Tokyo 2020: Daily Pac-12 guide to the Olympic Games (August 8)
Despite the challenges the pandemic posed, including a year-long delay of the Tokyo Games, Team USA and the Pac-12 finished strong at this year’s Olympics.
Among the 257 Team USA medalists, 113 medals were earned. Three of the top four schools that contributed medal winners were from the Pac-12, led by STANFORD's 24. The Cardinal's Katie Ledecky topped Pac-12 athletes with four medals earned. Five athletes from the gold-medal winning United States women’s water polo team also came from STANFORD and another five competed on the women’s soccer team, which took home bronze.
U.S. athletes from USC brought home 10 golds and 14 overall medals. Hurdlers Dalilah Muhammad and Rai Benjamin won 4x400m relay gold and 400m hurdles silver at the Games.
UCLA was not far behind, taking home 13 medals as part of the Team USA contingent, five of those gold. The Bruins had athletes on the medal-winning teams of softball, women’s water polo and men’s basketball.
CALIFORNIA athletes on the U.S. roster also took home nine medals, including a standout performance by swimmer Ryan Murphy, who won gold, silver and bronze medals for the U.S.
Tokyo Talk: The U.S. women’s volleyball team swept Brazil in the gold medal match Friday night. Foluke Akinradewo (STANFORD) represented the Pac-12 on the team that won Team USA’s first ever gold medal in the event.
Quote of the Day: “I’m just so happy for this team and these amazing women in this program. I told them, not only are they badasses, but they are now gold medalists!” – U.S. women’s volleyball coach Karch Kiraly (UCLA)
Erin Slinde is a journalism student at Arizona State University. This story is part of a collaboration between the Pac-12 Conference and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.