The Olympics are kicking off in Rio on August 5, 2016. Get your DVRs ready. You won’t want to miss any of the action! There are over 500 athletes on the USA Olympic team. To qualify, the athletes must place in the top three of their event and meet set standards. The Rio Olympics will host the competition from August 5-21.
Many of those successful Team USA Olympians are still in college! So when you’re attending your freshman economics lecture, you could be sitting next to a gold medalist. These colleges are sending an impressive number of athletes to the summer games in Rio.
UGA is sending Chase Kalisz ‘17 in the 400m individual relay. He clocked a time of 4:09.54. He beat out Ryan Lochte, 2012 London Olympics 400m gold medalist. This is Kalisz’s first Olympic games, but he’s no stranger to the fierce competition. He trains alongside the most decorated Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps.
Princeton not only impresses in academics but athleticism as well. They will be sending 11 athletes, predominantly rowers and field hockey athletes, but Donald “Donn” Cabral ‘12 will compete in the steeplechase for the Team USA T&F team. Donn made an impressive comeback at the end of the trials, placing third and securing his spot on the Olympic team. He competed in the same event in the London Olympics and was 10th at the World Championships in Bejing last year.
The University of Washington is known for many sports, but one that really stands out is their rowing program. UW has sent rowers to the Olympics Games since 1972, making it their 12th straight appearance in the Summer Games. The U.S. women’s team eight has won 10 consecutive World Titles. Katelin Snyder ‘09 coxed the boat to three of the last titles. Snyder began rowing in high school in 2003 and has had a very successful career since.
Former Texas Longhorn Rachael Adams ‘11 will compete on the Team USA Indoor Volleyball as a middle blocker. Adams attended the University of Texas and majored in advertising. She was named the Best Middle Blocker at the 2016 FIVB World Grand Prix and started in 4 of the 13 matches at FIVB World Championships where Team USA took home the gold.
The Ducks will be sending Devon Allen, current UO student, to the Rio Olympics to compete in the 110 high hurdles. Allen suffered a knee injury that impaired him from competing in 2015. He had not won an outdoor title in three years, until the Olympic trials when he blew the competition away placing first in 13.03- the current second-fastest time in the world. Allen has high goals, running sub 13, and plans to do so in Rio. While Allen is excited to represent his country in T&F in Rio, he plans to play for the Oregon Ducks football team this fall.
UNC is sending many athletes to the Rio Olympics. A majority of those are competing on the USA Women’s Soccer Team, including Meghan Klingenberg, Crystal Dunn, Tobin Heath, Whitney Engen, and Allie Long. Alternates are Ashlynn Harris and Heather O’Reilly. These women are a force to be reckoned with. Midfielder Tobin Heath ‘09 was a member of the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Gold Medal teams. Heather O’Reilly ‘09 was on the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Olympic team.
Penn State is sending an impressive amount of athletes to compete for multiple countries, 13 of them for Team USA. Max Holt ‘09, will compete on the US Men’s Volleyball team. Holt is a middle blocker and was a member of the Penn State 2008 NCAA National Championship team. He was named the Best Middle Blocker as the U.S. team finished third at the 2015 FIVB World League. He was an alternate for the 2012 Olympics.
USC will send an impressive 43 athletes to the Rio Olympics, more than any other school, and third most ever in USC history. Out of those 43, 15 will be competing for Team USA. Six-time Olympic medalist Allyson Felix signed to attend USC. She turned pro, but still received her degree in elementary education.
UCLA states that 423 Bruins have competed in the Summer Games since their start. That’s a pretty impressive representation of a school on the world’s largest sports stage. This year, they will send 15 athletes to represent the USA. Madison Kocian, a member of the Team USA Gymnastics team, has committed to attending UCLA, according to UCLA’s website.
The University of California estimates that their athletes make up 8% of the total U.S. delegation. They will represent 18 sports and 27 countries. Dana Vollmer graduated from the University of California in 2012 with a degree in anthropology. That’s not her only accomplishment, however. As a teen, Vollmer had heart surgery. That didn’t stop her, though, from going on to win gold medals in the 2004 and 2010 Olympics. If she wins this year, she will be the first American mom to be at the top of the swimming podium. As if being a mom or being an Olympic athlete isn’t hard enough, she’s both.
Stanford is known for being prestigious. This doesn’t end with their academics, however. They are producing top-notch athletes. Kristian Ipsen ‘15 is a diver for Team USA. He won a bronze medal in the 3-meter in the 2012 Long Olympics. He qualified first in the trials and has high hopes for the upcoming games.
The 2016 Olympic Summer Games are beginning in Rio and we are excited for the action it will bring. These athletes are an impressive example of brains and brawn. While many Olympics athletes go pro and forgo a college education, these athletes recognized the value and found their fit. Now find yours!
*We strive for accuracy and believe this is the final count for athletes competing in the Rio Olympics representing the USA from these schools. If you have a correction, let us know in the comments.*