Back in 2012, The Guardian put together an amazing table treating Michael Phelps as a country. We can do the same and count the total number of medals per country and total number of medals for Michael Phelps. Sorted by the number of gold medals, Michael Phelps beats for example Belarus and Kazakhstan. And after Rio 2016, probably also Zimbabwe, Nigeria and a few more countries!
This visualization involves a bit more logic, so it is not as easy to modify, but you can easily
change it to look at another athlete or even add multiple athletes. When you look at "options",
you will see a number of parameters for both of the parts of the calculation, but the very first
one lets you select a different athlete. When you do that, you'll also need to change what range
of countries you are selecting. In the code, look for
skip(47).take(10). This skips the first
47 countries (who have way more medals than Michael Phelps) and takes the next 10, so that we
get a nice chart. You'll need to guess the right number for your favorite athlete.
Aside from showing one athlete, you can also modify the visualization to include multiple athletes. For example, see the visualization If Phelps and Latynina were Countries, which shows a similar chart with the two top athletes when sorted by gold medals.