When it comes to the Olympics, there is no more dominant overall nation then the United States of America. With that fact, it should go without saying that if you are a Finalist for the United States Olympic Hall of Fame, you were clearly one hell of an athlete!
Today, the Hall has announced their Finalists for the Class of 2019.
The nominees are:
Gary Anderson: Anderson won the Gold Medal in the 300m three position rifle in the 1964 and 1968 Games.
Greg Barton: Barton won two Gold Medals in the 1988 Games with wins in the K-1 and K-2 1000m canoe sprint. He also won the Bronze in the K-1 1000m canoe sprint in both the 1984 and 1992 Games. He is the most successful canoe/kayak athlete in U.S. history.
Laura Berg: Berg led the Women’s Softball Team to three straight Gold Medals (1996-2004)
Anne Donovan: Donovan was a two-time Gold Medalist as a women’s basketball player in 1984 and 1988 and she would win a third as the Head Coach of the women’s team in 2008.
Lisa Leslie: Arguably the most successful female basketball player in Olympic history, Leslie won gold in 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008. She holds the record for the most points in a game (35) and overall (488).
Nastia Liukin: In the 2008 Games, Liukin won five medals, Gold in the All-Around, Silver in the Team, Uneven Bars and Bronze in the Floor Exercise.
John Mayasich: Mayasich represented the United States in Men’s Hockey in the 1956 and 1960 Games where he Center would anchor the Silver Medalist (’56) and Gold Medalist Team (’60).
Misty-May Traynor: Along with Kerri Walsh Jennings, she would win the Gold Medals at three straight Olympics (2004-12) in Women’s Beach Volleyball.
Jonny Moseley: A pioneer in moguls, Moseley would win the Gold Medal in that event in 1998.
Apolo Anton Ohno: Ohno was star in Short Track Speed Skating winning eight medals (two Gold, two Silver and four Bronze) over three Games (2002-10).
Mark Reynolds: A three-time Olympian in Sailing, Reynolds won Gold in 1992 and 2000 and Silver in 1988.
Angela Ruggiero: Playing defense for the U.S. Women’s Hockey Team in four Olympics, winning Gold in 1988, Silver in 2002 and 2010 and Bronze in 2006.
John Smith: Smith won Gold in Freestyle Wrestling in 1988 and 1992.
Dara Torres: Torres swam in five Olympic Games and would win 12 Medals (four Gold, four Silver and four Bronze) in total.
Brenda Villa: Villa competed on the U.S. Women’s Water Polo Team in four Olympics (2000-12), medaling in each one (one Gold, two Silver and one Bronze).
Cheri Blauwet: Blauwet won seven medals in wheelchair racing, one Gold, one Silver and five Bronze over the 2000 and 2004 Games.
Candace Cable: Cable was the first American woman to win medals in both the Winter and Summer Games. She has won eight Gold Medals overall.
Muffy Davis: Davis won seven medals in cycling and skiing. She would win three Gold Medals in 2012 in cycling.
Bart Dodson: Dodson won eight Gold Medals in Track and Field at the 1992 Games.
Greg Mannino: Mannino has won 22 medals over five Games in skiing.
Erin Popovich: Popovich won seven Gold Medals in 2004 and another four in 2008. That is a whopping eleven for the swimmer!
Maria Runyan: Runyan won four Golds in the 1992 Games in track.
Chris Waddell: Waddell competed in four Winter Games and would win 12 Medals in total.
Trischa Zorn: Zorn won 55 Medals in the Paralympics from 1980 to 1992. That is not a misprint, that is many Medals the swimmer won.
1996 Women’s Basketball Team: The Americans went undefeated in the tournament and destroyed Brazil in the Gold Medal Game.
1998 Women’s Ice Hockey Team: They would beat Canada twice in the tournament, including the Gold Medal Game.
2010 Four-Man Bobsled Team: Consisting of Steven Holcomb, Steve Mesler, Justin Olsen and Curt Yomasevicz, the quartet brought Gold for the first time in this event since 1948.
The Hall’s first members were inducted in 1983 but the induction classes have been infrequent, though the current process looks to be far more streamlines, which we hope they keep up.
This group will consist of five Olympians, three Paralympians and one team.
The Class of 2019 will be announced on September 2 and the induction ceremony will take place on November 1 in Colorado Springs.
As of now, there is no physical Hall of Fame, though with sponsorship that could change in the future.