SOFTBALL IN USOC HALL OF FAME
The U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Class of 2012 will be formally introduced and honored on July 12 during an awards ceremony at the Harris Theater in Chicago. The ceremony, hosted by Jimmy Roberts and Alex Flanagan, will air in a nationally-televised broadcast on NBC Sports Network on August 24 at 7 p.m. ET. Additional event details, including media access and registration information, will be available soon.
The Class of 2012, partially determined by fan voting, is comprised of six Olympians, one Paralympian, one team, as well as three additional individuals: a coach, veteran and a special contributor.
The list of inductees includes Gail Devers (track & field), Jean Driscoll (Paralympic track & field), Gary Hall, Jr. (swimming), Lisa Fernandez (softball), Kristine Lilly (soccer), Dan O’Brien (track & field), Jenny Thompson (swimming), the 2004 U.S. Olympic Women’s Softball Team, Ed Temple (coach – track & field), James Connolly (veteran – track & field) and Ted Stevens (special contributor).
“Over the years, these men and women captured our hearts and inspired us as Americans to strive for greatness, paving the way for today’s Olympians and Paralympians who will soon compete in this summer’s London Games,” said Lisa Cochrane, senior vice president of marketing for Allstate. “Allstate is proud to support such a prestigious, lifetime achievement and extends its gratitude to the fans for their role in determining the very deserving U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Class of 2012.”
The Class of 2012 was determined by a voting process that includes Olympians, Paralympians, members of the Olympic Family and a public voting element. The U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame presented by Allstate is one of the only national sports halls of fame that includes fan voting as part of its selection process. This year more than 100,000 votes were cast at TeamUSA.org.
“The Class of 2012 inductees have provided fans of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams with countless inspiring moments, and it’s an honor to welcome them to the U.S Olympic Hall of Fame, where both their achievements and impact will be celebrated,” said Scott Blackmun, USOC chief executive officer. “Together with Allstate and fans of Team USA, we congratulate them on their accomplishments and thank them for their commitment to the Olympic and Paralympic Movements.”
The Class of 2012 is the 15th class to be inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame presented by Allstate and will bring the total membership to 96 Olympians, five Paralympians, 10 teams, four coaches, 10 veterans, 16 contributors and two Olive Branch award inductees.
“I am completely overwhelmed by this honor,” said Lisa Fernandez, a three-time Olympic gold medalist. “I never thought that playing the game of softball that I love so much would allow me to reach this level of accomplishment. This is bigger than anything I have dreamed of. What we have been able to achieve as a sport is incredible, and there is no greater honor than being inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.”
In addition to the introduction of the aforementioned athletes, coaches and contributors, the Olive Branch Achievement Award – created to honor an individual who best represents the international ideals of the Olympic Movement by working to build a peaceful and better world through sport – will be introduced and presented at the induction ceremony.
The 2004 U.S. Olympic Women’s Softball Team, coined the “Real Dream Team” on the cover of Sports Illustrated, will go down in history as one of the most dominant teams in Olympic history. With a perfect 9-0 record and a string of eight consecutive shutouts, this team lived up to the hype. In 2004, the team outscored its opponents 51-1 in nine games in Athens and did not allow a run until the sixth inning of the gold medal game against Australia.
Head coach: Mike Candrea
Assistant coach: Ken Eriksen
Assistant coach: John Rittman