Canoe/Kayak

Feb 27 U.S. Olympic Committee and Allstate announce 2012 U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame nominees, start of fan voting

Feb. 27, 2012, 12:07 p.m. (ET)

Public voting period for 2012 Hall of Fame class begins today at TeamUSA.org/halloffame 

NORTHBROOK, Ill. – February 27, 2012 - The U.S. Olympic Committee and Allstate Insurance Company (NYSE: ALL) today announced the list of nominees eligible for induction into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame presented by Allstate and invited fans to start voting for those athletes and teams they feel are most deserving of a spot in the Class of 2012.

Among the 18 individual Olympic athletes is sprint kayaker Greg Barton. The four-time Olympic medalist is the most decorated U.S. Olympic canoe/kayak athlete. Barton won the bronze medal in men’s K-1 1000m at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. He then earned two gold medals in K1 1000m and K2 1000m at the Seoul 1988 Olympics. Barton won his fourth Olympic medal in the K1 1000m at the Barcelona 1992 Games. He also earned three World Championship titles.

Greg Barton, U.S. Olympic Kayaker: “Getting into the Hall will be tough as I'm up against some great athletes in sports with higher visibility. It's an honor to be considered among the greatest U.S. Olympians of all time.”

Joe Jacobi, USA Canoe/Kayak CEO: “To see Greg on this list of distinguished finalists is a terrific and well-deserved recognition. On and off the water, both personally and professionally, Greg is the Gold Standard of paddlesports. We hope this is the year he is not just a finalist but takes his rightful place in the US Olympic Hall of Fame.”

Peter Newton, three-time U.S. Olympian kayaker: “Greg is an inspiring person, not only because of his accomplishments in the Olympics, but also because of how he became an Olympian. When Greg was a young boy he had to endure many painful surgeries as a result of being born with “club feet”. Because of his problems with his feet his doctors didn’t think he would be able to do much physical activities. He proved them wrong by picking up the sport of kayaking and eventually winning four Olympic medals, two gold and two bronze, and becoming the best American kayaker ever.”

The nominee list consists of the following 18 individual Olympic athletes, five Paralympic athletes and five teams.

Individual Nominee Finalists

Paralympic Nominee Finalists

Greg Barton, canoe/kayak

Jean Driscoll, track & field

Valerie Brisco, track & field

Sharon Hedrick, track & field

Gail Devers, track & field

David Larson, track & field

Anne Donovan, basketball

Jim Mastro, goalball, judo, track & field, wrestling

Lisa Fernandez, softball

Tony Volpentest, track & field

Gretchen Fraser, alpine skiing

 

Cammi Granato, ice hockey

Team Nominee Finalists

Gary Hall, Jr., swimming

1976 women’s swimming 4x100m freestyle relay

Bill Koch, cross country skiing

1988 men’s volleyball

Kristine Lilly, soccer

1996 women’s basketball

Dan O’Brien, track & field

1998 women’s ice hockey

Darrell Pace, archery

2004 women’s softball

Tracie Ruiz-Conforto, synchronized swimming

 

Terry Schroeder, water polo

 

John Smith, wrestling

 

Dawn Staley, basketball

 

William Steinkraus, equestrian

 

Jenny Thompson, swimming

 

 

“The U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame celebrates a commitment to excellence and perseverance and recognizes American athletes who are role models and heroes,” said Mark LaNeve, Allstate’s chief marketing officer and senior executive vice president of agency operations. “Allstate is proud to protect the legacy of these athletes and their accomplishments while offering fans the chance to play an important role in selecting who will be eternally etched in Olympic history.”

The public is invited to vote for their preferred candidates and teams by visiting a dedicated voting portal at TeamUSA.org/halloffame. Voters will be allowed to vote once per day, per category, through April 9, 2012. Recognizing the ongoing support that fans give U.S. Olympians, Paralympians and hopefuls in their training and competition, the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame presented by Allstate was one of the first major sports halls of fame to incorporate fan voting into the selection process.

Once voting closes, the public vote totals will be added to the vote totals of Olympians, Paralympians and U.S. Olympic Family members to determine the six Olympians, one Paralympian and one team that will make up the 2012 class. The U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame presented by Allstate Class of 2012 will be announced in May and inducted on July 12 during an induction ceremony at the Harris Theater in Chicago, Ill.

“It is a privilege to introduce this incredibly deserving group of nominees for induction into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame and an honor to invite the American public to vote for who they want to be a part of the class of 2012,” said Scott Blackmun, USOC chief executive officer. “With excitement building ahead of the London Games this summer, there is no better time than now to honor the legacy of the great individual and team performances, and make them a permanent part of U.S. Olympic Team history.”

The nominees for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame presented by Allstate class were selected by a nominating committee comprised of individuals representing the following areas of the U.S. Olympic Movement: United States Olympians Association, Athletes’ Advisory Council, media members, USOC executive team, USOC Board of Directors, one at-large committee member and a Paralympic sports representative. 


About the USA Canoe/Kayak

USA Canoe/Kayak is a non-profit membership organization based in Oklahoma City, OK, promoting canoe and kayak racing in the United States. A member of the United States Olympic Committee, USA Canoe/Kayak is the national governing body for the Olympic sports of Flatwater Sprint and Whitewater Slalom and the official U.S. federation of the International Canoe Federation. Other paddling sports sanctioned by USACanoe/Kayak include Marathon, Freestyle, Wildwater, Stand Up Paddleboard, Canoe Polo, Canoe Sailing, Outrigger, and Dragon Boat. For more information about USA Canoe/Kayak, please visit us on the web at www.usack.org, on Twitter at @usacanoekayak and Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/USACanoeKayak.

About the USOC

Founded in 1894 and headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., the U.S. Olympic Committee serves as both the National Olympic Committee and National Paralympic Committee for the United States. As such, the USOC is responsible for the training, entering and funding of U.S. teams for the Olympic, Paralympic, Youth Olympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games, while serving as a steward of the Olympic and Paralympic Movements throughout the country. For more information, visit TeamUSA.org.

About Allstate

The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer. Widely known through the “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate®” slogan, Allstate is reinventing protection and retirement to help nearly 16 million households insure what they have today and better prepare for tomorrow. Consumers access Allstate insurance products (auto, home, life and retirement) and services through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial representatives in the U.S. and Canada, as well as via www.allstate.com and 1-800 Allstate®. As part of Allstate’s commitment to strengthen local communities, The Allstate Foundation, Allstate employees, agency owners and the corporation provided $28 million in 2011 to thousands of nonprofit organizations and important causes across the United States.

About the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame

The U.S. Olympic 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 Hall of Fame class was inducted in 1983 during ceremonies in Chicago and included Olympic greats such as Bob Beamon, Cassius Clay, Peggy Fleming, Al Oerter, Jesse Owens, Wilma Rudolph, Mark Spitz, Jim Thorpe and the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" men’s hockey team. In 2004, after a 12-year hiatus, the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame was revived through the support of the Allstate Insurance Company as the presenting sponsor. Now every Olympic year, past Olympic athletes, teams, Paralympians, coaches, veterans and special contributors gather to welcome in the newest members of the Hall of Fame.

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