The list of finalists was announced at an event headlined by Allstate chairman, president and chief executive officer, Tom Wilson, along with USOC acting CEO Stephanie Streeter, Chicago 2016 chairman and CEO Patrick Ryan, and US Olympic Hall of Fame member Olympic Swimmer John Naber.
Wilson: "The US Olympic Hall of Fame celebrates our honorees' commitment to excellence and recognizes Americans who are role models and heroes. Each of us can find strength, passion and inspiration in these ordinary people who achieved extraordinary success in the Olympics. They help make us proud to be Americans."
Streeter: "The U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame honors Olympic and Paralympic legends who have inspired our country for generations, uniting us behind Team USA and giving us role models who epitomize the Olympic ideals."
You can vote online at www.teamusa.org; voting ends June 16 and the results will be announced in early July. The induction ceremony for the five individuals, one team and one Paralympian will be a black-tie affair on August 12 at McCormick Place in Chicago.
The August 12 induction ceremony will honor the 2009 US Olympic Hall of Fame class and introduce a new international award - the Olive Branch Award - given to an individual or individuals who best represent the international ideals of the Olympic Games by working to build a peaceful and better world through sport. Also new to 2009, the induction ceremony will feature a special fund-raising banquet to benefit Chicago 2016, Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Nominees for the induction class of 2009 were selected by a 10-person nominating committee consisting of athletes, members of the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, historians, and USOC representatives.
The 2009 US Olympic Hall of Fame Nominees:INDIVIDUALS
- Greg Barton, canoe/kayak
- Jeff Blatnick, wrestling
- Valerie Brisco-Hooks, athletics
- Tracie Ruiz-Conforto, swimming
- Teresa Edwards, basketball
- Gary Hall, Sr., swimming
- Michael Johnson, athletics
- Mary T. Meagher, swimming
- Sheila Young Ochowicz, speedskating
- Darrell Pace, archery
- Terry Schroeder, water polo
- John Smith, wrestling
- Picabo Street, alpine skiing
- Peter Westbrook, fencing
- Willye White, athletics
- Jean Driscoll, athletics
- David Larson, athletics
- Greg Mannino, alpine skiing
- Tony Volpentest, athletics
- Sarah Will, alpine skiing
- 1976 US Women's 4x100 Freestyle Relay Team
- 1992 US Men's Basketball Team
- 1996 US Synchronized Swimming Team
- 1998 US Women's Ice Hockey Team
- 2002 US Women's Bobsled Team