olympic Stadium on 23 July, with the athletes’ parade and traditional lighting of the torch taking place in front of empty stands.

A British delegation of just 22, including flag bearers Hannah Mills and Mohamed Sbihi, will march at the opening ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics.

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Olympics: which countries are most successful at Summer Olympic Games - from tot...
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games begins on Friday. (Graphic: Mark Hall/JPI Media)

Athletes from canoe slalom, fencing, weightlifting, sailing, boxing, rowing and trampolining will feature in the curtain-raiser, which is being held behind closed doors at the purpose-built Olympic Stadium.

A ring of steel has been erected around the stadium, meaning the excited locals, who had been due to be a part of the ceremony until the decision to ban spectators from the Games was made earlier this month, were left to watch those lucky enough to be allowed in from behind fences.

Japan Standard Time (JST) is eight hours ahead of British Summer Time (BST), meaning the ceremony started from 12 noon for UK viewers - with sporting competitions already taking place.

Yet despite the games being postponed for the first ever time in Olympic history because of Covid, the level of competition among countries and athletes remains as high as ever.

Find out all the countries which have claimed sporting glory in each Olympic Sport (image: Mark Hall)

These are the top countries which are the best at each Summer Olympic sport - from athletics to volleyball.

Which countries have the best track record in Summer Olympic sports?

Belgium (archery, 20 medals)

United States (athletics, 802 medals)

Perfomers are seen dancing infront of the Olympic Rings (Matthias Hangst/Getty)

Indonesia (badminton, 19 medals)

Cuba (boxing, 73 medals)

Germany (canoeing, 70 medals)

Colombia (cycling, 6 medals)

Former Germany West (equestrian, 25)

Italy (fencing, 125 medals)

India (field hockey, 125)

Argentina (football, 4 medals)

Former Soviet Union (gymnastics, 184 medals)

Montenegro and Iceland (handball, both 1 medal)

Japan (Judo, 84 medals)

Lithuania (modern pentathlon, 4 medals)

New Zealand (rowing, 4 medals)

Fiji (rugby, 1 medal)

Denmark (sailing, 30 medals)

Peru (shooting, 4 medals)

Australia (swimming, 188 medals)

China (table tennis, 53 medals)

Chinese Taipei (taekwondo, 8 medals)

Puerto Rico (tennis, 1 medal)

Brazil (volleyball, 10 medals)

Serbia (waterpolo, 3 medals)

Bulgaria (weightlifting, 37 medals)

Russia (wrestling, 56 medals)

Which country has won the most gold medals at the Summer Olympics?

The order changes slightly when you take into account the most gold medals won at the Summer Olympics by each nation, with the US leading the way with 1,022 medals.

Soviet Union claimed a total of 395 golds ahead of Great Britain with 263, China (224), France (212), Italy (206), Germany (191), Hungary (175, East Germany (153) and Russia (149).

Which country has made the most appearances at the Summer Olympics?

No less than five countries have appeared in 28 Summer Olympic Games since 1896, with Great Britain, France, Australia, Switzerland and Greece making the most appearances.

The US, Italy, Sweden, Denmark and Austria have all taken part at 27 Summer Games to make up the top 10 of most consistent appearances at the Olympics.

At the other end of the charts, Kosov and South Sudan made their debut appearances at Rio 2016.