10 of the Greatest College Athletes in Olympic History

Throughout history, American colleges have been well represented in the Olympics. Here's a look at nine top Olympic athletes who have made schools across the country proud.

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From the University of North Carolina to the Chicago Bulls to two stints on the U.S. Men’s Olympic Men’s basketball team, Michael Jordan was always a star. He was a member of the 1984 and 1992 gold medal winning teams. In 1992, he starred alongside Bulls teammate Scottie Pippen, and rivals Ervin ‘Magic’ Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley and Patrick Ewing.
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The foundation of the U.S. women’s soccer program, Mia Hamm was a dominant performer at the University of North Carolina before transitioning to an international career. Hamm recorded five goals in 15 games spanning three Olympics. She won two gold medals and a silver.
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Swimmer Mark Spitz was Michael Phelps before there was a Michael Phelps. Spitz, an Indiana Hoosier, won seven gold medals in the 1972 Olympics — a record that held until 2008, when Phelps won eight.
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Among the legendary performers in American track-and-field history, Joyner-Kersee built her reputation at UCLA before competing in four Olympic games. Joyner-Kersee won three golds, a silver and two bronze medals in the the 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996 Games.
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A product of the University of Houston, Carl Lewis’ name is synonymous with the U.S. Olympic team. A four-time Olympic sprinter and long jumper, Lewis won 10 medals — nine golds and a silver.
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Arguably history's top women’s basketball player, Cheryl Miller represented the the U.S. in the 1984 Olympic Games. The UCLA star averaged 16.5 points per game as Team USA won gold in a dominating fashion.
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Twice an All-American in football for Pennsylvania's Carlisle Indian Industrial School, Thorpe won gold in the 1912 Olympics in the decathlon and pentathlon. After being accused of violating amateur rules by playing minor league baseball, Thorpe was stripped of his medals in 1913 by the International Olympic Commission — but the IOC reinstated his medals posthumously in 1983.
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New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony spent one year at Syracuse University before darting to the NBA. Anthony has represented the U.S. three times in Olympic competition, winning two gold medals and a bronze. He will be on Team USA in Rio.
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On the cusp of her second Olympics, Missy Franklin, who swam for the University of California at Berkeley, won four gold medals and a bronze in the 2012 London Games.
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Sprinter and long jumper Jesse Owens starred at Ohio State before etching his name into history by winning four gold medals at the 1936 Games. The Berlin Olympics marked the only time Owens would represent the U.S. in Olympic competition.
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