An astonishing number of Members – not all but largely Hawks and Ospreys – have represented their countries at the Olympic Games or in International contests.

This list of Olympians and Full Internationals has been specially prepared for the 150th Anniversary of the Club. To accompany this refreshment of the 2017 list, here are a few facts…

We have re-checked those names previously listed and added some omitted last time – including some medallists, especially our new road race cycling champion, Anna Kiesenhofer. Almost one hundred fresh faces are now honoured, including those nine élite athletes who competed in the Tokyo 2020 (2021) Olympiad

  • There are now 356 Olympians from 17 countries listed, covering every Olympiad from 1896: we have had athletes from all over the world now embracing Bermuda and Saudi Arabia, Denmark and the British Virgin Isles
  • Between them they have won more than 200 medals: all the stories behind these deserve celebration, of course, not just for themselves but as part of this pantheon showing the astonishing breadth and depth of their achievements.
  • If you add up all Olympians and other Full Internationals recorded from the 18 clubs including 10 new entries, we know Cambridge University has produced more than 980 Full International athletes
  • 203 Olympic medals are believed to have been won, including 89 Gold at 28 modern Games since 1900, up to and including the most recent champion at Tokyo 2020 (2021)
  • Cambridge athletes have competed in 23 different Olympic sports, many now not played at the Games
  • Cambridge athletes have represented 17 nations at the Olympics and we have Full International representation at least 10 others.
  • The most successful Cambridge Olympian in medals won is (Baron) Chris Holmes, with 15 Paralympic swimming medals, including 9 Gold
  • (Dr) Deng Yaping won 4 golds just at the Beijing Games (2008) for table tennis
  • Richard Meade won 3 Equestrian Gold medals in the 1968 Mexico (1) and 1972 Munich (2) Games. He also competed at Tokyo in 1964.
  • For longevity of excellence, surely nobody can touch Cambridge fencers? Martin Holt (over 20 years sandwiching World War I); then through the 1970s to 1990s Richard Cohen, Fiona McIntosh, Richard Oldcorn were all Olympic selections for GB across four games (though ultimately absent from Moscow 1980).
  • CUBC has supplied more Olympians than any other University Club: 148 (42%) and more medals: 62. Only in the 1904 Olympics was a CUBC member not represented.
  • CUAC has supplied 81 Olympians – the latest being Louise Shanahan in Tokyo – winning 27 medals, including 14 Gold and a further 61 Full Internationals
  • 87 International cricketers have shared 1,153 caps from 1878 to 2016, with 561 of those won as captain.
  • CURUFC has produced more British Lions than any other rugby club in the world: 69 from 1888 to 1997. Oddly perhaps, 21 were never capped by their country, the last of whom was Alun Lewis in 1977.
  • CURUFC has also seen 136 of its members capped since 1945 as Full Internationals by 10 different nations. Added to the 197 capped pre-WW2, the total reaches 345.
  • Fencers have supplied 18 to the Olympics, winning 4 medals and a further 12 have been awarded Full International caps.
  • Football has amassed a total of 83 Full Cap players, the most recent (Amateur) in 1969 (Peter Phillips who later turned pro)
  • In a long tradition of champion Olympic athletes from Cambridge the Rio baton held by rowers George Nash and Tom Ransley has been handed to cyclist Anna Kiesenhofer of Austria, now the women’s individual cycling road race champion.

    Footnote: perhaps the most surprising double gold medallist remains Bernard Redwood (Peterhouse) who won two medals in 1908 for Motor Boating (in separate classes). It seems he was co-opted to bail out his boats that were the only finisher on both occasions. As Motor Boating was never included again, we can safely say that he remains the University’s only male reigning Olympic Champion. Sadly, he died of pneumonia aged just 37 with a cycling Half Blue to his name.

    These lists continue to be subject to peer group confirmation and review for errors and omissions. This does not include all Full International caps won by Cambridge athletes (eg. only Men’s Hockey Olympians are shown). We have listed as many clubs as managed to submit their lists. Not all named are Hawks’ or Ospreys Members, but the vast majority have been elected.
    We have set the bar at a high level: only senior representative honours are presented. This is not to reduce the achievements of all those who have competed for their country at age group levels but we feel that these honours should best be celebrated through the Clubs themselves.

Members are welcome to download and peruse the booklet and make suggested amendments and additions for future editions. Contributions from the many other sports which Members participate in are particularly welcome. These should be addressed to our administrator.

20-page A5 booklet to download

A2 Olympians poster to download

The University published a record of all known Olympians in December 2021, an updated version of the version published in March 2017.  Not all the athletes shown were Members of Hawks’ but it shows how over 200 medals have been won.

It can be viewed here or by clicking on the poster image.