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Lisa Fernandez, Gail Devers to be Inducted Into U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  05/14/2012

May 14, 2012

Former Bruins and Olympic gold medalists Lisa Fernandez (softball) and Gail Devers (track and field) will be inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame presented by Allstate, as announced by the United States Olympic Committee.

The induction ceremony will take place on July 12 in Chicago. The ceremony will air in a nationally-televised broadcast on NBC Sports Network on August 24 at 7 p.m. ET.

The Class of 2012 is comprised of six Olympians, one Paralympian, one team, as well as three additional individuals: a coach, veteran and a special contributor.

Also being inducted is the 2004 USA Softball Team, which included former Bruins Fernandez, Tairia (Mims) Flowers, Amanda Freed, Stacey Nuveman and Natasha Watley.

"I am completely overwhelmed by this honor," said 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."

Fernandez is a three-time Olympic gold medalist, four-time All-American and is considered one of the most versatile softball players of all time. During her three Olympic Games, USA Softball went 23-4 and Fernandez went 7-2 as a pitcher. She maintained a .333 batting average and currently holds four Olympic records.

At the 1996 Atlanta Games, Fernandez pitched a near-perfect performance against Australia before earning the save and a U.S. victory over China in the gold-medal game. Fernandez went 2-1 at the Sydney Games in 2000, earning her second gold medal and etching her name in the Olympic record books with the most strikeouts in an Olympic softball game (25) and the fewest runs allowed (two runs in 29.2 innings).

At age 33, Fernandez exploded at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. She rewrote the Olympic record books both from the plate and from the circle, setting the current Olympic record for best batting average at .545. She set a new mark for most Olympic doubles, contributed eight RBI's, tallied a 4-0 record as a pitcher and sealed the U.S. gold medal with a 5-1 win over Australia.

Fernandez's dominance in the 2004 Olympic Games earned her the distinction of USA Softball's Player of the Year and the 2004 ESPY for Best Female Olympic Performance.

The 2004 U.S. Olympic Women's Softball Team, coined the "Real Dream Team" on the cover of Sports Illustrated, will go down in history as one of the most dominant teams in Olympic history. With a perfect 9-0 record and a string of eight consecutive shutouts, this team lived up to the hype. In 2004, the team outscored its opponents 51-1 in nine games in Athens and did not allow a run until the sixth inning of the gold medal game against Australia.

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.

One of the great 100-meter sprinters and hurdlers in track and field history, Devers was a two-time gold medalist at the 1987 Pan American Games before making her first Olympic team in 1988, the same year she set an American record as a national champion. Devers did not compete from 1988-1990 as she faced a career-threatening battle with Graves disease.

When Devers reentered Olympic competition, she upset the field by winning the 100 meters at the 1992 Barcelona Games. In 1993 and 1995, Devers earned her first two world championships before becoming the second woman to defend her Olympic gold-medal title at the 1996 Atlanta Games.


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