March 16, 2004
The United States Olympic Committee has announced the return of the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, along with a list of finalists eligible to become members of the Class of 2004. The Hall, inactive since 1992, will announce the induction of six individual athletes, one team and one paralympian on July 1 in Chicago.
This year's individual finalists include track & field stars Evelyn Ashford, Joan Benoit, Valerie Brisco, Florence Griffith Joyner and Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Athletes from other sports include Greg Barton (Canoe/Kayak), Bruce Baumgartner (Wrestling), Matt Biondi (Swimming), Bonnie Blair (Speedskating), Jeff Blatnick (Wrestling), Oscar de la Hoya (Boxing), Janet Evans (Swimming), Rowdy Gaines (Swimming), Dan Jansen (Speedskating), Mary T. Meagher (Swimming), Shannon Miller (Gymnastics), Tracie Ruiz (Synchronized Swimming), John Smith (Wrestling) and Kristi Yamaguchi (Figure Skating). The team finalists are the 1976 Women's Swimming 4x100m Freestyle Relay, the 1988 Women's Track and Field 4x100m Relay, the 1992 Men's Basketball team, the 1996 Women's Soccer team, the 1996 Women's Gymnastics squad and the 1998 Women's Ice Hockey team.
The Hall's nominating committee also will select a veteran, an Olympian who competed 12 Olympiads (48 years) prior to the ceremony, and a special contributor, one who has demonstrated extraordinary service to enhancing the Olympic Movement in the United States, to be honored.