LOS ANGELES – USC-affiliated athletes won 21 medals (11 gold, 5 silver, 5 bronze) at the recently completed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, including more gold medals than n any American university.
USC’s total of 21 medals in Tokyo was the second highest of any American university (behind Stanford’s 26).
This is the fifth consecutive summer Olympics that USC athletes have won at least 20 medals.
USC matched its medal production at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Troy’s 11 gold medals in Tokyo were one of the biggest ever at the Olympics (12 at the 2012 Games) and his 21 medals in the Olympic Games. total were tied for fourth in the school (the record is 25 in 2012). USC continued its streak of gold medals won by a Trojan Horse at every Summer Olympics since 1912.
Had the USC athletes competed as a country in the 2020 Olympics, they would be seventh in gold medal standings and tied for 12th overall in medals.
USC’s Tokyo Olympians placed in the Top 10 in 57% of their events (55 times out of 96 events).
A USC record of 65 past, present and future students competed in Tokyo, more than any school in the country for the third consecutive Games. It was more participants than 164 of the 205 National Olympic Committee delegations competing in Tokyo and it was the sixth consecutive Summer Games with at least 40 Trojan Olympians. In Tokyo, these 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.
By the end of the Tokyo Games, USC remained the leader among American universities for most Olympians, medalists and gold medalists of all time. Since 1904, there have now been 510 athletes who attended USC before, during or after their Olympic appearance. They collected 326 medals (153 gold, 96 silver, 77 bronze). USC’s 326 all-time Summer Olympics medals would be tied for 12th among all countries, while its 153 gold medals would be for 11th.
Here’s a look at the 15 USC medalists at the 2020 Olympics:
- Sprinter André De Grasse of Canada won the most medals (3) by a Trojan horse at the 2020 Games. He won a gold in the 200m (the first gold medal won by a Trojan horse 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 bronze at the 2016 Games), tied with swimmers Murray Rose and Rebecca Soni for second most by a Trojan horse. He won medals in all the events he competed in at the Olympics.
- Allyson Felix, who won a gold medal with the US 1600m relay and a bronze in the 400m, has now won 11 Olympic medals in his career to become the most decorated US track and field athlete in history and the Most decorated female Olympic track and field athlete of all campaign. These 11 medals and her 7 career gold medals are the most awarded by a USC Olympian. Her 7 gold medals are also tied for second by an American in any sport at the Summer Olympics.
- April Ross of the United States won a gold medal in beach volleyball to complement her Olympic collection (she won a silver medal in the 2012 Games and a bronze in 2016).
- Four women of Troy—Kaleigh Gilchrist, Stephanie Haralabidis, Paige hauschild and Amanda Longan– helped the US women’s water polo team win their third consecutive Olympic gold medal. Gilchrist, who also won a gold medal at the 2016 Games, overcame a serious leg injury in 2019 to win in Tokyo.
- Rai Benjamin and Dalilah Mohammed raced their 400m hurdles finals in less than the world record time to both finish with a silver medal after the race winners ran even faster. However, the two returned home with a gold medal after running a stage on the victorious American relay quartets over 1600m. Muhammad now has 3 career Olympic medals (she won gold in the 400m hurdles in 2016).
- Kendall Ellis won a gold medal in the US women’s 1600m relay and also won a bronze medal in a first Olympic track event, the mixed 1600m relay.
- Michel Normand won a gold medal in the US 1600m relay.
- USC’s first medal at the 2020 Olympics was won by a swimmer Santo Condorelli, who won a silver medal in the 400m freestyle relay in Italy. At the 2016 Games, he represented Canada.
- spain Anni espar and Greece Kostas Genidounias both won silver medals with their respective water polo teams. It was Espar’s second Olympic silver medal, as she also won one at the 2012 Games. Genidounias became the first Greek Trojan horse to win an Olympic medal.
- Aaron Brown joined De Grasse in Canada’s 400m bronze medalist relay for the second consecutive Olympic Games.
Some of USC’s other superlatives at the 2020 Olympics:
- Troyes track and field athletes won a record 13 medals at the 2020 Olympics (6 gold, 2 silver, 5 bronze), well above the previous record of 9 at the Rio 2016 Games. It was the fifth consecutive Olympic Games where a USC track athlete won a gold medal. A track athlete from Troy has now won at least one medal at every Olympics since 1912. USC had more track athletes (15) in Tokyo than at any other Olympics.
- The 5 USC medals collected in women’s water polo in 2020 were the most important in the program since 2008 (6). The Trojan Women have won 5 of the 6 Olympic Games in which women’s water polo has been held. USC’s 10 female water polo players at the Tokyo Games were the most numerous at any Olympic Games, and its 6 male water polo players were the most numerous since 1956 (when it numbered 7).
- The Trojans were represented in 3 of the 4 US men’s and women’s beach volleyball teams, with Kelly claes being part of the youngest beach team the United States has ever sent to the Olympics. Tina Graudina was part of the very first Latvian Olympic women’s beach volleyball team and was the first NCAA beach volleyball athlete to compete in the Olympics.
- Swimmer Ous Mellouli of Tunisia competed in its sixth Olympic Games in Tokyo (dating back to 2000), tied for the most of all time by a Trojan horse (with fencer Janice Lee York Romary in 1948-52-56-60-64-68). Tracks Allyson Felix and swimmer Katinka Hosszu were in their fifth Olympics. In Tokyo, Hosszu became the oldest female finalist in history (32) in an Olympic 200m or 400m individual medley.
- In one of the most memorable displays of sportsmanship of the Tokyo Games, the American 800m runner Isaiah Jewett was tripped at the top of the last corner of the race by a runner from Botswana and both fell, but he eventually got up, shook hands with the Botswana runner and put his arm around him before continuing to ‘at the finish line of the semi-final.
- These were the first Games in which a Trojan horse competed on a skateboard (Poland Amelia Brodka), as well as the first time USC had an Olympian from Croatia (swimmer Nikola Miljenic), Latvia (beach volleyball Tina Graudina) and Tonga (swimmer Noelani Day).
For full coverage of # USC2TOKYO, visit olympics.usctrojans.com.