Penn State leads Big Ten in Team USA members at Rio Olympics

August 05, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State’s school record contingent for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janiero, Brazil, includes a Big Ten Conference-leading total of Team USA competitors. The opening ceremonies for the Games of the XXXI Olympiad are Friday night and the Rio Olympics end Aug. 21.

According to data announced Friday by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), Penn State’s 11 competitors on Team USA leads the Big Ten and are tied for No. 10 among all colleges and universities. The Nittany Lions are tied with Florida and Washington with 11 Team USA members. Wisconsin is second in the conference with eight Team USA Olympians.

Penn State ranks second among Big Ten institutions with a school record 25 Olympians, which include 19 competitors, three coaches and three alternates. Michigan leads the conference with 30, followed by Penn State (25) and Indiana (17), according to the Big Ten.

The United States women’s soccer team began Group G play Wednesday with a 2-0 win over New Zealand. Former Nittany Lion standouts and World Cup champions Ali Krieger and Alyssa Naeher are members of the squad.

The next group of Penn Staters are set to begin competition on Saturday, Aug. 6:

  • The U.S. women’s soccer team is back in action against France at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN;
  • The U.S. women’s volleyball team, which includes former Penn State All-Americans Christa (Harmotto) Dietzen and Alisha Glass, begins group play vs. Puerto Rico at 4:05 p.m. on NBC;
  • The Japan women’s basketball team opens competition vs. Belarus at 6:45 p.m. Former Nittany Lion basketball standout Tom Hovasse is an assistant coach with the Japanese squad.

In addition to the NBC Television networks, coverage of the Olympics can also be found on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports App.

The complete schedule for Penn State Athletics’ competitors and coaches and more can be found at the Nittany Lions’ Rio Olympics Central: http://www.gopsusports.com/olympians/rio-2016.html.

The school-record 25 Penn Staters are gearing up to represent their school and five countries at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Check Penn State’s Olympics Central at: Gopsusports.com/olympians/rio-2016.html and the Penn State Athletics social media channels for the competition schedule for Penn State’s competitors and updates throughout the Rio Olympics.

The 2016 Nittany Lion contingent consists of 19 competitors in nine sports, including both male and female competitors in fencing and volleyball, and assistant coaches in women’s basketball, men’s track and field and men’s volleyball, for a total of 10 sports with Penn State representation.

In addition to the 22 competitors and coaches, former Nittany Lion standouts Megan (Hodge) Easy and Nicole Fawcett are alternates on the U.S. women’s volleyball team in Rio.

Also, former Penn State All-American Meya Bizer was selected as an alternate in the U.S. women’s rugby team participating in the Olympics. And Pete Steinberg, who led Penn State women’s rugby to nine national championships from 1995-2015, is an assistant coach with the U.S. women’s rugby squad in Rio.

Not including the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, where 65 countries did not participate, Penn State has sent athletes to each Olympic Games since 1948, a streak of 17 consecutive Games. Penn State sent a then-school record 17 competitors and coaches to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Last Updated December 12, 2016