One of the best moments of the Olympics is the medal ceremony because this is the stage where the national anthem of the gold-medal-winning athlete is being played. Right now, the Philippines has yet to record its first gold medal. We might as well get used to hearing "The Star-Spangled Banner" or "God Save the Queen" more often.

An athlete has to win it all in order to hear his/her country's national anthem played in front of fans and television viewers from around the world. Second- or third-best is not enough! If your country hasn't won a gold medal yet, the national anthems from the top sporting nations that are played over and over again will keep you waiting for the time that your country's flag would be raised and your favorite athlete clutching the first ever gold medal. So what are the most played national anthems of all time?

1. United States of America - 929 times
The USA has won the most medals in the Olympic games and it is poised to solidify its position as the most gold medal winning country ever. Whether you like it or not, you will hear a lot of their national anthem on every sporting event.

2. Russian Federation (including USSR) - 503 times
Closing on far second is Russia with its rich sporting heritage of its Soviet past. Although many of its top podium finishes were won by athletes coming from its former republics like the Ukraine, Lithuania, and Kazakhstan, Russia is still one of the top performing countries of the Olympics.

3. Germany (including East Germany) - 400 times
Germany has always been a sporting machine since the early days of the Olympics. It's rich medal haul is supplemented by the dominance of the East German team during the 1970's and 1980's. Hearing the "Deutschlandlied" can be quite soothing to your ears because of its elegant composition.

4. Great Britain - 207 times
The British have capitalized their advantage as host of the 2012 Olympics by winning the more gold medals than its previous appearances. Adding more to their all-time medal tally would mean that you will have to hear more "God Save the Queen" on the winners podium more often in the future.

5. Italy - 191 times
A proud nation, Italy has produced world-class athletes through the years and the Olympics is no exception. With a lovely and martial tune, who doesn't want to be an Italian?

6. France - 191 times
"La Marseillaise" is one of the most popular national anthems so when you hear it at the medal ceremony, you know that the gold medal winner is French!

7. People's Republic of China - 163 times
China is the emerging superpower in the sporting world despite appearing in only 8 Olympic games. Buoyed by its state-sponsored sports program, you will be expecting to hear more of its marching volunteers in years to come.

8. Hungary - 159 times
Although most of its medals were accumulated during its long association with the state-sponsored sports program of the Cold War. The Huns have excelled themselves in gymnastics, swimming, and water polo.

9. Sweden - 142 times
The Swedes have always been a top contender in this quadrennial global sporting event. They never failed to impress fans and athletes alike in the field of wrestling, athletics, and equestrian.

10. Australia - 131 times
The athletes from Down Under are phenomenal. Despite having a relatively small population, the Aussies have dominated sporting disciplines like swimming and athletics over bigger countries like the USA and Russia.

11. Japan - 123 times
Though its national anthem is quite short, Japan has a long line of gold medal winners that brought honor to this proud nation. It has made judo and gymnastics as its milking cow.

12. Finland - 101 times
Although known for their excellent performance in winter sports, Finnish athletes have been favorites middle to long distance races just like their favorite sportsman Paavo Nurmi.

13. Romania - 86 times
Following the legacy of legendary gymnast Nadia Comaneci, Romania has remained a prime contender in this discipline in every Olympics. No wonder, this Balkan nation has accumulated more gold medals than its neighbors.

14. Netherlands - 71 times
Known by its flamboyant orange-clad fans, the Dutch are known to be the speed-skating kings in the Winter Olympics. However, they excel in swimming and cycling in the summer edition of the games.

15. South Korea - 68 times
Even though South Korea plays a third fiddle behind China and Japan, it has now emerging power in field of archery and wrestling. Koreans have even outperform its East Asian rivals in certain events like judo and swimming.

16. Cuba - 67 times
Boxing has always been the Olympic lifeblood of Cuba despite continued economic trade sanctions imposed by the United States. With legendary Teofilo Stevenson's golden legacy, Cubans also gained success in wrestling, athletics, and judo.

17. Poland - 62 times
Polish athletes have started competing at the Olympics since 1924 but their rich medal haul of gold only  started during the 1960's as part of the state-funded sports machine of the Comintern.

18. Czech Republic (including Czechoslovakia) - 59 times
Despite the break up of the former Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic has continued its sporting excellence by winning golds in canoeing, athletics, and shooting.

19. Canada - 58 times
Although it has a long relationship with its more successful neighbor - the United States, Canada has never been able to enjoy a level of successful gold medal harvest than its American counterparts. Nevertheless, Canadians have enjoyed some level of prestige by winning several disciplines like athletics, rowing, and swimming.

20. Switzerland - 45 times
This small Alpine nation has excelled in sports beyond everyone's expectation. Despite having a small population, the Swiss are favorites to win gold medals in gymnastics, rowing, and shooting.

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  1. Great post! How I wish PH was part of the list!


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{picture#} JP Canonigo is a historian, professional blogger and copywriter, online content specialist, copywriter, video game junkie, sports fanatic and jack-of-all trades. {facebook#} {twitter#} {google#}
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