Published May 13, 2012 Sports Network
"Dallas, TX – Gail Devers, who won back-to-back gold medals in the 100-meter sprint, and five-time gold medalist swimmer Gary Hall Jr. were among a large group named as the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Class of 2012.
The announcement was made on Sunday during the U.S. Olympic Committee
The newest Hall of Famers also included soccer player Kristine Lilly, softball player Lisa Fernandez and the entire 2004 U.S. team, decathlete Dan O'Brien, swimmer Jenny Thompson, track & field Paralympian Jean Driscoll, track & field coach Ed Temple, early track & field Olympian James Connolly and late U.S. Senator Ted Stevens.
They will become the 15th class inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of
Fame in an awards ceremony August 24 at the Harris Theater in Chicago, 12
days after the close of the London Games."
This from the Sports Network, announcing this year's inductees into the US Olympic Hall of Fame. Allstate Insurance has supported the Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies and we have had the honor of attending several times in the last few years. Dick presented with John Naber, who is past president of the US Olympians, and a multiple Gold Medal winner in Swimming. They gave a special award to Dick Ebersol, head of NBC Sports, who was responsible for NBC's coverage of the Olympics, creating the look and feel we Americans experience during the Olympic Games. At the last Hall of Fame Ceremony, Dick was honored to induct Alice Coachman. Alice was the first African American woman to win a gold medal, in the High Jump, in 1948. Alice was not able to attend the Chicago Olympic Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies, but did attend the 100-day countdown to the London Olympic Games. The USOC held a big celebration in Times Square. Alice is now 90 and what a trooper! She was honored along with other 48 Olympians Sammy Lee (diving), Mal Whitfield (track) and Ray Lump (basketball).
While at Loughborough Univeristy in England for a clinic a few years ago, Dick met another amazing woman, Dorothy Odam, the English high jumper who won the silver and shared the podium with Alice Coachman in 1948. She had also won a silver in 1936, the last time the Games was held before the war, when she was only 16. She managed to attend the games 12 years later and win another silver medal.
Dorothy Odam told Dick a very interesting story, that she had actually jumped highest in 1936 but had been disqualified on that jump because her head went over the bar first. The rules have since been modified that you must take off on one foot, and clearing the bar is the only other criteria, the jumper must go over and not under it. this does seem obvious but apparently it's still in the rule book for the High Jump. This paved the way for the Fosbury Flop to become the only technique used for elite jumpers now.
We are especially excited to see Dan O'Brien will be inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame as there is a new Dan O'Brien Track and Field Complex at the University of Idaho up in Moscow Idaho.
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