Stanford, Georgia Win Inaugural Team USA Collegiate Impact Awards

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Stanford, Georgia Win Inaugural Team USA Collegiate Impact Awards

The University of Stanford and University of Georgia were among the top recipients of the inaugural Team USA College Impact Awards, announced by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee on Thursday.

The awards honor the schools most represented on Team USA at the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games in 2021 and the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2022. The schools will be inducted to an inaugural class of honor to be feted at the National Football Foundation’s annual awards banquet on Dec. 6 in Las Vegas.

The award announcement includes the NGB Collegiate Impact Awards, which recognize the sport-specific contributions to Team USA in various sports at Tokyo and Beijing. For swimming in 2020, that award went to the University of Georgia.

In all, 475 American Olympians and 122 Paralympians in the delegations to Tokyo competed in collegiate sports at 223 institutions. Beijing’s group included 85 Olympians and 17 Paralympians at 54 schools.

For Tokyo – the Team USA Collegiate Impact Award Class of 2020 – the gold award went to Stanford University, which produced 35 American Olympians and 19 medalists. The University of Minnesota, with 12 Olympians and eight medalists, won the Team USA Collegiate Impact Award Class of 2022.

“The collegiate athletics system is essential to growing and keeping sport strong in our country,” USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland said in a press release. “Athletes who competed collegiately were the foundation of Team USA’s success in Tokyo and Beijing. We’re excited to honor the leaders who foster these sport opportunities and support student-athletes on campus.”

The NGB Collegiate Impact Awards were handed out in eight sports. Georgia won for its contributions to swimming, with seven student-athletes on Team USA. Among them, Chase Kalisz, Jay Litherland, Allison Schmitt, Olivia Smoliga and Hali Flickinger took home gold. Former Georgia head coach Jack Bauerle was part of the coaching staff, for his sixth Olympics, and two swimmers who train in Athens, Andrew Wilson and Natalie Hinds, also won medals.

“I am honored to accept the 2020 USA Swimming Impact Award, which recognizes the tremendous achievements of the Georgia Swimming and Diving programs,” Georgia athletic director Josh Brooks said in a press release. “The University of Georgia is a leader in training some of the very best athletes in the world. This award pays tribute to the storied tradition of our Swimming and Diving teams under the leadership of the legendary Jack Bauerle and current head coaches Stefanie Williams Moreno and Neil Versfeld.”

In the aquatic realm, the University of Texas received the Diving Collegiate Impact Award for its contributions to the Tokyo diving squad. Stanford was recognized as the Water Polo Collegiate Impact Award winner.

Team USA Collegiate Impact Award Class of 2020

  • Olympic Gold Award: Stanford University – 35 Olympians, 19 medalists
  • Olympic Silver Award: UCLA – 21 Olympians, 14 medalists
  • Olympic Bronze Award: University of Florida – 14 Olympians, 10 medalists
  • Paralympic Gold Award: University of Illinois – 20 Paralympians, nine medalists

Team USA Collegiate Impact Award Class of 2022

  • Olympic Gold Award: University of Minnesota – 12 Olympians, eight medalists
  • Olympic Silver Award: University of Wisconsin – five Olympians, five medalists
  • Olympic Bronze Award: Boston College – five Olympians, three medalists
  • Paralympic Gold Award: University of New Hampshire – four Paralympians, four medalists

NGB Collegiate Impact Awards

  • 2020 USA Diving Collegiate Impact Award: University of Texas
  • 2020 USA Fencing Collegiate Impact Award: University of Notre Dame
  • 2020 USA Softball Collegiate Impact Award: University of California, Los Angeles
  • 2020 USA Swimming Collegiate Impact Award: University of Georgia
  • 2020 USA Track & Field Collegiate Impact Award: University of Oregon
  • 2020 USA Water Polo Collegiate Impact Award: Stanford University
  • 2020 USA Wrestling Collegiate Impact Award: Pennsylvania State University
  • 2022 U.S. Ski & Snowboard Collegiate Impact Award: University of Utah
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