When Usain Bolt, not a naturally modest man, thanks you for your help after clinching his umpteenth gold medal, you have probably done something right. Brunel and Birmingham universities won his praise for their help in preparing and hosting the Jamaican team.
Other universities can claim to have done rather well. I quite liked this exchange on Twitter between William Hague, foreign secretary, and Patrick McGhee, vice-chancellor of the University of East London (which is hosting the US Olympic team).
@williamjhague I met Michelle Obama, Pres of Singapore, the US Dream Team, India High Commissioner, Carl Lewis and kids from Newham. I win.
— Prof Patrick McGhee (@VC_UEL) August 11, 2012
But on to the medals! Here, courtesy of Podium, the body representing universities and colleges at the London Olympics, is the roster showing which institutions have done best at the sports. If you look on their site, you can see the full list.
For institutions, this table does actually matter: as I wrote last week, universities are an increasingly important spine of Team GB’s infrastructure.
UPDATE – 22:30, 14 August: The Podium list is correct, but it only includes conventional universities and colleges. However, the Open University won two golds and three bronzes. I’ve not included it in the table – some OU athletes are already booked as the undergraduate alumni of other universities, and this could get messy. But, bear in mind, if the OU were entered in it and credited with all of them, it would be in sixth place.
|University of Edinburgh||3||0||0||3|
|University of Nottingham||2||2||1||5|
|University of Oxford||2||2||1||5|
|University of Cambridge||2||1||2||5|
|University of Reading||2||1||1||4|
|St Mary’s University College||2||0||1||3|
|University of St Andrews||2||0||0||2|
|University of Bristol||1||2||2||5|
|University of Bath||1||2||0||3|
|Peter Symonds College||1||1||1||3|
|Hopwood Hall College||1||1||0||2|
|University of the West of England||1||1||0||2|
|University of Leeds||1||0||2||3|
|King’s College London||1||0||1||2|
|Barton Peveril Sixth Form College||1||0||0||1|
|Cardiff Metropolitan University||1||0||0|
|Leeds Metropolitan University||1||0||0||1|
|University of Sheffield||1||0||0||1|
|University College London||0||3||0||3|
What to make of this table? Here are also some important things to note – and I hope they’ll help illuminate some of the nonsense about sport and education in England that has been swirling around lately: