CHICAGO, Ill., Dec. 9, 2005 – Shannon Miller , who has won more Olympic and world medals than any other U.S. gymnast, and the 1984 Men’s Gymnastics Team that earned the USA’s first Olympic team gold medal were inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Presented by Allstate yesterday in Chicago, Ill. The induction ceremony at the Harris Theatre will be televised on NBC on Sunday, Jan. 1, at 2:30 p.m. ET .


Other members of the 2006 Class were: Olympians Evelyn Ashford (track and field), Rowdy Gaines (swimming), Bob Hayes (track and field) and Kristi Yamaguchi (figure skating); Paralympian Diana Golden-Brosnihan (skiing); Coach Herb Brooks (ice hockey); Jack Shea (speedskating) in the Veterans category; and Special Contributor Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Universal Sports and Olympics.
“We are thrilled for both Shannon and the men’s team for this well-deserved recognition,” said Steve Penny , president of USA Gymnastics. “Their accomplishments have inspired millions around the world, and they have continued to be positive role models for many young people. We congratulate them and the other members of the 2006 Class for such a distinguished honor.”
Olympic champion John Nabor introduced the 1984 U.S. Olympic Men’s Team, which was the first U.S. squad to win an Olympic team gold medal. All of the team members were on hand for the induction: Bart Conner , Tim Daggett , Mitch Gaylord, Jim Hartung, Jim Mikus, Scott Johnson and Peter Vidmar.
“ From a selfish standpoint, what a wonderful reunion for us,” said Vidmar. “To sit around and reminisce, I felt like a 20 year old. The same humor, the same jokes, the same banter, the same camaraderie and, more importantly, the same love we shared in 1984 was there. It was here tonight at this event. This was just a wonderful occasion for us to get together.”
Johnson said, “This was an incredible experience. It was great for our team to be recognized again. We are just a great big family, and for us to get together again and be recognized in this way is awesome. I want to thank all of USA Gymnastics for its continued support for us, and we are all very involved with growing the sport of gym in the United States .”
Daggett said, “It’s been over 20 years since we went to Los Angeles , and we were just a group of kids who just dreamed a whole lot about going to the Olympics. We truly were a team. We haven’t seen all of us together in a long time. Being a part of the ceremony was great, but I would trade it in a second just having for the opportunity to hang out with some of the greatest guys in the world.”
The 1984 Men’s Team had dinner in Chicago the night before the induction. “We had a chance to go to dinner last night,” said Mikus. “Tonight was special but to sit around the table with the guys and have dinner and talk about some of the experiences we shared, some of places we traveled and some of the stranger moments of our careers was really fun.
“To come here tonight, look at program and read about the other inductees, see who is in the Olympic Hall of Fame and some of the presenters like Bob Beamon, Janet Evans and John Nabor, people with multiple gold medals and who competed in multiple Olympic Games, and you realize that as a team we are being elected into the same Hall, it is beyond humbling and it is a real honor. It was a tremendous night,” said Mikus.
Conner said, “Today, 21 years later, people still ask me if I stay in touch with my teammates. People forever look at us as brothers. I think we felt that way too. Nothing is as powerful as success you can share with others. That is what we did. It was incredible. We shared a life changing moment together and we needed each other to do it. We still have that bond from what was a life-defining moment for all of us.”
The team gold medal was not the only time these gymnasts stepped up on the podium in 1984. Other Olympic medals earned were: Vidmar, gold in the pommel horse and silver in the individual all-around; Daggett, bronze in pommel horse; Conner, gold on parallel bars; and Gaylord, silver in the vault and bronze in both the parallel bars and still rings.
Miller, who earned seven Olympic and nine World Championship medals, was the last member of the 2006 to be inducted. She was introduced by fellow gymnasts Conner and Vidmar, who were inducted into the Hall of Fame as individual athletes in 1991.
“She has set the standard for what a female gymnast can accomplish in this sport,” said Vidmar. “I don’t know how this (her accomplishments) can be topped. I was thrilled to be a part of this and share it with her. It took Bart and me together to do it.”
Miller said, “I don’t know if these guys know how much (impact) they had in my being up here. They were a great inspiration to me when I was growing up.” In her comments, Miller thanked her sister, Tessa, her mother and father, as well as her coaches Steve Nunno and Peggy Liddick.
Miller earned seven Olympic and nine World Championship medals following her debut at the elite level in 1990. At the 1992 Olympic Games, her five medals (two silver and three bronze) represented the most medals won by a U.S. athlete. Four years later, she won two gold medals at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta . In addition to the team gold medal as part of the “Magnificent Seven,” Miller became the first American gymnast to win the balance beam gold medal. She also is the only U.S. gymnast to win back-to-back world all-around titles (1993-94). During her competitive gymnastics career, she won an astounding 58 international and 49 national competition medals, more than half of which were gold.
Mary Lou Retton, who was inducted in 1985, is the only other gymnast in the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.
The Class of 2006 finalists in the individual sport/event, team, Paralympic and coaching categories were selected by a nominating committee consisting of athletes, members of the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, historians and USOC representatives. The inductees in these groups were then selected for induction into the Hall of Fame through on-line voting by the general public and Olympic family members. The honorees in the veteran and special contributor categories were selected by the nominating committee.