Student Olympians

A different kind of league table

Universities Week this year had a distinct Olympics focus:

30 April 2012: To mark the start of Universities Week 2012 (30 April – 7 May), a new report launched today reveals the statistics behind Team GB for the last twenty years. Detailed analysis of UK Olympic athletes shows that Team GB Olympic medallists are nearly twice as likely to have gone to university as the UK population as a whole, with 61 per cent of medallists having been university-educated, compared to 31 per cent of the population as a whole.

The report, Olympic and Paralympic Games: The impact of universities, highlights that university-goers from the combined Team GB competitors since Barcelona 1992 to Beijing 2008 have won 65 per cent of the nation’s gold medals, 66 per cent silver medals and 49 per cent of the bronze medals. At the last Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008, 64 per cent of Team GB’s medallists had been to university, compared to 66 per cent at the previous Games in Athens.

Excellent linkage between university attendance and Olympic success. Which also gives us a new league table: a ranking of universities by number of Olympic medals won. No surprises about who is in first place:

Place University and medals
1-2 Joint:   University of Cambridge and University of Oxford with 15 medals each
3                 Loughborough University with 11 medals
4-5              Joint: Oxford Brookes University and University of Edinburgh both with nine medals each
6                 University of Bath with 7 medals
7                 University of Nottingham with 6 medals
8-9             Joint: University of Reading and University of Southampton with 5 medals
10              University of Exeter with 4 medals

Let’s hope for more this summer.

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1 thought on “Student Olympians

  1. Wikipedia says that there are 80 olympic countries without a single medal, and 41 countries (including former countries) with fewer than 4 medals, so that’s not a bad record at all.

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