Sprinter Bob Hayes, gymnast Shannon Miller and swimmer Rowdy Gaines are among the Class of 2006 athletes scheduled to be inducted into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame. The ceremony is set for December 8 at the Harris Theater in Chicago.
Bob Hayes was nicknamed "The World's Fastest Human" after winning two gold medals at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Hayes tied the world record to win the 100 meters, then anchored the U.S. 4x100-meter relay team that broke the world record.
After finishing his track and field career, Hayes took his speed to the National Football League, where he played 11 seasons for the Dallas Cowboys. Bob Hayes, who is the only athlete to win an Olympic gold medal and a Super Bowl ring, died of kidney failure in 2002.
The most decorated gymnast in U.S. history, Shannon Miller, earned five Olympic medals at the 1992 Barcelona Games. She followed that performance with gold medals in the balance beam and team all-around at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Rowdy Gaines is a 17-time national swim champion and appeared on the Olympic team in 1980 and 1984. At the 1984 Games in Los Angeles, Gaines captured three gold medals, with wins in the 100-meter freestyle, 400-meter freestyle relay and 400-meter medley relay. Gaines talks about his induction into the Class of 2006.
"Needless to say, this is an incredibly humbling experience for me, and it is without a doubt the greatest award I have ever received," he said. "I was talking to my wife and we were looking at the list of nominees and the list of Olympians in the Hall of Fame. And I said, 'Boy, now is the time I really have my work cut out for me, to be able to maintain the standard that our great Hall of Famers have achieved.'"
Also joining the newest class is Evelyn Ashford, a five-time Olympian between 1976 and 1992. The sprinter captured gold in the 100 meters and 4x100-meter relay at Los Angeles in 1984, silver in the 100 meters in Seoul in 1988. She earned her third consecutive 4x100-meter relay gold at Barcelona in 1992, at the age of 35.
Figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi, the ladies singles gold medalist at the Albertville Games in 1992, will also be inducted into the Class of 2006.
In the team category, the 1984 U.S. Olympic men's gymnastics squad will be inducted. In addition to capturing the team gold at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, Bart Conner, Tim Daggett, Mitch Gaylord, Jim Hartung, Scott Johnson and Peter Vidmar collected seven individual medals in the competition.
Herb Brooks, the mastermind behind the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team's 1980 "Miracle on Ice," will be inducted as a coach. Others inducted in special categories include Paralympic skier Diana Golden-Brosnihan, speedskater Jack Shea in the veterans category and broadcast executive Dick Ebersol as a special contributor.
The U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs was established in 1979 to celebrate the achievements of America's premier athletes in the modern Olympic Games. After a 12-year hiatus, the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame was revived in 2004. To date, 182 athletes, special contributors to the U.S. Olympic Movement, and six U.S. teams and have been enshrined.