Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

A Record-Setting 20 Nittany Lions Will Participate in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Penn State is set to make a strong showing in Rio this August. A record 20 Nittany Lions will participate in this year's Olympic Games. Will any take home gold?

Move over, Happy Valley. Rio de Janeiro will be the center of all things Penn State athletics come August. 

A whopping 20 Nittany Lions will participate in this year's upcoming Olympic Games, per a university press release. This narrowly tops the previous record of 19 set during the 2012 London Games.

Penn Staters in this year's Olympics:

NAME TEAM SPORT GRAD.
Monica Aksamit USA Women's Fencing '12
Matt Anderson USA Men's Volleyball '08
Matt Baranoski USA Men's Cycling '16
Miles Chamley-Watson USA Men's Fencing '13
Alisha Glass USA Women's Volleyball '09
Christa Harmotto Dietzen USA Women's Volleyball '09
Darrell Hill USA Men's Track & Field '15
Max Holt USA Men's Volleyball '09
Joe Kovacs USA Men's Track & Field '12
Ali Krieger USA Women's Soccer '06
Bobby Lea USA Men's Cycling '06
Frank Molinaro USA Wrestling '12
Alyssa Naeher USA Women's Soccer '09
Aaron Russell USA Men's Volleyball '15
Katarzyna Trzopek USA Women's Fencing '06
Ivan Contreras* Mexico Men's Volleyball '97
Daniel Gomez-Tanamachi Mexico Men's Fencing '13
Carlos Guerra Mexico Men's Volleyball '03
Tom Hovasse* Japan Women's Basketball '89
Shane Ryan Ireland Men's Swimming '17
*Coaching

A total of 15 of the 20 Penn Staters will be representing Team USA. The five international Lions will have the privilege of representing Mexico (3), Japan (1) and Ireland (1). Eighteen will be competing, while the other two (Ivan Contreras and Tom Hovasse) will contribute from the sidelines in coaching roles. 

Penn State has a rich history of involvement with the Olympics. Dating back to 1948, at least one Penn Stater has competed in 17 of the last 18 games, with the only exception being the 1980 Olympics in Moscow (which was boycotted by 65 countries worldwide). With 15 new selections this year, Penn State's total number of Olympic participants grows to 108.

Penn Staters have won a total of 28 medals throughout Olympic history. Despite many success stories, however, a Penn State alumni has failed to win a gold medal since 1988. This batch of Nittany Lions will certainly hope to change that.

Penn State trails only Stanford in terms of total Olympic participants from a single university. Congratulations and good luck to all the Nittany Lions privileged enough to represent their countries this August in Rio.


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