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Ten thousand athletes from more than 200 countries will soon march into Rio’s Maracana Stadium (one of the world’s largest and most famous soccer stadiums) to kick off the 2016 Summer Olympics. While anticipation builds for The Opening Ceremony on August 5th, we decided to do a little digging into college olympians and the impact they have had on the games over the years. Which universities have produced the most Olympic athletes, and how does that translate into medals? Here is what we learned:
Notable Olympians: source
Allyson Felix (track), Lenny Krayzelburg (swimming), Lisa Leslie (basketball), John Naber (swimming), Rebecca Soni (swimming), Tina Thompson (basketball), Parry O’Brien (track), Steve Timmons (volleyball).
Fun Fact: A Trojan has won a gold medal in every Olympics since 1912. USC also the has most golds and the most medals of any color.
Janet Evans (swimming), Logan Tom (volleyball), Julie Foudy (soccer), Bob Mathias (track), Pablo Morales (swimming), Summer Sanders (swimming), Kerri Strug (gymnastics), Jenny Thompson (swimming), Kerri Walsh (beach volleyball), Bob and Mike Bryan (tennis).
Shirley Babashoff (swimming), Evelyn Ashford (track), Tim Daggett (gymnastics), Florence Griffith-Joyner (track), Tom Jager (swimming), Jackie Joyner-Kersee (track), Karch Kiraly (volleyball), Gail Devers (track), Mike Powell (track), Mike Marsh (track), Lisa Fernandez (softball), Dawn Harper (track), Sydney Leroux (soccer).
In 2012 London Summer Olympics, UC Berkeley walked away with 17 medals! The joke was that if Cal were its own country, it would have tied for sixth in the world for the number of gold medals won. Here is a look back at some of the magic with a glimpse of what might be in store.
Few colleges and universities can match the rich Olympic history of the University of Michigan. For more than a century, its students, student-athletes and coaches have represented their countries on the world’s biggest stage, collecting 157 Olympic medals. source
The Longhorns have some great representation with athletes from other countries as well. In addition to the United States, they have competed for Canada, Haiti, Mexico, Jamaica, Liberia, Nigeria, and the Virgin Islands.
Sanya Richards-Ross (Track and Field), Kevin Durant (Basketball), Ricky Berens (Men’s Swimming).
The university’s long connection to the Olympics started in connection that began in 1896 when seven then and future Harvard men participating in events in track and field and shooting took home 12 medals, including eight gold. Since then, Harvard has been represented at every Olympic Games. View the full list here.
Ryan Lochte (swimming), Dara Torres (swimming), Dennis Mitchell (track), Tracy Caulkins (swimming), Heather Mitts (soccer), Christian Taylor (track), Abby Wambach (soccer).
Yale has always had a respectable showing in the Olympics – just look at this rich history.
Fun Fact: Edward Eagan ’21 is the only athlete in the history of Olympic competition ever to win a Gold Medal in both the Winter and Summer Games.
Here is a list of Ohio State Olympians. Very impressive showing for the Buckeyes. The U.S. Olympic team in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this year will feature more than 20 athletes with strong Ohio connections.