LOS ANGELES–USC-affiliated athletes won 21 medals (11 golds, 5 silvers, 5 bronzes) at the just-concluded 2020 Tokyo Olympics, including more gold medals than any U.S. university.
USC’s 21 total medals in Tokyo were the second most of any U.S. university (behind Stanford’s 26).
It was the fifth consecutive Summer Olympics that USC athletes won at least 20 medals.
USC equaled its total medal output from the 2016 Rio Olympics. Troy’s 11 gold medals in Tokyo were one shy of its most ever in an Olympics (12 in the 2012 Games) and its 21 overall medals tied for the school’s fourth most ever (the record is 25 in 2012). USC continued its streak of having a Trojan win a gold medal at every Summer Olympics since 1912.
If USC athletes had competed as a country at the 2020 Olympics, they would be seventh in the gold medal standings and tied for 12th in overall medals.
USC’s Tokyo Olympians placed in the Top 10 in 57% of their events (55 times among 96 events).
A USC record 65 past, present and future students competed in Tokyo, more than any school in the nation for the third consecutive Games. That was more participants than 164 of the 205 National Olympic Committee delegations competing in Tokyo and was the sixth consecutive Summer Games with at least 40 Trojan Olympians. In Tokyo, those Trojans competed in 12 sports and represented 32 countries.
Thirty-nine of USC’s Tokyo Olympians were women, 38 competed in their first Games and 12 were current or incoming USC student-athletes.
At the conclusion of the Tokyo Games, USC remained the leader among U.S. universities for most all-time Olympians, medalists and gold medalists. Since 1904, there now have been 510 athletes who attended USC before, during or after their Olympic appearance. They have collected 326 medals (153 golds, 96 silvers, 77 bronzes). USC’s 326 all-time Summer Olympics medals would tie for 12th most among all countries, while its 153 gold medals would be 11th most.
Here’s a look at USC’s 15 medalists at the 2020 Olympics:
–Sprinter Andre De Grasse of Canada came home with the most medals (3) by a Trojan in the 2020 Games. He won a gold medal in the 200m (the first gold collected by a Trojan in Tokyo) and a pair of bronze medals in the 100m and the 400m relay. He now has 6 Olympic medals (he won a silver and 2 bronzes in the 2016 Games), tied with swimmers Murray Rose and Rebecca Soni for the second most by a Trojan. He has medaled in every event he has entered in the Olympics.
–Allyson Felix, who won a gold medal with the U.S. 1600m relay and a bronze in the 400m, now has won 11 Olympic medals in her career to become the most decorated U.S. track and field athlete in history and most decorated female Olympic track and field athlete from any country. Those 11 medals and her 7 career gold medals are the most by a USC Olympian. Her 7 golds also are tied for second most by an American female in any Summer Olympics sport.
–April Ross of the U.S. won a gold medal in beach volleyball to complete her Olympic collection (she won a silver in the 2012 Games and a bronze in 2016).
–Four Women of Troy—Kaleigh Gilchrist, Stephania Haralabidis, Paige Hauschild and Amanda Longan—helped the U.S. women’s water polo team to its third consecutive Olympic gold medal. Gilchrist, who also won a gold in the 2016 Games, overcame a serious leg injury in 2019 to prevail in Tokyo.
–Rai Benjamin and Dalilah Muhammad ran their 400m hurdles finals in under world record time only to both finish with a silver medal after the races’ winners ran even faster. However, both came home with a gold medal after running a leg on the victorious U.S. 1600m relay quartets. Muhammad now has 3 career Olympic medals (she won the gold in the 400m hurdles in 2016).
–Kendall Ellis got a gold as part of the U.S. women’s 1600m relay and also earned a bronze in a first-time Olympic track event, the 1600m mixed relay.
–Michael Norman took home a gold medal running on the U.S. 1600m relay.
–USC’s first medal of the 2020 Olympics was won by swimmer Santo Condorelli, who got a silver as part of Italy’s 400m freestyle relay. At the 2016 Games, he competed for Canada.
–Spain’s Anni Espar and Greece’s Kostas Genidounias both won silver medals with their respective water polo teams. It was Espar’s second Olympic silver, as she also won one at the 2012 Games. Genidounias became the first Greek Trojan to win an Olympic medal.
–Aaron Brown joined De Grasse as part of Canada’s bronze medal-winning 400m relay for the second consecutive Olympics.
Among other USC superlatives at the 2020 Olympics:
Trojan track and field athletes won a program record 13 medals at the 2020 Olympics (6 golds, 2 silvers, 5 bronzes), well above the previous record of 9 at the 2016 Rio Games. This was the fifth consecutive Olympics that a USC track and field athlete earned a gold medal. A Trojan track and field athlete now has won at least one medal in every Olympics since 1912. USC had more track and field athletes (15) in Tokyo than at any other Olympics.
USC’s 5 medals collected in women’s water polo in 2020 were the program’s most since 2008 (6). Women of Troy have medaled in 5 of the 6 Olympics in which women’s water polo has been held. USC’s 10 women’s water polo players in the Tokyo Games were its most at any Olympics and its 6 men’s water poloists were its most since 1956 (when it had 7).
Trojans were represented on 3 of the 4 U.S. men’s and women’s beach volleyball teams, with Kelly Claes forming part of the youngest beach team that the U.S. has ever sent to the Olympics. Tina Graudina was part of the first-ever Latvian women’s beach volleyball Olympic team and she was the first current NCAA beach volleyball athlete to compete in the Olympics.
Swimmer Ous Mellouli of Tunisia competed in his sixth Olympics in Tokyo (dating to 2000), tied for the most all-time by a Trojan (with fencer Janice Lee York Romary in 1948-52-56-60-64-68). Track’s Allyson Felix and swimmer Katinka Hosszu were in their fifth Olympics. In Tokyo, Hosszu became the oldest women’s finalist ever (32 years old) in an Olympic 200m or 400m individual medley.
In one of the Tokyo Games’ most memorable displays of sportsmanship, U.S. 800m runner Isaiah Jewett was tripped at the top of the race’s final turn by a runner from Botswana and both fell, but Jewett eventually got up, shook hands with the Botswanan runner and draped his arm around him before they continued to the finish line of the semifinal.
This was the first Games that a Trojan had competed in skateboarding (Poland’s Amelia Brodka), as well as the first time USC had an Olympian from Croatia (swimmer Nikola Miljenic), Latvia (beach volleyball’s Tina Graudina) and Tonga (swimmer Noelani Day).
Featured Image Caption: 07 Aug. 21-Sydney McLaughlin, Dalilah Muhammad, Athing Mu and Allyson Felix after their Olympic 4x400m win in Tokyo Getty Images/World Athletics
Source: USC Athletics