Top Universities in America…for Olympians


Top Ten Universities for Olympians
Top Ten All Time American Universities for Olympians


High school students and their parents in the United States, frankly all over the world, look at the multiple annual top university lists, from US News to Forbes.

A new list is out – American universities or colleges with the most Olympians. The site, Olympstats, published this list a few days ago, after the editors went through the onerous task of figuring out the collegiate affiliations of all American Olympians since 1896.

Question: Which American university is in the top ten for producing the most Summer Olympians, and the most Winter Olympians?

Above is Olympstats list of top ten American universities for producing Olympians since the first modern Olympics in 1896. I’m proud to say that my alma mater placed 9th, although I imagine a bulk of those Olympians were in the early 20th century when Ivy League institutions were the only ones that had students who could afford to go to Europe from the United States.

Top Ten States for Olympians
Top Ten States for Olympians


The first four universities are from California. It had always been my running assumption that year-round warm-weather states like California would produce a large chunk of Olympians. But as we can see below, Florida and Hawaii don’t merit top ten mention.

Top Ten Universities for Summer Olympians
Top Ten American Universities for Summer Olympians

Predictably, the top four American universities to produce Olympians also dominate the list of top ten American universities to produce Summer Olympians.

Top Ten Universities for Winter Olympians
Top Ten American Universities for Winter Olympians

When we look at Winter Olympians, the Midwest and Northeast dominate. One to note is #11 on the list below – Westminster College, a college in Salt Lake City, Utah. Since Westminster partnered with the U. S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA), this liberal arts school has become a hotbed for winter sports. In fact, Westminster students made up 10% of the US Olympic Team at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.


So, what’s the answer to the question posed at the beginning of this blog post?

Harvard University

  • #5 for Olympians sent to the Summer Olympics
  • #4 for Olympians sent to the Winter Olympics