Ivy Leaguers at the Paris Olympics

From track and field and swimming to rowing and fencing, numerous sports at this summer's Paris Olympic Games will feature Ivy League athletes.
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Mark J. Drozdowski, Ed.D., is a senior writer with BestColleges. He has 30 years of experience in higher education as a university administrator and faculty member and teaches writing at Johns Hopkins University. A former columnist for The Chronicle ...
Published on July 10, 2024
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When you hear the term "Ivy League," you probably think of leafy quads and serious scholars the likes of Mr. Chips, complete with a tobacco pipe and a tweed jacket adorned with elbow patches.

You probably don't think of world-class athletes, even though it's technically the name of an athletic conference.

But it turns out many current Ivy Leaguers are, in fact, top-notch athletes. And many will be competing this summer at the Paris Olympics.

The Ancient Eight and the Olympic Games have quite the intertwined history, it turns out. Among all universities, both Harvard and Yale rank in the top 10 for medal winners.

As a conference, it ranks third (behind the Pac-12 and the Big Ten) in the total number of Olympic medals earned. If the Ivy League were a country, it would rank 12th on that measure.

Several Ivy athletes, past and present, will look to build on that success this summer. Here's a rundown of Ivy Leaguers set to compete at the Paris Games.

Brown University

Brown isn't sending any of its current athletes to Paris, though the university has a rich history of fielding Olympic athletes, including five at the Tokyo Games in 2021 and two at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Recent graduate Henry Hollingsworth will compete for the U.S. in men's rowing.

Columbia University

A number of Columbia alums — including recent graduate Evita Griskenas, a member of the U.S. rhythmic gymnastics team — will compete in Paris, as will one current student: Bogdan Hamilton, who will represent Canada in fencing.

Cornell University

No current Big Red athletes will compete in Paris, but several alumni will be representing Cornell, including Taylor Knibb on the U.S. cycling team, Rudy Winkler in men's track and field, Kyle Dake in men's wrestling, and Sorin Koszyk in men's rowing.

Dartmouth College

Several former Dartmouth rowers will compete on the U.S. team, including Molly Reckford, Oliver Bub, and class of 2024 alum William Bender. Ariana Ramsey, another recent grad, is a member of the U.S. women's rugby team.

Harvard University

Harvard's fencing program has produced eight Olympians, including current students

Colin Heathcock, Jessica Zi Jia Guo, Lauren Scruggs, and Nick Zhang, along with recent graduates Eli Dershwitz, Filip Dolegiewicz, Elizabeth Tartakovsky, and Mitchell Saron.

Current student Jade Rose will represent Team Canada in soccer.

And class of 2019 graduate Gabby Thomas will make her second appearance on the U.S. women's track and field squad.

Princeton University

No fewer than 23 former and current Princetonians will compete in Paris this summer, representing eight countries across six sports.

Current students include Sabrina Fang (Canada), women's fencing; Hadley Husisian, Tatiana Nazlymov, and Maia Weintraub, U.S. women's fencing; Beth Yeager, U.S. women's field hockey; and Jovana Sekulic, U.S. women's water polo.

Other national teams represented by Princetonians include Great Britain, Australia, Uganda, Egypt, Nigeria, and Norway.

University of Pennsylvania

Current student Matthew Fallon (men's swimming) will join recent Penn grads Regina Salmons (women's rowing), Isabella Whittaker, and Nia Akins (both women's track and field) on Team USA in Paris.

Yale University

Numerous former Yalies are heading to Paris, including Ian Barrows and Stuart McNay, both on the U.S. sailing team, along with rowers Margaret Hedeman, Daisy Mazzio-Munson, Nick Rusher, and Kristi Wagner.