Three swimmers are among the 24 finalists for the United States Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame Class of 2019.
Dara Torres is among the 15 Olympians, while Erin Popovich and Trischa Zorn are among the nine Paralympians recognized. Eventually the group of finalists will be narrowed to five Olympians and three Paralympians.
Torres owns 12 Olympic medals, tied for the most by any female Olympic swimmer, while also boasting the record for the oldest swimmer to win a medal in Olympic history and the oldest U.S. Olympic swimmer. She also became the first American swimmer to appear in five Olympic Games. Torres, who set eight American records, earned 16 national titles from 1982 to 2007.
Torres began her Olympic career with a gold medal in the 400 free relay in 1984. She tacked on a bronze with the 400 free relay in 1988, while also earning silver with the 400 medley relay. Torres nabbed another gold with the 400 free relay team in 1992 in Barcelona. After leaving the sport for seven years, Torres racked up five medals in Sydney, winning individual bronze in the 50 free, 100 fly and 100 free, while also swimming with the gold medal 400 free and 400 medley relay teams.
In her final stint at the Olympics in Beijing in 2008 at age 41, Torres earned silver in the 50 free, 400 free relay and 400 free relay, putting her name in the American record books in all three events.
Popovich, who was born with achondroplasia, won 14 career Paralympic gold medals and 19 total. She won three golds and three silvers while setting four world records at her first Paralympic Games in 2000. She tacked on seven more golds (50 fly, 50 free, 100 breast, 100 free, 200 IM, 400 free relay and 400 medley relay), while rewriting the record books with three world mark and four Paralympic Games standards in 2004. Popovich finished her Paralympic Games career with four more golds (100 free, 400 free, 100 breast, 200 IM), two silvers (50 fly, 50 free) and two more world (200 IM, 100 breast) and Paralympic records (100 free, 400 free) in 2008.
In her last competition before announcing her retirement, Popovich won five silver medals (100 free, 400 free, 100 breast, 50 fly and 200 IM) and a bronze (50 free) at the IPC Swimming World Championships in Eindhoven, Netherlands, in 2010.
Zorn is the most decorated Paralympian in history, notching 52 medals across seven Paralympic Games, including 46 individual podium appearances (32 gold, 9 silver, 5 bronze). All told including relays, she won 38 golds, 9 silvers and five bronzes. In her standout appearance, Zorn racked up an eye-popping 10 individual gold with 10 world records and two relay golds at the 1988 Paralympics in Seoul, Korea.
Zorn began her career with seven gold medals in 1980 in Arnhem, Netherlands, winning the 100 back, 100 fly, 100 free, 200 IM and 400 IM and swimming with the 400 free relay and 400 medley relay winning teams. She tacked on six more golds in New York in 1984, including individual wins in the 100 back, 100 fly, 100 free, 200 IM and 400 IM. In Seoul, she won the 50 breast, 50 free, 100 back, 100 breast, 100 fly, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 IM, 400 free, 400 IM and was part of the winning 400 free and 400 medley relays.
In 1992, Zorn added 10 more golds to her tally, with individual victories in the 50 free, 100 back, 100 breast, 100 free, 200 back, 200 breast, 200 IM and 400 IM and also with the 400 free and 400 medley teams. She won her final two gold medals in the 100 back and 200 IM at the 1996 Paralympics in Atlanta.
In Sydney in 2000, she found the podium with four silver medals (100 back, 100 breast, 100 fly and 200 IM) and one bronze (50 breast). In her final Paralympics in 2004, Zorn added one final medal, a bronze in the 100 back.
Courtesy: United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee today announced the finalists for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame class of 2019, consisting of 15 Olympians, nine Paralympians and three teams. Team USA fans can cast their vote at TeamUSA.org/Vote from today through Sept. 3 to help determine the class of 2019, which will mark the first class inducted into the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame since 2012.
“It is a privilege to introduce these deserving finalists for induction into the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame,” said Sarah Hirshland, USOPC CEO. “They represent the pinnacle of athletic achievement and personal excellence, both on and off the field of play. We honor them and are pleased to memorialize their legacy as America’s most inspiring athletes and teams.”
The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame finalists for 2019 include:
- Gary Anderson, shooting
- Greg Barton, canoe/kayak
- Laura Berg, softball
- Anne Donovan, basketball
- Lisa Leslie, basketball
- Nastia Liukin, gymnastics
- John Mayasich, ice hockey
- Misty May-Treanor, beach volleyball
- Jonny Moseley, freestyle skiing
- Apolo Anton Ohno, short track speedskating
- Mark Reynolds, sailing
- Angela Ruggiero, ice hockey
- John Smith, wrestling
- Dara Torres, swimming
- Brenda Villa, water polo
- Cheri Blauwet, track and field
- Candace Cable, track and field, Nordic skiing, alpine skiing
- Muffy Davis, cycling, alpine skiing
- Bart Dodson, track and field
- Greg Mannino, alpine skiing
- Erin Popovich, swimming
- Marla Runyan, Para track and field, Para-cycling, Olympic track and field
- Chris Waddell, alpine skiing, track and field
- Trischa Zorn, swimming
- 1996 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team
- 1998 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team
- 2010 U.S. Olympic Four-Man Bobsled Team
The finalists will be narrowed down to five Olympians, three Paralympians and one team for induction into the class of 2019. In addition to the public vote, U.S. Olympians and Paralympians and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic family also vote on the inductees. The Olympic and Paralympic family consists of the Athletes’ Advisory Council, National Governing Bodies, Multi-Sport Organizations, USOPC board of directors, members of the media, and corporate partners.
“Congratulations to the athletes and teams being celebrated as finalists for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame,” said Dick Fosbury, U.S. Olympians and Paralympians Association president. “These individuals have already achieved so much both on and off the field of play during their careers, breaking barriers and inspiring the next generation of athletes. On behalf of USOPA, we are honored to have these individuals represent the best of Team USA.”
Starting in 2019, the hall of fame will see increased Paralympic representation to reflect the burgeoning contributions of U.S. athletes to the Paralympic Movement, and now reflects the U.S. Team sizes at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In addition to Olympians, Paralympians and a team, the class of 2019 will include two legends, one coach and one special contributor determined by the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame nominating committee.
The class of 2019 will be announced on Monday, Sept. 23, and inducted on Friday, Nov. 1, during a ceremony in conjunction with the all-alumni U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team Reunion in Colorado Springs. Red carpet arrivals, interviews and the induction awards dinner at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center will be open to the media; credential information will be available in October.
Opening in early 2020, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado, will become the new permanent home for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame.
Visit TeamUSA.org/HallOfFame to explore the history and achievements of all 141-current hall of fame members.
About the USOPC
Founded in 1894 and headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee serves as both the National Olympic Committee and National Paralympic Committee for the United States. The USOPC is focused on protecting, supporting and empowering America’s athletes, and is responsible for fielding U.S. teams for the Olympic, Paralympic, Youth Olympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games, and serving as the steward of the Olympic and Paralympic movements in the U.S. For more information, visit TeamUSA.org.
About the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame
The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame was established in 1979 to celebrate the achievements of America’s premier athletes in the modern Olympic Games. The first U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame class was inducted in 1983 during a ceremony in Chicago and included Olympic greats such as Muhammad Ali, Bob Beamon, Peggy Fleming, Al Oerter, Jesse Owens, Wilma Rudolph, Mark Spitz, Jim Thorpe and the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” men’s hockey team.