Rio Olympics 2016: which universities produced the most gold medal winners?

Want to become a degree-holding Olympic gold medal winner? Tommaso Grant finds out which institutions might be right for you
August 24 2016

Olympic medal

Olympic medal
Source: 
iStock

After the culmination of the Rio Olympics, the eyes of most people will have been drawn to the official international medal table. A great deal has been made of the remarkable rise of Team GB, who finished second in the table behind the US.

Even more remarkable, perhaps, has been the performances of some of the world’s top universities in these Games, with many institutions producing a string of gold medal-winning athletes. 

The tables below detail which universities can count the most 2016 Rio Olympics gold medal-winning athletes among their undergraduate alumni (not the total golds won). They are based on publicly available data, and include both people with an undergraduate degree from the named institution, and those currently studying towards one. 

The top gold medal winners (scroll down for athletes, and lower ranked universities)

Rank University Country Gold medal-winning athletes
1 Stanford University US 11
2 University of California, Los Angeles US 7
2 University of Florida  US 7
4 Loughborough University UK 6
4 University of Southern California US 6
6 University of Connecticut US 5
6 University of Texas at Austin US 5
8 University of Oregon US 4
8 Russian State University of Physical Education, Sport, Youth and Tourism Russia 4
10 Griffith University Australia 3
10 Tokai University  Japan 3
10 University of California, Berkeley US 3

The university podium

Gold: Stanford University (US)

Topping the university Olympic athlete table is Stanford University, thanks to the triumphs of current students such as swimmer Katie Ledecky and alumni such as Greece’s pole vault champion Ekaterina Stefanidi. Stanford had a golden Olympics and can lay claim to 16 gold medals across its 11 athlete students/alumni in 10 separate events.

If competing as its own nation, Stanford would have found itself eighth in the overall medal table, equalling France’s gold medal tally and beating the likes of South Korea, Italy and Australia. Not bad for a “nation” of only 16,000 students. Stanford can also take credit for having contributed to about 20 per cent of Team USA’s gold medals, not to mention a sizeable number of silvers and bronzes.

Joint silver: University of California, Los Angeles (US)

UCLA can count themselves as the second-best performing university at the Rio Olympics, with 10 gold medals by seven current or former students across five separate events, including the quadruple gold-winning gymnast Simone Biles.

This performance would see UCLA placed in the top 20 most successful Olympic nations for 2016, ahead of Canada and New Zealand.

Joint silver: University of Florida

An impressive performance from UF, which can claim seven gold medals among its bachelor's students and graduates.

Joint bronze: Loughborough University (UK)

The highest-placed British institution on the list, Loughborough University’s long-standing commitment to sporting excellence is already well known, and as such it can be of no surprise to anyone that the university performed so well at these Games.

As well as providing training facilities for numerous athletes such as Team GB’s Adam Peaty, students and alumni of the university brought back seven gold medals from three events. Several of these gold medal winners were members of the triumphant women’s hockey team, including shootout hero Maddie Hinch.

Joint bronze: University of Southern California (US)

In joint third on this list, USC can also lay claim to six gold medal-winning athletes, winning eight golds in total across eight different events.

USC boasts a number of multiple gold medal winners among its current and former students, including US runner Allyson Felix and Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu, who won two and three gold medals, respectively. Each of the top three best-performing US universities are in California, winning gold medals in 23 events and placing fourth in the official medal table, only three golds behind China. 

The Rio Olympics 2016 university medal table in full

Medal winner Country University Number of gold-winning athletes
Simone Manuel US Stanford University 11
Elle logan US Stanford University 11
Maya DiRado US Stanford University 11
Kate Ledecky US Stanford University 11
Ekaterini Stefanidi Greece Stanford University 11
Makenzie Fischer US Stanford University 11
Ashley Grossman  US Stanford University 11
Kiley Neushul US Stanford University 11
Melissa Seidemann US Stanford University 11
Maggie Steffens US Stanford University 11
Gabby Stone US Stanford University 11
Sami Hill US University of California, Los Angeles 7
Simone Biles US University of California, Los Angeles 7
Rachel Fattal US University of California, Los Angeles 7
Kodi Hill US University of California, Los Angeles 7
Courtney Mathewson US University of California, Los Angeles 7
KK Clark US University of California, Los Angeles 7
Madison Kocian US University of California, Los Angeles 7
Kerron Clement US University of Florida 7
Christian Taylor US University of Florida 7
Dana Vollmer US University of Florida 7
Ryan Lochte US University of Florida 7
Arman Hall USA University of Florida 7
Tony McQuay USA University of Florida 7
Caeleb Dressel US University of Florida 7
Dalilah Muhammed US University of Southern California 6
Katinka Hosszu Hungary University of Southern California 6
DeMar DeRozan US University of Southern California 6
Allyson Felix US University of Southern California 6
Kami Craig US University of Southern California 6
Kaleigh Gilchrist US University of Southern California 6
Matt Gotrel UK Loughborough University 6
Maddie Hinch UK Loughborough University 6
Hannah Macleod UK Loughborough University 6
Laura Unsworth UK Loughborough University 6
Giselle Ansley UK Loughborough University 6
Liam Heath UK Loughborough University 6
Ryan Crouser US University of Texas at Austin 6
Townley Haas US University of Texas at Austin 6
Joseph Schooling Singapore University of Texas at Austin 6
Courtney Okolo USA University of Texas at Austin 6
Kevin Durant US University of Texas at Austin 6
Michelle Carter US University of Texas at Austin 6
Maya Moore US University of Connecticut 5
Sue Bird US University of Connecticut 5
Breanna Stewart US University of Connecticut 5
Tina Charles US University of Connecticut 5
Diana Taurasi US University of Connecticut 5
Vlada Chigireva Russia Russian State University of Physical Education, Sport, Youth and Tourism 4
Maria Schurochkina Russia Russian State University of Physical Education, Sport, Youth and Tourism 4
Alla Shishkina Russia Russian State University of Physical Education, Sport, Youth and Tourism 4
Alexandra Patskevich Russia Russian State University of Physical Education, Sport, Youth and Tourism 4
Ryan Murphy US University of California, Berkeley 4
Anthony Ervin US University of California, Berkeley 4
Nathan Adrian US University of California, Berkeley 4
Nathan Adrian US University of California, Berkeley 4
Emma Mckeon Australia Griffith University 3
Brittany Elsmlie Australia Griffith University 3
Shannon Parry Australia Griffith University 3
Mashu Baker Japan Tokai University 3
Rie Kaneto Japan Tokai University 3
Haruka Tachimoto Japan Tokai University 3
Koji Yamamuro Japan Nippon Sport Science University 3
Kohei Uchimura Japan Nippon Sport Science University 3
Kenzo Shirai Japan Nippon Sport Science University 3
Astier Nicholas France University of the West of England 2
Pete Reed UK University of the West of England 2
Georgie Twigg UK University of Bristol 2
Hannah Mills UK University of Bristol 2
English Gardner US University of Oregon 2
Ashton Eaton US University of Oregon 2
Tamika Catchings US University of Tennessee 2
Tianna Bartoletta US University of Tennessee 2
Derek Drouin Canada Indiana University (Bloomington) 2
Lilly Kings US Indiana University (Bloomington) 2
Draymond Green US Michigan State University 2
Emily Regan US Michigan State University 2
Shaunae Miller  Bahamas University of Georgia 2
Allison Schmitt US University of Georgia 2
Niccolo Campriani Italy West Virginia University 2
Virginia Thrasher US West Virginia University 2
Emma Tonegato Australia Australian Catholic University 2
Mack Horton Australia Australian Catholic University 2
Nicole Beck Australia Charles Sturt University 2
Alicia Quirk Australia Charles Sturt University 2
Lisa Carrington New Zealand Massey University 2
Hamish Bond New Zealand Massey University 2
Mahe Drysdale New Zealand University of Auckland 2
Peter Burling New Zealand University of Auckland 2
DeMarcus Cousins US University of Kentucky 2
Henri Jungahenel Germany University of Kentucky 2
Kyle Snyder US Ohio State University 2
Ilse Paulis Netherlands Ohio State University 2
Mireia Belmonte Spain Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia 2
Carolina Marin Spain Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia 2
Andrija Prlainovic  Serbia University of Belgrade 2
Dusan Mandic Serbia University of Belgrade 2
Seimone Augustus US Louisiana State University 2
Sylvia Fowles US Louisiana State University 2
Choi Mi-Sun South Korea Gwangju Womens University 2
Ki Bo-Bae South Korea Gwangju Womens University 2
Sophie Bray UK University of Birmingham 2
Lily Owsly UK University of Birmingham 2
Mo Farah UK St Mary’s University, Twickenham 2
Mohamed Sbihi UK St Mary’s University, Twickenham 2
Helen Glover UK Cardiff Metropolitan University 1
Heather Stanning UK University of Bath 1
Alex Gregory UK University of Reading 1
Alistair Brownlee UK Leeds University 1
George Nash UK University of Cambridge 1
Constantine Louloudis UK University of Oxford 1
Scott Durant UK Oxford Brookes University 1
Tom Ransley  UK University of York 1
Andrew Triggs-Hodge UK Staffordshire University 1
Paul Bennett UK King's College London 1
Phelan Hill UK University of Leicester 1
Saskia Clarke UK University of Chichester 1
Helen Maroulis US Missouri Baptist University 1
Brianna Rollins US Clemson University 1
Cody Miller US Duke University 1
Kathleen Baker US Washington and Lee University 1
Jeff Henderson US Florida Memorial University 1
Katelin Snyder US University of Washington 1
Amanda Polk US University of Notre Dame 1
Lauren Schmetterling US Colgate University 1
Amanda Elmore US University of Michigan 1
Tessa Gobbo US Brown University 1
Leah Smith US University of Virginia 1
Kristin Stewart US University of Idaho 1
Conor Dwyer US University of Iowa 1
Ryan Held US North Carolina State University 1
Catherine Skinner Australia RMIT University 1
Emilee Cherry Australia University of Queensland 1
Chloe Dalton Australia University of Sydney 1
Gemma Etheridge Australia Queensland University of Technology 1
Rosie Maclennan Canada University of Toronto 1
Erica Wiebe Canada University of Calgary 1
Shi Tingmao China Southwestern University 1
Sun Yang China Zhejiang University 1
Xiang Yanmei China Central South University 1
Liu Huixia China Beijing Sport University 1
Kristine Sprehe Germany University of Oldenberg 1
Sonke Rothenberger Germany Nijmeghen University 1
Fabian Hambuchen Germany German Sports University Cologne 1
Aliya Mustafina Russia Gubkin Russian State University 1
Natalia Ischenko Russia Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University 1
Kosuke Hagino Japan Toyo University 1
Shohei Ono Japan Tenri University 1
Eri Tosaka Japan Shigakkan University 1
Emilie Andeol France UMNV 1
Teddy Riner France Sciences Po 1
Kevin Staut France University of Normandy 1
Daniele Garozzo Italy University of Rome 1
Maaike Head Netherlands Maatsricht University 1
Marit Bouwmeester Netherlands Stenden University of Applied Sciences 1
Ferry Weertman Netherlands Open University: Netherlands 1
Aron Szilagyi Hungary Eotvos Lorand University 1
Elaine Thompson Jamaica University of Technology Kingston 1
Omar Mcleod Jamaica University of Arkansas 1
Oscar Figueroa Colombia Santiago de Cali University 1
Caterine Imbarguen Colombia Metropolitan University 1
Lucas Tramer Switzerland University of Freiberg 1
Mario Gyr Switzerland Lucerne University 1
Anna Korakaki Greece University of Macedonia 1
Eleftherious Petrounas Greece Athens University of Economic and Business 1
Paula Pareto Argentina University of Buenos Aires 1
Lucas Vila Argentina University of Palermo (Argentina) 1
Mads Mensah Larsen Denmark University of Aalborg 1
Wayde van Niekerk South Africa University of the Free State 1
Caster Semenya South Africa University of Pretoria 1
Oleg Vernyayev Ukraine Donetsk State Institute of Sport 1
Anita Wlodarcyzk  Poland PWM Poznan 1
Nafissatou Thiam Belgium University of Liege 1
Matej Toth Slovakia Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra 1
Vladimir Khingegashvili Georgia LELP Gori State University 1
Taha Akgul Turkey Karamanoğlu Mehmetbey University  1
Lukas Krpalek Czech Republic Czech University of Life Sciences Prague 1
Ana Maria Branza  Romania University of Craiova 1
Simona Pop Romania  Vasile Goldiș western University of Arad 1
Hsu Shu Ching Taiwan Khaosuing Medical University 1
Jasa Veramalua Fiji Fiji National University 1
Dilshod Nazarov Tajikistan Tajik Institute of Sports and Physical Culture 1
Carmelo Anthony US Syracuse University 1
Harrison Barnes US University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 1
Jimmy Butler US Tyler Junior College 1
Paul George US California State University 1
Kyrie Irving US Boston University 1
DeAndre Jordan US Texas A&M University 1
Kyle Lowry US Vllanova University 1
Klay Thompson US Washington State University 1
Elene Delle Donne US University of Delaware 1
Britney Griner US Baylor University 1
Angel McGoughtry US University of Louiseville 1
Lindsay Whalen US University of Minnesota 1
Gwen Jorgensen US University of Wisconsin-Madison 1
Tori Bowie US University of Southern Mississippi 1
Ashlegh Johnson US Princeton University 1
Connor Fields US University of Nevada 1
Sam Quek UK Leeds Beckett University 1
Kate Richardson-Walsh UK Brunel University London 1
Helen Richardson-Walsh UK Open University 1
Hollie Webb UK University of Sheffield 1
Crista Cullen UK Nottingham Trent University 1
Sussanah Townsend  UK University of Kent 1
Nicola White UK Loughborough College 1
Marina Sudakova Russia Russia State Trade-Economic University 1
Roman Vlasov Russia Novosibirsk State Agricultural University 1
Alexey Cherimisinov Russia Smolensk State Academy Institute of Physical Culture, Sports and Tourism 1
Anastasia Bliznyuk Russia Lesgaft NSU, St Petersburg 1
Artur Bakhmatkuzin Russia Bashkir Academy of Public Service and Administration 1
Irrina Deriglasova Russia South-West State University 1
Beslan Mudranov Russia Adyghe State University 1
Eveny Tishchenko Russia Moscow State Mining University 1
Laura Benkarth Germany Albert-Ludwig University 1
Oh Hye Ri South Korea Konkuk University 1
Park Sang Young South Korea Korea National Sport University 1
Jing Jon-Oh South Korea Kyungnam University 1
Inbee Park South Korea Kawngwoon University 1
Natasha Hastings USA University of South Carolina 1
LaShawn Merrit USA East Carolina University 1

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Related articles