13 US Colleges that Won Most Medals at 2016 Summer Rio Olympics


The 2016 Rio Olympics had everyone on the edge of their seats.

Not only did the games make everyone rehash past triumphs and failures, but spectators from the United States cheered hard for their team, especially for the young student athletes competing in the 2016 Olympic competitions.

Around 90% of the team USA members are current and former student athletes, many from more than 30 higher education institutions around the country.

But these students are no greenhorns. They not only represented their country, but they also carried the pride of their respective colleges.

So, how many medals did they win?

Here is a list of the top 10 colleges with the most Olympic medals won by their (former and current) student athletes:


Stanford University – 27 Medals


image source: cbslocal.com

Stanford University is ranked No. 3 worldwide by Times Higher Education World University Ranking in 2016. Located in Stanford, California, the Leland Stanford Junior University one of the most prestigious and selective colleges in the country, despite not being part of the Ivy League.

Thirty-nine of the athletes who competed in the Rio Summer Olympics came from Stanford, taking home 27 medals in total.

The university brought home a total of 14 gold medals, 7 silver, and 6 bronze. Nearly half of the medals (14 of them) came from the women’s swimming competition.

Stanford has had much success in their NCAA Division I meets, winning 109 team titles, and 476 individual championships, the highest number from any college, giving the school a top spot against other universities.


University of California, Berkeley – 22 Medals


Anthony Ervin Berkeley alumni image source: universityofcalifornia.edu

UC Berkeley, part of the University of California public school system, won 22 medals in the most recent Olympic Games.

Senior student Ryan Murphy won more than one gold medal when he broke the world record when he finished his 100 backstroke portion in the time of 51.85.

The University of California, Berkeley is certainly no bum when it comes to competing in athletic events, especially the Olympics. The university has won a total of 207 Olympic medals since the first time they joined in the Games.


University of Southern California – 21 Medals


Katinka Hosszu former USC wins gold 2016 Rio Summer Olympics: image source: usc.edu photo by: Anthony L. Solis

The University of Southern California is one of the country’s top colleges. It houses the most powerful computer programming in the world, with only Google and NASA also having access.

It also has a low admission rate (around 16%), and is one of the most expensive private colleges in the country, with more than $60,000 in cost of attendance.

The college also doesn’t slack around its athletics. Since 1912, USC student athletes have been competing and winning titles in the Olympics.

In the entire country, with 102 NCAA team titles, USC ranks 3rd, while its 378 individual wins give them the 2nd spot.

There were 44 members of Team USA that had ties with USC. This was the highest number of student athletes representing a US college during the 2016 Summer Olympics.

The university won 21 medals, 9 being gold, 5 silver, and 7 bronze. The school’s total number of medals won is 288 since their first participation in the Olympics.


University of Florida – 13 Medals


Photo source: USA today sports Guy Rhodes

The University of Florida has been constantly ranked in the top 15 universities of the country, by the US News and World Report.

It has more than 40,000 enrolled students, making it the 3rd largest in the state. It is a state university that serves as a flagship campus for the state university system of Florida.

During the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the school was tied in 4th place with the University of Texas by having brought home 13 medals: 8 gold, 3 silver, and 2 bronze, making the University of Florida the college with the most number of medals won in the Southeastern Conference.


University of Texas at Austin – 13 Medals


University of Texas at Austin’-Sanya Richards-Ross- photo source: texasalmanac.com

The University of Texas at Austin is the flagship university of the Texas state university system. It has 5 students participating in the latest Olympics who have won a gold medal.

The school has won 13 medals in total, with 10 being gold. The college has now won 144 medals over the course of Olympics history.

U of T also has one of the largest student populations in the country, with a total of 50,000. It has a dedicated sports network (Longhorn Network) that covers its student games.

The school also has the most number of men’s and women’s titles won in sports, in the Big 12 Conference.


University of Georgia – 10 Medals


Schmitt far left swimmer for the University of Georgia-photo source: 11alive.com

Although the University of Georgia is not always one of the top 10 colleges for Olympic winning, this year, its students have won 10 Olympic medals.

Most of its medals were won by the swim team, while the other medals were won during the track and field event.

The university is the flagship school for the University System of Georgia, and is well known for its sports teams as well.

It is a founding member of the Southeastern Conference, and its varsity teams have already won 39 titles in national championships, and 130 wins during conference championships.


University of California, Los Angeles – 9 Medals


UCLA Bruins 9 gold medals-photo source: uclabruins.com

Never one to back down from any competition, UCLA comes in 7th. It has won 113 NCAA team competitions, the highest number achieved by any higher education institution.

The university’s student athletes have competed in the Olympics ever since 1920. In fact, the oldest American participant competing in the most recent Olympic Games is a graduate of UCLA’s 1998 batch, Meb Keflezighi.

UCLA won 9 medals in the 2016 Rio Olympics, with 6 being gold, 1 being silver, and 2 bronze. Most of the gold medals were won during the women’s water polo.

The university has brought home a total of 261 Olympic medals since their first participation.


Indiana University Bloomington – 8 Medals


Indiana University gold medal 2016 Rio Olympics: image source: indiana.edu

The Indiana University Bloomington ties in the 8th place with Penn State. IU Bloomington is the main college of the Indiana University system, and is the largest higher education school in the state (with over 40,000 students).

IU has won 8 medals this 2016 Summer Olympics.

The university’s sports teams compete heavily in the NCAA Division I Big 10 Conference. And because they have no official team mascot, all the teams are simply called “Hoosiers” (a nickname for Indiana residents – you might remember a film called “Hoosiers”).


Pennsylvania State University – University Park – 8 Medals


Joe Kovacs Silver medal Penn State’s- photo courtesy: centredaily.com

Penn State is also in the 8th place, with 8 medals won. Penn State is a flagship college of the Pennsylvania university system. It’s also one of the largest universities in the country, with more than 46,800 enrolled students.

The university participates in the NCAA Division I and the Big 10 Conference.

Its athletic teams have constantly been in the top 25 every year, according to the NACDA Director’s Cup (an award given by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics every year to high-performing college teams).


University of Connecticut – 6 Medals


UConn former players- photo source: bostonglobe.com

In 10th place is the University of Connecticut. The university has 6 campuses and is one of the top colleges for disabilities, and has more than 30,000 students enrolled overall. Known for its men’s and women’s basketball teams, UConn has won 21 NCAA team titles.

With 6 medals won in the 2016 Olympic event, UConn shares the spot with three more colleges. Most of the medals were won during the women’s basketball, and women’s soccer.


University of Oregon – 6 Medals


Oregon University Rio Olympics- photo source: statesmanjournal.com

Another school tied in the 10th place with UConn, the University of Oregon also garnered 6 medals at the summer Olympics (with 4 being gold, and 2 bronze).

The college participates in the NCAA and the Pac-12 Conference.

It has many varsity teams, but the “Ducks” are more popularly known in football and track and field events.

Indeed, the medals won by those from the University of Oregon came from the track and field competitions, with the school’s Ashton Eaton winning 2 gold medals in the decathlon, earning him the unofficial “World’s Greatest Athlete” title.


West Virginia University – 6 Medals


Ginny Thrasher air rifle competition 2016 Rio Summer Olympics-photo courtesy: wvgazettemail.com

Another college tied at the 10th place, West Virginia University is a public university in Morgantown, West Virginia. It has won 11 Olympic medals over the years.

The West Virginia football team is the most winning Football Bowl Subdivision team that has not won a national title.

Even then, the university has many good reasons to be proud of their sports teams. The football team has had two undefeated seasons, and has been No. 1 in the Coaches Poll.


University of Tennessee – 6 Medals


Tianna Bartoletta-former University of Tennessee- image source: csw.utk.edu


Tianna Bartoletta-stats-image source: teamusa.org

Also tied with the other three universities with 6 medals won in the 2016 Rio Olympics, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville is the main college of the state’s university system. It has won 6 medals during the 16′ Rio games.

The UT Knoxville competes regularly in the Southeastern Conference games (except for the university’s women’s row team, which competes in the Big 12 Conference.

Its women’s basketball team has won 8 NCAA Division I championships (and surpassed only by Connecticut’s women’s basketball team, which has won 9).

Rob Clark

SchoolCampus.org admin staff managing editor

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