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Colleges with the most Olympians since Tokyo 2020
An Olympic flag waves under the floodlights of a red athletics track.
According to the National Collegiate Athletics Association, about 75% of the Team USA roster in the 2020 Tokyo Games were current or former college athletes.
Much like the way attending an esteemed law school can improve the career trajectory of an aspiring lawyer, choosing the right collegiate athletics program can help people reach what could be considered the pinnacle of athletic success—the Olympics or the Paralympics.
It’s no coincidence that many Olympians and Paralympians attended the same schools and competed in the same world-class collegiate athletics programs. Schools like Stanford, the University of Florida, and UCLA have a track record—no pun intended—for attracting and fostering athletic talent. While creating pathways from collegiate competition to the Olympics has happened naturally throughout the history of the Games, there has been a recent push for schools, in partnership with Olympic committees, to be strategic about the college-to-Olympics pipeline.
Founded in 2016, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s Collegiate Advisory Council advocates for strengthening Olympic and Paralympic programming at the college level. On the council are administrators from 10 schools that have contributed to Team USA’s success at the Games.
The USOPC entered into a two-year agreement with the NCAA in March 2022, focusing on introducing and expanding adaptive sports programs in more colleges and universities for athletes with physical and mobility differences. Only 23 schools in the country offer adaptive sports, with a fraction of those offering competitive sports. The groups are also working to improve communication about the opportunities that exist for student-athletes aiming to compete on an international level.
In the background of this progress, however, college athletes and Olympian hopefuls across the country are facing cuts of nonrevenue-generating sports programs at prominent universities with Olympic success. Stanford, for example, cut 11 sports programs that, over time, won the university 27 Olympic medals.
Best Universities compiled data from Team USA to identify the schools with the highest concentration of college athletes turned Olympians. The data includes athletes who competed at the collegiate level in varsity or club sports and either the Olympic Games or Paralympic Games for Team USA.
The true number of Olympic and Paralympic athletes associated with a particular school is much higher when you consider some international student-athletes may attend and train in the U.S. but represent their home countries in the Games. Or that some national team student-athletes graduate but continue competing in their sport, or use a school’s facilities to train for their sport, but never actually compete on a…
Read More: Colleges with the most Olympians since Tokyo 2020 2023-02-02 04:17:07