KSL OLYMPICS

Roster: Three-Quarters Of US Olympians Have College Ties

Jul 13, 2021, 4:20 PM
MyKayla Skinner...
University of Utah junior MyKayla Skinner finishes her floor performance during the Pac-12 gymnastics championship at the Maverick Center in West Valley City on Saturday, March 23, 2019. Skinner was awarded a perfect score of 10 by the judges. (Silas Walker, Deseret News)
(Silas Walker, Deseret News)

AP – Three-quarters of the 613-person U.S. Olympic team that was released Tuesday competed in the American collegiate system — the most up-to-date number to illustrate the country’s dependence on NCAA and other college programs to bring home medals.

The roster released by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee for the Tokyo Games includes 329 women and 284 men, making this the third straight Summer Games in which the U.S. is sending more women than men to the Olympics.

Gymnast Simone Biles, who is a top contender for multiple gold medals, is making her second Olympic appearance. She is one of 31 athletes from Texas. California leads the way with 126, followed by Florida (51) and Colorado (34), which houses the Olympic Training Center and also is a high-altitude training site for some in endurance sports.

No single statistic, however, defines the United States’ unique situation in the Olympic world better than the number of college athletes who go on to wear the red, white and blue. Because the U.S. Olympic team does not receive government funding, it looks to universities as a major training ground and pipeline for talent.

Some recent cutbacks in college sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other financial strains were reversed, which gave the U.S. some breathing room in its long-term quest to develop new pipelines for future Games.

At these Olympics, 463 U.S. athletes (76%) competed at 169 schools spanning Divisions I, II and III, as well as at junior colleges and collegiate club programs. Twenty of the U.S. rosters in individual sports are made up of at least 80% of athletes who played in college and 11 teams are composed solely of them; those include men’s and women’s indoor volleyball, rowing and softball.

Some other facts and figures:

— Swimmer Katie Grimes is the youngest U.S. Olympian at 15, while equestrian Phillip Dutton is the oldest at 57. Dutton is making his seventh Olympic appearance, which included three for Australia.

— The 2020 team has 193 returning Olympians and 104 Olympic medalists, including 56 Olympic champions.

— This year’s team is almost 10% bigger than the one that went to Rio de Janeiro in 2016. That was a 558-person roster.

KSL Olympics

A 2002 Winter Olympic sign sits outside Rice Eccles Stadium before the start of an college football...
EDDIE PELLS AP National Writer

Winter Olympics Focus On Climate Change, Rotating Hosts

To hear the world's Olympic leaders tell it, the bidding for future Winter Games has been jumbled by internal disputes.
2 months ago
Salt-Lake-City-2002-Winter-Olympics-Logo...
Eddie Pells, AP

Salt Lake City Winter Olympics Bid More Likely For 2034

Recent meetings with the IOC have led U.S. officials to believe all signs point toward Salt Lake City bidding for the 2034 Winter Olympics.
8 months ago
Nordic-Combined-2022-Winter-Olympics...
Larry Lage, AP

Winter Olympics May Not Include Nordic Combined For 1st Time

The IOC is due to make a decision later this month about whether to allow women to compete in Nordic combined at the 2026 Games.
8 months ago
Salt-Lake-City-2002-Winter-Olympics-Logo...
Stephen Wade, AP

Chinese Olympian Eileen Gu Working For Salt Lake Games Bid

Eileen Gu, who won two gold medals for China at the Beijing Olympics, has signed on to work for Salt Lake City's bid for the Winter Olympics.
8 months ago
Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold - Norway...
Associated Press

Russian Olympic Body Challenges Ban From Winter Sports Event

The Russian Olympic Committee has made an urgent appeal to overturn a ban on its athletes competing at a European winter sports festival in Finland.
11 months ago
...
Alex Cabrero, KSL TV

2008, 2022 Olympic Games In Beijing See Many Differences

KSL's Alex Cabrero was one of the few NBC affiliate reporters who traveled to China for the 2022 Winter Olympics. He was also there for KSL, reporting on the 2008 Summer Olympics, and says the lasting legacy of 2022 will be very different.
12 months ago

Sponsored Articles

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.
Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...
KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.
jimmy-buffett-tour-art...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
Roster: Three-Quarters Of US Olympians Have College Ties