Dara Torres, Brenda Villa Among Finalists For US Olympic, Paralympic Hall of Fame

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee announced the finalists for the US Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame class of 2019 on Monday. Swimmer Dara Torres and Paralympic swimmers Erin Popovich and Trischa Zorn were among the 24 finalists. Water polo player Brenda Villa is also a finalist.

Votes can be cast here. Voting will close September 3.

Dara Torres, Swimming

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

  • 12 Olympic medals – 4 gold, 4 silver, 4 bronze
  • first American to swim at five Olympics
  • set three American records at age 41

Brenda Villa, Water Polo

Brenda Villa

Photo Courtesy: Reuters Laszlo Balogh

  • 4x Olympian, 4x gold medalist
  • 3x FINA World Champion
  • FINA women’s water polo player of the decade

Erin Popovich, Paralympic Swimming

Photo Courtesy: Swimming World Archive

  • 3x Paralympian, 19x medalist
  • 7x gold medalist at 2004 Games
  • 2x ESPY winner

Trischa Zorn, Paralympic Swimming

  • 7x Paralympian,  52x medalist
  • undefeated at every individual Paralympic race from 1980 – 1992
  • Paralympic Hall of Fame inductee

The finalists will be narrowed down to five Olympians, three Paralympians and one team for induction into the class of 2019. In addition to the public vote, U.S. Olympians and Paralympians and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic family also vote on the inductees. The Olympic and Paralympic family consists of the Athletes’ Advisory Council, National Governing Bodies, Multi-Sport Organizations, USOPC board of directors, members of the media, and corporate partners.

“Congratulations to the athletes and teams being celebrated as finalists for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame,” said Dick Fosbury, U.S. Olympians and Paralympians Association president. “These individuals have already achieved so much both on and off the field of play during their careers, breaking barriers and inspiring the next generation of athletes. On behalf of USOPA, we are honored to have these individuals represent the best of Team USA.”

Starting in 2019, the hall of fame will see increased Paralympic representation to reflect the burgeoning contributions of U.S. athletes to the Paralympic Movement, and now reflects the U.S. Team sizes at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

In addition to Olympians, Paralympians and a team, the class of 2019 will include two legends, one coach and one special contributor determined by the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame nominating committee.

The class of 2019 will be announced on Monday, Sept. 23, and inducted on Friday, Nov. 1, during a ceremony in conjunction with the all-alumni U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team Reunion in Colorado Springs. Red carpet arrivals, interviews and the induction awards dinner at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center will be open to the media; credential information will be available in October.

Opening in early 2020, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado, will become the new permanent home for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame.

The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee contributed to this post.

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