DALLAS, May 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Fans of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic sport have let their voices be heard. The United States Olympic Committee and Allstate Insurance Company today announced the members of the Class of 2012 who will be inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame presented by Allstate during a press conference at the Team USA Media Summit in Dallas. 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 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.
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.
The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer, serving approximately 16 million households through its Allstate, Encompass, Esurance and Answer Financial brand names. Widely known by its slogan "You're In Good Hands With Allstate®," Allstate offers insurance products (auto, home, life and retirement) and services through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial representatives, 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.
The U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame – Class of 2012 and Special Inductees
Gail Devers – Track & Field
Gail Devers is a five-time Olympian, three-time gold medalist and one of only two women to win back-to-back titles in the 100 meters at the Olympic Games. Devers, a three-time world champion and four-time world indoor champion, still holds the current American records in three events.