Trojans in the Olympics: A look at USC’s Olympic history


Feb 18, 2012; London, UNITED KINGDOM; A general view of the 2012 London Olympic Games logo during the UCI track World Cup at the Velodrome. Mandatory Credit: Leo Mason-US PRESSWIRE

With the 2012 Olympic games kicking off a month from tomorrow, now seems like a good time to start chronicling USC’s extensive Olympic history. That, and the fact that there is not a lot going on in Troyland, what with football season still three months away. But let’s face it—the Olympics are AWESOME. There are hundreds of people from all walks of life, proudly competing for the right to represent their respective countries. It’s the one time where you can really see the best of humanity, when people put aside their differences and rally around the athletes from their county. You see small countries like Chinese Taipei hang in there with the likes of USA and China; you witness history being made when an athlete breaks a world record, or wins a ton of medals in his sport; you can feel the pride swelling in the hearts of the underdog when they upset the favorite in an event. All of that is truly, truly awesome. And you know what makes the Olympics even more awesome? The strong Trojan presence that has been in all of the games since the early 1900s.

In the coming days and weeks, we will pay homage to great Trojans of the past as current Trojans who will go for the gold in London. But first, let’s look at some interesting facts and stats about USC is the Olympics:

  • From 1904 to the 2008 summer games in Beijing, 392 Trojans have competed in Olympics collecting a total of 236 medals (112 gold, 66 silver and 58 bronze).
  • More Olympians and medalists have come out of USC than any school in the country
  • USC’s first Olympian was Emil Breitkreutz, who came to USC in 1904. He competed in the 1906 Olympics and brought home a bronze medal for the 800-meter race.
  • USC’s first gold medalist was Fred Kelly, a freshman at the time of the 1912 games.
  • At least one Trojan has won a gold medal at every single summer Olympics since 1912.
  • If USC were its own nation, it would be tied for eighth in the world in gold medals earned.
  • In the 2008 Olympics, 41 Trojans competed in the games, more than any other school in the then-Pac-10.

And there’s plenty more where that came from.

This year, dozens of Trojans are hard at work trying to qualify for the games, and in the coming weeks we will know who will be represent USC and Team USA in London.Keep checking back daily for more fun facts and features on USC Trojans in the Olympics!