In the Olympics, certain American universities compete just as well as some countries.
In the 2012 London Games, for instance, students and alums from one school won 25 medals, including 12 golds. If this university were its own country, it would have raked in more gold than Germany, France or Japan. Still, another school sent 45 affiliated athletes to the Games—better representation than countries like Ghana, Peru and Malaysia could claim.
While many universities can boast an Olympian in their history, some institutions are in the business of attracting and developing top talent. Recruiters spend years evaluating young athletes from around the world in order to build dream teams at premier universities. When students arrive, they are greeted by elite coaches, facilities and trainers—all at their disposal to help them excel in their given sport. For this reason, it's no surprise that certain institutions are known to breed Olympians.
To make this list of top performing universities, we considered schools known for their consistent representation at the Summer or Winter Olympic Games, the number of medals won over time and how many affiliated athletes competed in past and recent events. Because American universities have significantly better representation in the Summer Games, the list is skewed toward schools focused on events such as swimming and track & field. To even things out, we also included several institutions with excellent programs in sports such as skiing and hockey. Click here to see the schools that made our list.