As if the two-time defending NCAA Champions from Cal (both men and women) needed any more accolades, but here’s one more: unofficially, they are Olympic collegiate champions.
The current and former student-athletes from Cal combined for 11 Olympic medals, including 7 golds, in the swimming portion of the Olympic Games. The 11 total ties with the Florida Gators, interestingly the winners of the last 4 women’s NCAA Championships in combination, but the 7 golds won by the Bears of Berkeley gives good justification for why their mascot is “Golden”.
The 7 includes a pair from Nathan Adrian, a trio from Dana Vollmer, and one each from Jessica Hardy and incoming freshman Rachel Bootsma.
The Bears, in fact, would rank 2nd on the overall medal table if they were treated as their own country: still behind the US, but ahead of China and Australia.
Keep in mind that we counted each actual medal received, so in many cases a relay victory would earn a team many medals. In total, 16 different college programs were represented on the podiums. That goes to show that there is still some parity in the sport.
By conference, the Pac-12 still remains supreme with 25 total medals (remember that Jason Lezak’s Gauchos are now a part of the Pac-12 in men’s swimming). The SEC didn’t have as many huge numbers at the top, but still turned out an impressive 23 medals.
For what it’s worth, Stanford has 5 members of the gold-medal winning women’s water polo team in their yearbooks. On a 13-woman roster, that’s pretty impressive.
It’s very plausible that we missed a medal or two, so please let us know in the comments if you see any ommissions.
*In cases where athletes had transferred, we gave both schools credit for their medals. Dana Vollmer transferred from Florida to Cal, and Conor Dwyer went from Iowa to Florida. Amanda Weir went to USC and Georgia.