Friday, August 14, 2009

Picabo joins U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame

Induction ceremony Wednesday in Chicago


Wednesday evening in Chicago, U.S. Ski Team great Picabo Street, skiing veteran Andrea Mead Lawrence and Paralympian Sarah Will were inducted as members of the Class of 2009 to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.

"Something like this is a really nice reminder that I accomplished something great and that it still affects people in a positive way. It's really a huge, huge honor—one of those kind of honors that's hard to put words to," said three-time Olympian Picabo Street in a U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) press release.

A native of Triumph, Street grew up in the Wood River Valley and learned to ski here.

Street first joined the U.S. Ski Team in 1989 and earned a silver medal at the 1994 Olympic Winter Games in the downhill. The Sun Valley native left her mark in Olympic history in 1998, taking gold in the Nagano super G by a mere hundredth of a second.

This year's U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame class was comprised of five Olympians, one Paralympian, one team, as well as three additional individuals: a coach, veteran and a special contributor.

Andrea Mead Lawrence skied at three Olympic Winter Games, including the 1952 Oslo Games where she won gold medals in slalom and giant slalom. The only U.S. woman to win two skiing gold medals at one Olympic Winter Games, Mead Lawrence succumbed to cancer on March 30 at age 76. She is survived by five children and four grandchildren.

When a serious skiing accident paralyzed her from the waist down, Will took up mono skiing and was back on the slopes just one year later. Four years after her start in the monoski, she competed in her first Paralympic Games, winning gold in downhill and super G in 1992 in Albertville, France. It was the first of her 12 Paralympic gold medals.

Wednesday night's star-studded inductee list also includes Michael Johnson (athletics), Teresa Edwards (basketball), Willye White (athletics), Mary T. Meagher (swimming) the 1992 Men's Basketball Team, longtime Men's Gymnastics Team coach Abie Grossfeld, and special contributor Peter Ueberroth.

Amazingly, members of the talented group of athletes, teams and coaches have been a part of a combined 19 Olympic and Paralympic Games and brought home 38 medals.

The ceremony was held at McCormick Place in Chicago. It will air in a nationally televised broadcast on NBC local channel 7 on Saturday, Sept. 5 at 2:00 p.m. ET.




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