Chicago, Ill. – The Magnificent Seven, the 1996 U.S. Women’s Olympic Team that won the team title at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, will be among the 2008 inducteees into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Presented by Allstate. The induction ceremony will take place June 19 in Chicago. The U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Class of 2008 is comprised of nine Olympians, one Paralympian, an Olympic Coach, Veteran, Team and Special Contributor.
The 1996 squad, consisting of Amanda Borden, Amy Chow, Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller, Dominique Moceanu, Jaycie Phelps and Kerri Strug, will be the lone team inductee. They will join a number of individual honorees.
Volleyball player Karch Karaly, wrestler Bruce Baumgartner, athletics athlete Joan Benoit, figure skater Brian Boitano, boxer Oscar de La Hoya, equestrian J. Michael Plumb, basketball athlete David Robinson, swimmer Amy Van Dyken, shooter Lones W. Wigger, Jr. and Paralympic swimmer John Morgan will be inducted as individuals. Figure skating coach Carlo Fassi will be inducted in the Coach category along with Olympic figure skating gold medalist Carol Heiss Jenkins in the Veteran category. Legendary Hollywood producer Frank Marshall will be inducted as the Special Contributor.
The U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Presented by Allstate, an awards-show style ceremony for which Kleenex and AT&T are associate sponsors, will air in a nationally-televised broadcast this summer. Viewers of the induction ceremony will be treated to a compelling broadcast which will relive the moments that catapulted the Class of 2008 to U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame status. Additionally, viewers will enjoy inspiring stories and insights from the inductees as well as from family, friends and fellow competitors of the honored legends.
“The legacies and contributions of this year’s honorees will now live forever as they join our country’s greatest Olympians in the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame,” said Lisa Cochrane, vice president of marketing at Allstate. “As a sponsor of the Hall of Fame since its celebrated revitalization in 2004, Allstate is proud to help protect and preserve this important part of our identity and source of American pride.”
Beginning today, tickets to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony can be purchased at www.usolympichalloffame.com.
About the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Class of 2008
In 1996, the U.S. Women’s Team won the United States’ first Olympic team gold medal on July 23. Dubbed the Magnificent Seven, the women on the U.S. Women’s Team — Amanda Borden, Amy Chow, Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller, Dominique Moceanu, Jaycie Phelps and Kerri Strug — lived up to their billing. Millions around the world witnessed the U.S. Team’s outstanding performances that built its lead over Russia in the team competition. Strug’s valiant landing on her second vault despite an injured ankle produced one of the Games’ lasting memories. Her 9.712 vault secured the U.S. Team’s clinching the gold medal with a 389.225 total, outscoring Russia and Romania. The Americans’ victory was considered phenomenal because they defeated the 1995 world champion Romanians, becoming the first non-Soviet bloc nation to win a team gold since 1950 in either the World Championships or Olympics.
Bruce Baumgartner is one of only eight U.S. Olympians to win medals in four different Olympiads. He won his first gold medal in wrestling at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. He went on to win a silver medal in 1988 and a gold medal in 1992. At the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, Baumgartner was elected U.S. flag bearer and U.S. Olympic Team captain. In his last Olympic Games, Baumgartner won a bronze medal. In 2002, he was selected as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Joan Benoit paved her own path in 1984 at the first women’s marathon event of the Olympic Games. Despite a knee injury 17 days before at the Olympic Trials, Benoit triumphed in front of the pack to bring home the first gold medal in the event. Benoit won the Boston Marathon three times and held an American record in marathon from 1985 to 2003. She also won the Falmouth Road Race six times (1976, 1978, 1981-1983, and 1985) breaking records on four of those occasions. In 1985, despite struggles, Benoit won the Chicago Marathon and received the James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States.
Brian Boitano, a three-time Olympian (1984, 1988 and 1994), four-time U.S. champion and two-time world champion, was the first American to land a triple Axel in competition In 1988, during the “Battle of the Brians” at the Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, Boitano entered the free skate in an essential tie with Canadian Brian Orser. Boitano skated a clean program landing eight triple jumps en route to Olympic gold. In 1988, Boitano won gold at the U.S. Championships, Olympic Games and World Championships. He set a record when he earned nine perfect marks of 6.0 at the U.S. Championships, ensuring his fourth consecutive win at that event.
In 1992, Oscar de La Hoya captured the lone gold medal for U.S. boxers winning the lightweight title defeating Marco Rudolph, the fighter who had defeated him a year earlier at the World Championships in Australia. Nicknamed the “Golden Boy,” de la Hoya was victorious at two U.S. Championships (1990 and 1991), the 1991 Goodwill Games and U.S. Olympic Festival as well as the 1992 World Championship Challenge. His amateur career included 223 wins, 163 by way of knockout, with only five losses. On his 19th birthday, de la Hoya made his professional boxing debut. In 1995, he was named Ring Magazine’s “Fighter of the Year” and in 1997 he was named the publication’s top-rated Pound for Pound fighter in the world. He has won six world titles as a professional boxer.
Named the “greatest volleyball player of the century” by FIVB, the international volleyball federation, Karch Kiraly is the only player to win Olympic medals in both indoor and beach volleyball. As a member of Team USA, Kiraly took Olympic gold in indoor volleyball in 1984 and 1988. He also captured Olympic gold with partner Kent Steffes in 1996 when beach volleyball made its Olympic debut in Atlanta. Kiraly is the only volleyball player in Olympic history to collect three gold medals. A member of the Volleyball Hall of Fame and the AVCA Hall of Fame, Kiraly was named the “Best Player in the World” by FIVB in 1986 and 1988.
Eight-time Olympian, J. Michael Plumb, has marched in more Olympic Opening Ceremonies than any other U.S. Olympic athlete, equestrian or otherwise. Plumb’s Olympic career began with the 1960 Olympic Games and he was named to every Olympic three-day team through 1984. His final appearance was at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games. He tallied six Olympic medals, including team gold in 1976 and 1984, team silver in 1964, 1968 and 1972 and an individual silver in 1976. He won his first Olympic medal competing on a horse he had never ridden in competition before – an unprecedented feat. His international career also spanned several W