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Pac-12 leads US collegiate conferences in Olympic Games success


October 27, 2011

The Olympic Games are the biggest sporting event in the world and no collegiate conference in the country comes close to matching the Olympic success of the Pac-12. With more medals than all but three countries and just 10 months away from the start of London Games, the Pac-12 has announced that it will celebrate its rich heritage of Olympic excellence by launching the "Follow The Pac-12 To London" campaign.

To help kickoff the campaign, the Pac-12 has created a microsite – pac-12.org/london – that will follow Pac-12 athletes in training for the 2012 Games, as well as showcase profiles, stories and videos on some of the most influential athletes and successful coaches ever to compete in the conference.

"The Pac-12 has an incredible pedigree in Olympic sports, and we are extremely proud of the overwhelming success and leadership role our student-athletes have had in the Olympics," said Larry Scott, Pac-12 commissioner. "With the London Games fast approaching, we wanted to share our Olympic story with everyone and celebrate some of the most amazing accomplishments and people in the history of sports."

In the modern Olympic era, Pac-12 athletes have amassed 1,092 medals, by far the most by any conference in the country. Put another way, if the Pac-12 were a sovereign nation it would rank fourth in the history of Olympic achievement, trailing only the United States (2,549), the former Soviet Union (1,204) and Germany (1,099) in total medals.

In 2008, 256 Pac-12 athletes representing 48 countries participated in the Olympic Games and produced 89 medals, including 29 gold, 47 silver and 13 bronze. If the Pac-12 was a country it would have finished third in the medal count behind the United States (110) and China (100) in Beijing. Over the last three Olympic Games combined, Pac-12 athletes have collected 254 medals, which would ranktied for second with Russia in total medals during that time, trailing only the United States (310).

Aside from the numerous Pac-12 athletes expected to fill Olympic Team rosters in 2012, the Pac-12 will host two of its 14 Conference Championship events this academic year at U.S. Olympic Team Trial venues, providing student-athletes throughout the conference with an opportunity to compete on world stage locations.

Hayward Field at the University of Oregon will be the site for the Pac-12 Track and Field Championships, May 5-6 and May 12-13, while Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash., will host the Pac-12 Women's Swimming and Men's and Women's Diving Championships, Feb. 22-25. In June, Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center will play host to its second U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Diving, while this will be the fifth time the U.S. Olympic Trials for Track and Field will take place at Hayward Field.

In addition to the dedicated Olympic microsite, the conference has produced a series of Olympic-themed television spots that will air during Pac-12 television broadcasts and on stadium and arena video boards throughout the academic year. The Pac-12 also has created a commemorative mark that will be used throughout the academic year as well as a line of "Follow the Pac-12 To London" merchandise items, including shirts, hats and hoodies. All merchandise is available at the Pac-12 storefront website.