2008-12 Olympic Doping Re-Test – An Update-Update

OK, time for our occasional update on the status of the doping re-tests from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. Our last post on this topic was in April 2017 – see https://olympstats.com/2017/04/03/2008-2012-doping-re-tests-an-update/, while we first posted about his in November 2016, urged on by Roger Pielke, which we appreciated. For that original post see https://olympstats.com/2016/11/28/summary-of-the-ioc-re-testing-from-2008-2012-to-date/. We’ll keep this a little shorter and just summarize more recent findings.

First of all, there has not been much to update since April 2017. At that time we noted that there had been 182 positive PED tests from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, and as of 22 Sep, there are now 190 positive tests. A few came out in later April 2017 and one in August but not nearly as much activity as 2015-16.

We are including all positive tests that affect 2008-12 Olympic results. This includes positive tests done in pre-Games testing, original testing at the Olympic Games, re-testing of samples done at a later date, and retroactive disqualifications for other positive tests in the peri-Olympic era that were announced later.

Once again, the former Soviet republics make up the bulk of the nations with positive tests. Here are the 11 nations with the most positive tests:

NOC ###
Russia 53
Belarus 23
Ukraine 20
Turkey 14
Kazakhstan 12
Azerbaijan 6
Moldova 5
Armenia 4
China 4
Greece 4
Uzbekistan 4

And here is a current summary of the 5 sports most affected in 2008-12:

Sport ###
Athletics 108
Weightlifting 51
Wrestling 9
Equestrian Events 7
Cycling 6

Finally, the 5 drugs or violations most responsible for positive tests from 2008-12:

Substance/Violation ###
Turinabol (dehydrochlormethyltestosterone) 83
Stanozolol (anabolic steroid) 41
Biological passport offense 34
Oxandrolone 9
Erythropoietin (EPO) 7

Nothing particularly new in any of that.

Now we can look a little bit more at medal re-assignments. We danced around that a bit in the first two posts on the subject, because medal re-assignments are announced slowly (if at all), and are often subject to litigation or arbitration at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Witness the case of Nesta Carter, Jamaican sprinter who won a gold medal in 2008 in the 4×100 relay, alongside one Usain Bolt. Carter had a positive re-test that was announced in late 2016, but it is still in arbitration at the CAS and no final decision has been announced, so the medal has not been removed, neither from Carter, nor Bolt, and thus no medal(s) has/have been re-assigned.

But here are the medal re-assignments we do know about:

  • 2008 Women’s Athletics 10,000 metres.  Elvan Abeylegesse (TUR) [Silver] disqualified. Advance Shalane Flanagan (USA) to silver, and Linet Masai (KEN) to bronze.
  • 2008 Women’s Athletics 4×100 relay.  Russia [Gold] disqualified. Advance Belgium to gold, Nigeria to silver, and Brazil to bronze.
  • 2008 Women’s Athletics 4×400 relay.  Russia [Silver] disqualified. Advance Jamaica to silver, and Great Britain to bronze.
  • 2008 Women’s Athletics 5,000 metres.  Elvan Abeylegesse (TUR) [Silver] disqualified. Advance Meseret Defar (ETH) to silver, and Sylvia Kibet (KEN) to bronze.
  • 2008 Women’s Athletics Discus throw.  Yarelis Barrios (CUB) [Silver] disqualified. Advance Olena Antonova (UKR) to silver and Song Aimin (CHN) to bronze.
  • 2008 Women’s Athletics High jump.  Anna Chicherova (RUS) [Bronze] disqualified. Advance Chaunté Lowe (USA) to bronze.
  • 2008 Women’s Athletics Hammer throw.  Oksana Menkova (BLR) [Gold] disqualified. Advance Yipsi Moreno (CUB) to gold, and Zhang Wenxiu (CHN) to silver.
  • 2008 Women’s Athletics Javelin throw.  Mariya Abakumova (RUS) [Silver] disqualified. Advance Christina Obergföll (GER) to silver.
  • 2008 Women’s Athletics Long jump.  Tatyana Lebedeva (RUS) [Silver] disqualified. Advance Blessing Okagbare (NGR) to silver.
  • 2008 Women’s Athletics Shot put.  Nataliya Khoroneko (BLR) [Silver] and Nadezhda Ostapchuk (BLR) [Bronze] disqualified. Advance Misleydis González (CUB) to silver, and Gong Lijiao (CHN) to bronze.
  • 2008 Women’s Athletics Steeplechase.  Yekaterina Volkova (RUS) [Bronze] disqualified. Advance Tatyana Petrova-Arkhipova (RUS) to bronze.
  • 2008 Men’s Athletics 4×400 relay.  Russia [Bronze] disqualified. Advance Great Britain to bronze.
  • 2008 Men’s Athletics Pole vault.  Denys Yurchenko (UKR) [Bronze] disqualified. Advance Derek Miles (USA) to bronze.
  • 2008 Women’s Modern Pentathlon Individual.  Viktoriya Tereshchuk (UKR) [Bronze] disqualified. Advance Anastasiya Samusevich (BLR) to bronze.
  • 2008 Women’s Weightlifting +75 kg.  Olha Korobka (UKR) [Silver] and Mariya Grabovetskaya (KAZ) [Bronze] disqualified. Advance Ele Opeloge (SAM) to silver, and Maryam Usman (NGR) to bronze.
  • 2008 Women’s Weightlifting 48 kg.  Chen Xiexia (CHN) [Gold] and Sibel Özkan (TUR) [Silver] disqualified. Advance Chen Wei-Ling (TPE) to gold.
  • 2008 Women’s Weightlifting 58 kg.  Marina Shainova (RUS) [Silver] disqualified. Advance Jong-Ae O (PRK) to silver.
  • 2008 Women’s Weightlifting 63 kg.  Irina Nekrasova (KAZ) [Silver] disqualified. Advance Ying-Chi Lu (TPE) to silver.
  • 2008 Women’s Weightlifting 69 kg.  Liu Chunhong (CHN) [Gold] disqualified. Advance Oksana Slivenko (RUS) to gold.
  • 2008 Women’s Weightlifting 75 kg.  Cao Lei (CHN) [Gold] disqualified. Advance Alla Vazhenina (KAZ) to gold.
  • 2008 Men’s Weightlifting 94 kg.  Ilya Ilyin (KAZ) [Gold] disqualified. Advance Szymon Kołecki (POL) to gold.
  • 2008 Men’s Wrestling 120 kg Greco-Roman.  Khasan Baroyev (RUS) [Silver] disqualified. Advance Mindaugas Mizgaitis (LTU) to silver, and Yury Patrikeyev (ARM) to bronze.
  • 2008 Men’s Wrestling 60 kg Greco-Roman.  Vitaliy Rəhimov (AZE) [Silver] disqualified. Advance Nurbakyt Tengizbayev (KAZ) to silver, and Ruslan Tumenbayev (KGZ) to bronze.
  • 2012 Women’s Athletics 800 metres.  Mariya Savinova (RUS) [Gold] disqualified. Advance Caster Semenya (RSA) to gold, and Yekaterina Poistogova (RUS) to silver.
  • 2012 Women’s Athletics 1,500 metres.  Asli Cakir (TUR) [Gold] disqualified. Advance Maryam Jamal (BRN) to gold. No other advancement.
  • 2012 Women’s Athletics 20 km walk.  Olga Kaniskina (RUS) [Silver] disqualified. Advance Qieyang Shenjie (CHN) to silver, and Liu Hong (CHN) to bronze.
  • 2012 Women’s Athletics 4×400 relay.  Russia [Silver] disqualified. Advance Jamaica to silver, and the Ukraine to bronze.
  • 2012 Women’s Athletics Discus throw.  Darya Pishchalnikova (RUS) [Silver] disqualified. Advance Li Yanfeng (CHN) to silver.
  • 2012 Women’s Athletics Hammer throw.  Tatyana Lysenko (RUS) [Gold] disqualified. Advance Anita Włodarczyk (POL) to gold, Betty Heidler (GER) to silver, and Zhang Wenxiu (CHN) to bronze.
  • 2012 Women’s Athletics Shot put.  Yevgeniya Kolodko (RUS) [Silver] disqualified. Advance Gong Lijiao (CHN) to silver, and Li Ling (CHN) to bronze.
  • 2012 Women’s Athletics Steeplechase.  Yuliya Zaripova (RUS) [Gold] disqualified. Advance Habiba Ghribi (TUN) to gold, Sofia Assefa (ETH) to silver, and Milcah Chemos Cheywa (KEN) to bronze.
  • 2012 Men’s Athletics 50 km walk.  Sergey Kirdyapkin (RUS) [Gold] disqualified. Advance Jared Tallent (AUS) to gold, Si Tianfeng (CHN) to silver, and Robbie Heffernan (IRL) to bronze.
  • 2012 Men’s Athletics Javelin throw.  Oleksandr P’iatnytsia (UKR) [Silver] disqualified. Advance Antti Ruuskanen (FIN) to silver and Vitezslav Vesely (CZE) to bronze.
  • 2012 Women’s Weightlifting 53 kg.  Zulfiya Chinshanlo (KAZ) [Gold] disqualified. Advance Shu-Ching Hsu (TPE) to gold.
  • 2012 Women’s Weightlifting 63 kg.  Maiya Maneza (KAZ) [Gold] disqualified. Advance Christine Girard (CAN) to gold.
  • 2012 Men’s Weightlifting 85 kg.  Apti Aukhadov (RUS) [Silver] disqualified. Advance Kianoush Rostami (IRI) to silver.

I will say, as an Olympic statistician, that trying to keep up with these disqualifications and medal re-assignments, and changing all the results, is one of the more challenging things we face.

There will be more as several others are under consideration and, as noted, several are under arbitration with the CAS. The IOC has not always made overt announcements of these medal re-assignments so it can be very difficult to keep track of this, although we have been in contact with people at the IOC to stay on top of it.

So as of mid-September 2017 that is the status of the 2008-12 Olympic doping testing – again, because of the uncertainty in some of the medal re-assignments, please understand that it is to the best of our knowledge.

Olympic Costs and Venue Construction

A few months ago we looked at Olympic costs and how they related to both the number of athletes at the Olympics and the number of events contested, correcting all the figures against inflation. The post can be seen here – https://olympstats.com/2017/06/19/olympic-costs-rio-2016-and-future-projections/.

In that post we briefly touched on venue construction being affected by the number of events but did not analyze it deeply. Venue construction has been mentioned a lot in the recent awarding of the Games to Paris (2024) and Los Angeles (2028), in which Paris noted it had only to build “a few venues” including the Olympic Village and a media centre, while Los Angeles promised it did not need to build a single venue, a fact I look at somewhat dubiously.

When Peter Ueberroth was named head of the Los Angeles Organizing Committee for the 1984 Olympics, he famously later noted that his first project was to go and read all the previous Official Reports, to get some handle on Olympic Costs and what affects them. He did this at the Helms Foundation Library, which no longer exists, but has been subsumed within the LA84 Foundation Library in Los Angeles, a direct offspring of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Ueberroth noted that, to him, the most important and biggest cost faced by organizing committees (OCOGs) was the need to build venues and he decided he would host the 1984 Olympics by building as few of them as possible. He was helped by the fact that Los Angeles has and had myriad athletic facilities that he was able to use. He did end up having to build a velodrome, a swim stadium, and shooting range, but was able to get the velodrome and swim stadium paid for by sponsors – 7-Eleven and McDonalds, respectively.

So it appears that building venues and stadia is important in terms of the costs of the Olympics, but the question is how important is it, and can we estimate final Olympic costs based on how many venues the OCOG have to build? And is there a way to determine these figures?

Turns out, our Olympic stat group, the OlyMADMen, has compiled information on the venues of all the Olympics, in addition all the other facts our database contains. The venues can be found at our main site – www.olympedia.org – which for now is a private site, although we can provide access. Here is one of those pages of venues:

Further, we have detailed information on each venue, including, in most cases, the dates on which they were constructed. So we have a fairly good estimate of how any venues were constructed for each Olympics. To make this estimate, we made the assumption that any venue built within four years of the Olympics at which it served as a venue was likely constructed for that Olympics.

And what did we find? Here is the table of venue construction since the 1960 Roma Olympics, listing the percentage of all venues that were constructed specifically for each Olympic Games:

Year Host City Venue%
1960 Roma 37.9%
1964 Tokyo 43.3%
1968 Mexico City 24.2%
1972 Munich 30.3%
1976 Montréal 29.2%
1980 Moscow 19.2%
1984 Los Angeles 23.3%
1988 Seoul 46.9%
1992 Barcelona 43.6%
1996 Atlanta 27.6%
2000 Sydney 51.7%
2004 Athens 67.6%
2008 Beijing 67.6%
2012 London 37.9%
2016 Rio de Janeiro 54.1%

That doesn’t tell us much, although Los Angeles and Atlanta did not build many venues, and notably, Moscow in 1980 especially did not.

In our last post on Olympic costs, we looked carefully at how those costs were related to the number of athletes and the number of events. Venues are directly related to events, although you might not think so. But when you add new events, you may need to build new venues. Think of whitewater canoeing, which requires a completely new, fairly expensive venue for only a few events added onto the canoeing program. Or BMX cycling and mountain biking, which each require new venues for the cycling program, although the mountain bike venue is relatively construction free.

So since venues and events are related, we preferred to look at how venue construction related to costs per athlete at each Olympic Games. Here are the numbers for venue construction percentage and costs per athlete since 1960, with all figures corrected against inflation, using 2000 US dollars:

Year Host City Venue% Cost/Athlete
1960 Roma 37.9% $85658
1964 Tokyo 43.3% $2294729
1968 Mexico City 24.2% $176132
1972 Munich 30.3% $392644
1976 Montréal 29.2% $763404
1980 Moscow 19.2% $920500
1984 Los Angeles 23.3% $136960
1988 Seoul 46.9% $712264
1992 Barcelona 43.6% $918012
1996 Atlanta 27.6% $178787
2000 Sydney 51.7% $214034
2004 Athens 67.6% $994191
2008 Beijing 67.6% $2246903
2012 London 37.9% $759428
2016 Rio de Janeiro 54.1% $823864

A couple of Games are obvious outliers here. Mainly Tokyo 1964 and Beijing 2008 are by far the most expensive Olympic Games ever (talking only Summer Olympics), which we knew. Further, omitting those 2 outliers, the modern era of costs and construction seems to begin in 1972, so we looked at venue construction vs cost/athlete since 1972, and omitted the absurdly expensive Beijing Olympics. Here is what that comparative table looks like, ranked in ascending order of venue construction percentage (VCP):

Year VCP Cost/Athlete
1980 19.2% $920500
1984 23.3% $136960
1996 27.6% $178787
1976 29.2% $763404
1972 30.3% $392644
2012 37.9% $759428
1992 43.6% $918012
1988 46.9% $712264
2000 51.7% $214034
2016 54.1% $823864
2004 67.6% $994191

Is there anything we can make of this table, which seems to jump around quite a bit? Here is what the chart looks like for this table:

The dots on the chart are the data points, comparing costs against VCP, while the straight line is the best fit denoting the Pearson correlation coefficient (PCC). The PCC for this comparison is 0.3671. For those not familiar with PCC it analyzes if two sets of data are correlated together, i.e., if one moves up, does the other move up, and vice-versa. The PCC can range from 1 to -1. A PCC of 1 indicates a perfect correlation between two data sets, which rarely exists, while a a PCC of -1 is a perfect negative correlation, meaning if one set of data moves up, the other always moves down. A PCC of 0 equals no significant correlation in either direction.

So what does a PCC of 0.3671 mean? Unfortunately, there is no hard answer to that and it is open to interpretation. It is a positive number, meaning there is some correlation. But it is not very close to 1 so it is, at best, only a fair correlation between Olympic costs per athlete and VCP. Checking the PCC for its statistical significance, one finds it is weak, with a p-value between 0.15 and 0.10.

So this analysis somewhat supports Peter Ueberroth’s original contention, although not strongly. The number of athletes and number of events may still be a better predictor of overall Olympic costs, although venue construction certainly figures into the equation, at least to a degree, and it is directly related to the number of events.


This will be somewhat of a different post as it will deal only with USA Olympians. I don’t often do that, trying to always deal with the international set of Olympians but there are some reasons for this.

The post deals with USA Olympians and their college affiliations. This is somewhat unique to the USA that has a strong collegiate sports program, while most other nations focus on club sports.

Further, in some of the work I do with the US Olympic Committee (USOC) I am often asked which states have the most Olympians. That’s a difficult question to answer, trying to tell where somebody is “from.” I am a case in point – born in New Jersey, mostly raised in Massachusetts, lived most of my life in North Carolina, and now live in New Hampshire and South Carolina, I’ve lived in 10 states and 1 Canadian Province. Where the hell am I “from”?

So my default was to list athletes that had been born in a state, died in a state, and attended college in the state, which gave pretty good lists. Unfortunately our database of USA Olympians and their colleges was incomplete.

The reason for that is that we list the affiliations of athletes, but only those at the time of their Olympic participation. So if they attended Harvard, but later competed in the Olympics for the New York Athletic Club, Harvard would not be listed. So I felt like I had to do a fairly complex search to track down as many college affiliations as I could.

It is a Sisyphean task, and one that can never be completed. As I type this, somebody is enrolling in graduate school that I have “missed,” and the list will change yearly, and probably more frequently than that. But with the able assistance of Hilary Evans (@OlyStatman), we’ve come up with very complete lists of USA Olympians and the college affiliations, many of them attending multiple colleges.

As in my day job as a medical journal editor, I must list the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The database we compiled lists USA Olympians only, and only those in medal sports, not including demonstration sports. It does not include USA Olympians who were alternates or did not compete, and it does not include the USA competitors in the Arts Competitions from 1912-48. It also does not include Paralympians.

To be listed with a college affiliation, all we needed to know was if the athlete “attended” such a college – this list says nothing about graduation.

We excluded foreign athletes attending US colleges. Many of our US colleges have hosted foreign athletes who have later competed at the Olympics, but we are not including those, because of the original purpose of the database, as described above.

We excluded coaches, trainers, therapists, physicians, and other ancillary personnel who accompany the Olympic teams. As I attended the greatest university in the United States, and have three degrees from Duke (’73 BA, ’84 MD, ’90 Ortho), I would have liked to include Mike Krzyzewski, and other Duke coaches who have worked at the Olympics, to increase our “Olympian” count, but that is not the purpose of this project.

In summary, the database includes USA Olympians only, who competed in medal sports only, and who attended any known college, USA or otherwise, although the vast majority are US colleges. Many colleges have different lists, including foreign athletes, alternates, demo sport athletes, coaches and affiliate personnel, Paralympians, and others. We have no problems with any such lists, but the purpose of our project was to obtain a list of USA Olympic competitors and their college affiliations so we used the inclusion and exclusion criteria as above.

We have used multiple sources. First we used our Olympedia (www.olympedia.org) database, pulling any college affiliations for USA athletes. We also examined our text bios on the USA Olympians on Olympedia and pulled out the colleges mentioned. Then, we used a USOC database from 1990 that lists college affiliations. All USA Media Guides from 1956-2016 were fully examined. We also checked online lists of colleges and their Olympians. We then were fortunate enough to have contact with CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America), via Doug Vance, their Executive Director, and Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the College Football Playoff. Doug contacted his membership and many of them sent us lists of their Olympians. Thanx to Doug and Bill for their help with this project.

Finally, Hilary Evans (@OlyStatman) did what Hilary always does, and better than anybody, which is find things nobody else can. Hilary went thru the entire list and found many missing and obscure affiliations.

The entire database of USA Olympians and their colleges can be found in the attached Excel spreadsheet (USA Olympians Colleges), but let’s look a little at who the leading colleges are.

The most prominent finding is that California colleges have contributed huge numbers of Olympians to the @TeamUSA effort. In fact the four leading schools, in terms of number of athletes, are: 1) Stanford, 2), UCLA, 3), USC, and 4) Cal Berkeley. Here is the top 20 by # of athletes, games attended, and medals won (Games = # of games attended by their athletes):

College Athletes Games Medals Rank
Stanford University 289 408 282 1
UCLA 277 394 241 2
Southern Cal 251 357 228 3
U Cal Berkeley 212 283 201 4
Harvard University 210 276 121 5
Yale University 149 187 113 6
University of Michigan 145 189 131 7
University of Minnesota 140 191 68 8
University of Pennsylvania 131 166 71 9
University of Colorado 128 189 27 10
University of Washington 122 159 72 11
University of Wisconsin 121 172 74 =12
Dartmouth University 121 169 40 =12
The Ohio State University 104 147 98 =14
University of Texas 104 144 123 =14
Indiana University 103 133 95 16
Princeton University 102 135 64 17
Cornell University 92 114 47 18
University of North Carolina 89 121 52 19
Columbia University 80 117 59 20

If we break this down by state, one of the original purposes of this search, this becomes even more dramatic. California has almost three times as many Olympians attending college there as the next US state, New York. Here are the top 10 states by # of Olympians:

State Athletes Games Golds Medals
California 1668 2363 678 1302
New York 559 795 110 239
Massachusetts 456 604 89 257
Pennsylvania 394 497 67 184
Mchigan 313 415 99 219
Colorado 288 431 28 76
Texas 276 364 157 254
Illinois 238 318 44 120
Minnesota 210 293 22 87
Connecticut 205 262 81 153

Pretty dominant for California, isn’t it? Of note, athletes from California colleges have almost as many gold medals and medals as the next 9 highest ranking US states.

What about if we look at Summer and Winter? Surely California colleges cannot have the most Winter Olympians, can they? No, they don’t, that honor going to the University of Minnesota. Here are the lists of the top 10 for Summer and Winter USA Olympians:

Season College Athletes Games Gold Medals
Summer UCLA 280 396 136 243
Summer Stanford University 280 394 144 275
Summer Southern Cal 249 352 114 228
Summer U Cal Berkeley 202 269 124 199
Summer Harvard University 160 200 36 85
Summer Yale University 133 170 52 101
Summer University of Michigan 129 169 71 121
Summer University of Pennsylvania 127 162 22 70
Summer University of Washington 115 149 34 70
Summer University of Texas 104 144 80 123


Season College Athletes Games Gold Medals
Winter University of Minnesota 93 122 15 49
Winter Dartmouth University 79 113 5 22
Winter University of Colorado 61 91 0 9
Winter Harvard University 50 76 11 36
Winter University of Utah 46 83 3 9
Winter University of Wisconsin 44 73 8 32
Winter University of Vermont 39 61 1 5
Winter Boston College 37 51 2 20
Winter Boston University 32 44 5 22
Winter Northern Michigan University 31 51 4 31
Winter Westminster College 29 45 2 5

What about by gender? Are there any differences among the colleges USA men and women Olympians have attended? Not really big differences, but here are those top 10 lists:

Gender College Athletes Games Gold Medals
Female UCLA 119 180 74 131
Female Stanford University 110 163 70 131
Female Southern Cal 71 111 38 84
Female U Cal Berkeley 69 102 49 90
Female University of North Carolina 58 85 22 33
Female University of Texas 45 61 29 44
Female University of Wisconsin 42 61 6 29
Female University of Florida 38 60 30 52
Female University of Arizona 37 57 28 51
Female Harvard University 36 58 7 30


Gender College Athletes Games Gold Medals
Male Stanford University 187 255 81 154
Male Southern Cal 185 252 76 145
Male Harvard University 183 232 43 100
Male UCLA 166 223 62 112
Male U Cal Berkeley 149 189 82 118
Male Yale University 134 168 53 102
Male University of Pennsylvania 120 150 19 59
Male University of Michigan 117 152 66 114
Male University of Minnesota 111 145 17 46
Male University of Colorado 97 144 6 21

It does get more interesting when we look at sports and years, as many colleges often have certain sports for which they are best known (did I mention Duke and basketball?). Here are the leading 2-3 colleges for each of the sports on the Olympic Program:

Sport College Athletes Games
Alpine Skiing University of Colorado 29 40
Alpine Skiing Dartmouth University 22 31
Sport College Athletes Games
Archery Arizona State University 5 9
Archery Texas A&M University 3 7
Sport College Athletes Games
Athletics Southern Cal 87 121
Athletics UCLA 72 126
Athletics Stanford University 54 64
Sport College Athletes Games
Badminton Arizona State University 5 7
Badminton UCLA 4 4
Sport College Athletes Games
Baseball Stanford University 5 5
Baseball LSU 4 4
Sport College Athletes Games
Basketball UCLA 15 15
Basketball University of Tennessee 12 17
Basketball University of North Carolina 12 13
Sport College Athletes Games
Beach Volleyball UCLA 13 16
Beach Volleyball Stanford University 4 7
Beach Volleyball U Cal Santa Barbara 4 5
Sport College Athletes Games
Biathlon Dartmouth University 12 15
Biathlon University of Vermont 5 10
Biathlon Middlebury College 5 6
Sport College Athletes Games
Bobsledding SUNY Plattsburgh 8 9
Bobsledding Cornell University 5 6
Sport College Athletes Games
Boxing Northern Michigan University 7 7
Boxing Idaho State University 4 4
Boxing The Ohio State University 3 3
Sport College Athletes Games
Canoeing University of Maryland 13 20
Canoeing Cal State Long Beach 7 9
Canoeing Dartmouth University 7 8
Sport College Athletes Games
Cross-Country Skiing Dartmouth University 17 29
Cross-Country Skiing University of Vermont 12 21
Cross-Country Skiing Middlebury College 9 14
Sport College Athletes Games
Curling Bemidji State University 5 6
Curling University of Wisconsin 4 5
Curling University of North Dakota 3 3
Sport College Athletes Games
Cycling University of Colorado 13 16
Cycling Penn State University 4 7
Cycling University of Arizona 4 6
Cycling University of Wisconsin 4 5
Cycling Cal State Northridge 4 4
Cycling U Cal Berkeley 4 4
Sport College Athletes Games
Diving The Ohio State University 21 29
Diving Indiana University 17 22
Diving Southern Cal 12 18
Sport College Athletes Games
Equestrian Events US Military Academy 19 23
Equestrian Events University of Pennsylvania 3 10
Sport College Athletes Games
Fencing Columbia University 28 45
Fencing New York University 25 45
Fencing University of Pennsylvania 15 25
Sport College Athletes Games
Figure Skating Harvard University 13 24
Figure Skating Colorado College 8 11
Figure Skating University of Colorado 7 9
Sport College Athletes Games
Football University of North Carolina 20 31
Football UCLA 17 22
Football University of Virginia 16 19
Sport College Athletes Games
Freestyle Skiing University of Utah 11 23
Freestyle Skiing Westminster College 9 12
Sport College Athletes Games
Golf Harvard University 3 3
Golf Columbia University 2 2
Golf University of Georgia 2 2
Sport College Athletes Games
Gymnastics UCLA 30 33
Gymnastics Penn State University 11 12
Gymnastics University of Illinois 10 15
Sport College Athletes Games
Handball Adelphi University 7 11
Handball US Air Force Academy 4 4
Sport College Athletes Games
Hockey University of North Carolina 17 23
Hockey Old Dominion University 10 11
Hockey Princeton University 9 14
Sport College Athletes Games
Ice Hockey University of Minnesota 68 83
Ice Hockey Boston College 32 42
Ice Hockey Harvard University 29 41
Sport College Athletes Games
Judo San José State University 15 22
Judo University of Colorado 6 7
Sport College Athletes Games
Luge University of Montana 5 9
Luge DeVry University 5 8
Sport College Athletes Games
Modern Pentathlon US Military Academy 22 23
Modern Pentathlon University of Texas 3 4
Sport College Athletes Games
Nordic Combined Dartmouth University 7 8
Nordic Combined University of Denver 6 6
Sport College Athletes Games
Rowing Harvard University 72 94
Rowing University of Washington 66 80
Rowing U Cal Berkeley 58 67
Sport College Athletes Games
Rugby Football Stanford University 15 18
Rugby Football U Cal Berkeley 8 9
Rugby Football Santa Clara University 5 7
Sport College Athletes Games
Sailing Harvard University 19 20
Sailing Yale University 12 17
Sailing Princeton University 10 12
Sport College Athletes Games
Shooting West Virginia University 10 16
Shooting University of Colorado 7 11
Shooting Troy University 6 10
Sport College Athletes Games
Short-Track Speedskating Northern Michigan University 19 29
Short-Track Speedskating University of Colorado 4 6
Sport College Athletes Games
Skeleton SUNY Plattsburgh 2 3
Sport College Athletes Games
Ski Jumping Dartmouth University 6 7
Ski Jumping University of Vermont 4 6
Ski Jumping University of Wyoming 4 4
Sport College Athletes Games
Snowboarding Westminster College 5 7
Snowboarding Colorado Mountain College 3 6
Sport College Athletes Games
Softball UCLA 11 20
Softball University of Arizona 4 8
Softball Cal State Fresno 4 7
Sport College Athletes Games
Speedskating University of Wisconsin 11 23
Speedskating University of Minnesota 10 16
Speedskating Marquette University 7 15
Sport College Athletes Games
Swimming Stanford University 60 81
Swimming Southern Cal 59 78
Swimming University of Texas 51 72
Sport College Athletes Games
Synchronized Swimming The Ohio State University 5 8
Synchronized Swimming Stanford University 5 7
Synchronized Swimming DeAnza College 5 5
Sport College Athletes Games
Table Tennis Princeton University 2 2
Sport College Athletes Games
Tennis Stanford University 6 10
Tennis Harvard University 5 5
Sport College Athletes Games
Volleyball Southern Cal 24 34
Volleyball UCLA 19 25
Volleyball Stanford University 17 27
Sport College Athletes Games
Water Polo Stanford University 39 64
Water Polo UCLA 37 52
Water Polo Southern Cal 27 35
Sport College Athletes Games
Weightlifting Pikes Peak Community College 4 5
Weightlifting The Ohio State University 3 6
Weightlifting University of Illinois 3 6
Weightlifting Southwestern Louisiana University 3 4
Weightlifting U Colorado-Colorado Springs 3 3
Sport College Athletes Games
Wrestling Oklahoma State University 29 37
Wrestling University of Oklahoma 15 23
Wrestling Iowa State University 14 15

The above are not separated by gender and you can see the female influence in several sports, notably in basketball, where the University of Tennessee ranks highly, and football (soccer), where the University of North Carolina ranks first, both based primarily on their female players.

Certain schools appear frequently on the above lists, as you would expect. Notably, Stanford and UCLA are among the top 3 in 9 sports, while Dartmouth, Harvard, and the University of Colorado are listed in 6 sports.

And here is how the top colleges have changed over the years, looking only at the top USA colleges represented at each Games:

Season Year College Athletes
Summer 1896 Harvard University 6
Summer 1900 University of Pennsylvania 12
Summer 1904 Christian Brothers' College St. Louis 11
Summer Yale University 11
Summer 1906 Yale University 3
Summer 1908 Cornell University 9
Summer 1912 Cornell University 8
Summer Harvard University 8
Summer 1920 US Naval Academy 22
Summer 1924 Stanford University 19
Summer 1928 Southern Cal 13
Summer 1932 Southern Cal 15
Summer 1936 Southern Cal 21
Summer 1948 U Cal Berkeley 14
Summer Southern Cal 14
Summer 1952 Southern Cal 17
Summer 1956 Southern Cal 19
Summer 1960 Southern Cal 23
Summer 1964 Southern Cal 26
Summer 1968 UCLA 16
Summer 1972 UCLA 27
Summer 1976 UCLA 31
Summer 1984 UCLA 35
Summer 1984 U Cal Berkeley 16
Summer 1988 UCLA 28
Summer 1992 UCLA 27
Summer 1996 UCLA 35
Summer 2000 UCLA 40
Summer 2004 UCLA 34
Summer 2008 Stanford University 31
Summer 2012 Stanford University 29
Summer 2016 Stanford University 30


Season Year College Athletes
Winter 1920 Dartmouth University 2
Winter 1924 Harvard University 2
Winter 1928 Harvard University 3
Winter 1932 Yale University 7
Winter 1936 Dartmouth University 4
Winter Harvard University 4
Winter 1948 Dartmouth University 8
Winter 1952 University of Minnesota 9
Winter 1956 University of Minnesota 7
Winter 1960 University of Minnesota 9
Winter 1964 University of Minnesota 13
Winter 1968 University of Minnesota 10
Winter 1972 University of Colorado 11
Winter 1976 University of Wisconsin 9
Winter 1980 University of Minnesota 9
Winter 1984 University of Minnesota 9
Winter 1988 University of Vermont 7
Winter 1992 Dartmouth University 9
Winter 1994 Northern Michigan University 11
Winter 1998 University of Colorado 12
Winter 2002 University of Utah 12
Winter 2006 University of Utah 11
Winter 2010 Westminster College 18
Winter 2014 Westminster College 19

There you can see some trends. In the early years of US Olympic participation the Ivy League schools contributed the most Summer Olympians, while since 1924 it has always been a California school.

Finally, one thing is obvious about this analysis – there have been a lot of smart young men and women on @TeamUSA, but we went a bit further. What about graduate schools?

We have that information as well, broken down by type of graduate or professional school, so here we list the top schools by each type, but also the known number of USA Olympians for each type of graduate or professional school.

Type GradProf Athletes
Business School Harvard University 8
Business School Stanford University 6
Business School University of Pennsylvania 4
Business School Totals 52
Type GradProf Athletes
Chiropractic School Cleveland Chiropractic College 2
Chiropractic School Totals 5
Type GradProf Athletes
Dental School Indiana University 1
Dental School Loyola University New Orleans 1
Dental School New York University 1
Dental School Temple University 1
Dental School The Ohio State University 1
Dental School University of the Pacific 1
Dental School Totals 6
Type GradProf Athletes
Graduate School Columbia University 13
Graduate School Stanford University 10
Graduate School The Ohio State University 10
Graduate School University of Pennsylvania 10
Graduate School Totals 255
Type GradProf Athletes
Law School Harvard University 11
Law School Columbia University 4
Law School Cornell University 3
Law School Stanford University 3
Law School U Cal Berkeley 3
Law School University of Chicago 3
Law School Southern Cal 3
Law School Totals 70
Type GradProf Athletes
Medical School Harvard University 4
Medical School University of Pennsylvania 4
Medical School Columbia University 3
Medical School Stanford University 3
Medical School University of Cincinnati 3
Medical School Totals 69
Type GradProf Athletes
Rhodes Scholar Oxford University (GBR) (Balliol College) 2
Rhodes Scholar Oxford University (GBR) (Magdalen College) 2
Rhodes Scholar Oxford University (GBR) (St. John's College) 2
Rhodes Scholar Totals 9
Type GradProf Athletes
Veterinary School University of Pennsylvania 2
Veterinary School Totals 5

Impressive that these tremendous athletes, who spend so much time training and competing, have also excelled academically. As to the Rhodes Scholars, there have been 34 known Rhodes Scholars among all Olympians, with 9 of those coming from the United States. Here is that list:

Name NOC Sport Rhodes
Bill Bradley USA BAS 1965 Rhodes Scholar – Worcester College
John Carleton USA CCS/NCO 1922 Rhodes Scholar – Magdalen College
Eddie Eagan USA BOB/BOX 1922 Rhodes Scholar – New College
Tom McMillen USA BAS 1974 Rhodes Scholar – University College
John Misha Petkevich USA FSK 1973 Rhodes Scholar – Magdalen College
Annette Salmeen USA SWI 1997 Rhodes Scholar – St. John’s College
Bill Stevenson USA ATH 1922 Rhodes Scholar – Balliol College
Norm Taber USA ATH 1913 Rhodes Scholar – St. John’s College
Alan Valentine USA RUG 1922 Rhodes Scholar – Balliol College

So that’s it. Full details can be found in the spreadsheet that lists all USA Olympians and their academic affiliations, which is linked above. Let us know if you see any errors or additions. As we stated, the list can never be complete and almost by necessity, is certainly incomplete.