UNIVERSITY PARK, Pennsylvania – State of pennsylvania enjoys a long tradition of hosting a wide variety of sports for its students to enjoy both as participants and spectators. From the first baseball team organized on campus in 1875 to 31 college-sponsored sports in 2021, Penn State’s love for the sport is diverse and has remained strong over time. This love of the sport extends to the Olympics, in which nearly 200 members of the Penn State community played a vital role in the Olympics.

Olympic Lions: A History of Penn State’s Participation in the Olympic and Paralympic Games ” The digital exhibit, now open for viewing, uses the most inclusive definition of a Penn Stater by examining the history of the University’s Olympic involvement. Whether an athlete has competed as a Nittany Lion during their college career or came to college later in life as a coach or faculty member, Penn State’s participation in the Olympics is a must. spans over a century. From St. Louis to Rio de Janeiro, athletes affiliated with Penn State have won 15 gold medals and 50 medals in total at the Summer and Winter Olympics. Dozens of them attended the Olympics as administrators, judges, coaches, researchers and other critical officials.

With the Olympics set to resume in 2021 after being postponed to 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more Nittany Lions have a chance to stand out on the world stage. This exhibit traces the history of Penn State’s participation in the Olympics from the turn of the 20th century to the upcoming show in Tokyo.

Digital exhibit “Olympic Lions: A History of Penn State’s Participation in the Olympic and Paralympic Games” at Penn State University Libraries is curated by Zachary Bigalke, Candace and Patrick E. Malloy, Graduate Research Assistant at the University Archives, and Paul Dzyak, Sports Archivist for the Eberly Family Special Collections Library, and can be viewed at

For more information or for questions about this exhibition, contact Dzyak at [email protected] For more information on the Eberly family special collections library and its exhibits, contact 814-865-1793 or [email protected]

Last updated on July 19, 2021