Happy Mid-Autumn Festival from the USC U.S.-China Institute!
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Besides being next door to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, host of the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics, USC athletes have long competed and succeeded at the Olympics. More Trojans have gone to the Olympics (472), have won more medals (305) and more gold medals (142) than athletes from any other American school. A Trojan has earned at least one gold medal in every Summer Olympics since 1912. If USC was a country, it would rank 13th in total medals and tie for 11th in gold medals. For the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, there are 65 past, present, and incoming Trojans competing, representing 33 National Olympic Committees.
Bragging aside, let's look at the composition of this year's teams from the U.S. and China. The American delgation includes 613 athletes, including one fellow from Italy (he has dual citizenship) and another from the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. The People's Republic of China sent 423 athletes. Hong Kong is represented by 42 athletes sent by Hong Kong, including Trojan Tiffany Chan in golf. Taiwan's delegation (under the designation "Chinese Taipei" has 68 athletes competing.
Below we've mapped out where the athletes from U.S. states and Chinese provinces come from. Unsurprisingly, the regions with the highest population also send the most athletes to the Olympics, though California easily outweighs other jurisdictions in the U.S. and China. A large and diverse population, college sports powerhouses and accommodating weather likely explains this success.
Update (8/9/21): U.S. athletes won 113 medals, the most medals of any country, with 39 gold, 41 silver, and 33 bronze medals. China came in second place with 88 medals. USC athletes brought home 21 medals with 11 gold, 5 silver, and 5 bronze.
For Chinese athletes, we used the Club Name from the athlete profile pages on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics website. At the time of this publishing, 38 Chinese athlete profiles either did not include Club Name or the pages were under maintenance.
Please join the USC U.S.-China Institute for a book talk with Professor Carolijn van Noort from the University of West Scotland. Her new book explores how China’s international political communication of the Belt and Road Initiative comprises narratives about infrastructure and the Silk Road.
Please join the USC U.S.-China Institute for a look at the resurgence of classical music in China through the legacy of the Philadelphia Orchestra, from its first performances in the PRC in 1973 until its most recent tour in 2018.