Sawao Kato (born October 11, 1946) is a retired Japanese gymnast and one of the most successful athletes of all time at the Olympic Games. In three Olympics, he gathered a total of twelve medals, including eight gold medals.
Kato is one of only ten athletes to have won eight or more Olympic gold medals. Kato is one of the most successful male gymnasts ever at the Olympics (his 8 gold medals and 12 overall medals are best rivaled by Nikolai Andrianov’s 7 gold and 15 overall, Boris Shakhlin’s 7 gold and 13 overall, and Takashi Ono’s 5 golds and 13 overall). Also, he has won more Olympic gold medals than any other male gymnast and more Olympic gold medals than any Japanese Olympian (no other Japanese Olympian has won more than 6). Kato is only one medal short of having the most medals of any Japanese Olympian (his 12 medals vs Ono’s 13). Kato was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2001.