Michael Phelps, Lindsey Vonn among Team USA Hall of Fame inductees

Michael Phelps

Michael PhelpsLindsey VonnNatalie CoughlinMia Hamm and Michelle Kwan headline the 2022 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame class.

The first class to be inducted since 2019 also includes an Olympic team (the 1976 U.S. women’s swimming 4x100m freestyle relay), a coach (Pat Summitt), two legends (Alpine skier Gretchen Fraser and hurdler Roger Kingdom) and a special contributor (Billie Jean King).

The Paralympians in the class: swimmer Trischa Zorn-Hudson, the all-time leader with 55 medals, including 41 golds, plus Alpine skier and cyclist Muffy Davis and David Kiley, who played basketball and raced in Alpine skiing and track and field. The Paralympic team selected is the 2002 sled hockey team.

The inductees were chosen by voting from the public, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic family, including athletes, and media.

The Hall of Fame will induct classes every two years moving forward. Previously, there were annual classes from 1983-92 and biennial classes from 2004-12 before it was revived for a 2019 class and now 2022.

Though Phelps retired in 2016 with Olympic records for medals (28) and gold medals (23), he was not part of the 2019 class that included John Carlos, Tommie Smith, Lisa Leslie, Nastia Liukin, Misty May-Treanor, Apolo Anton Ohno and Dara Torres (all of whom retired years before Phelps did).

Vonn, who retired in 2019, is the lone American woman to win an Olympic downhill title. She also holds the female Alpine skiing record of 82 World Cup victories. She is the fourth Olympic Alpine skier to be inducted after Andrea Mead LawrencePicabo Street and Phil Mahre.

Coughlin, who retired from international competition in 2016, shares a unique Olympic record. She won a medal in all 12 Olympic events that she entered, matching Finnish runner Paavo Nurmi and German dressage rider Isabell Werth.

Hamm, the face of U.S. soccer in the late 1990s and early 2000s, is the second soccer player to make the Hall of Fame after teammate Kristine Lilly. Hamm and Lilly were also part of the 1996 U.S. Olympic women’s soccer team that was previously inducted.

Kwan, an Olympic silver and bronze medalist and five-time world champion, is the eighth figure skater to make the hall, joining a group that includes Olympic gold medalists Dick Button, Dorothy Hamill and Peggy Fleming.

Other finalists who did not make the induction class included Summer Olympic champions Kristin Armstrong (cycling), Kayla Harrison (judo) and John Smith (wrestling) and Winter Olympic champions Shani Davis (speed skating), Cammi Granato (hockey) and Bode Miller (Alpine skiing).

An induction ceremony is scheduled for Jan. 24 in Colorado Springs, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic base.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

IOC gives more time to pick 2030 Olympic host, studies rotating Winter Games


The 2030 Winter Olympic host, expected to be Salt Lake City or Sapporo, Japan, is no longer targeted to be decided before next fall, the IOC said in announcing wider discussions into the future of the Winter Games, including the possibility of rotating the Games within a pool of hosts.

The IOC Future Host Commission was granted more time to study factors, including climate change, that could impact which cities and regions host future Winter Olympics and Paralympics. The 2030 Winter Games host is not expected to be decided before or at an IOC session next September or October.

Hosts have traditionally been chosen by IOC members vote seven years before the Games, though recent reforms allow flexibility on the process and timeline. For example, the 2024 and 2028 Games were awarded to Paris and Los Angeles in a historic double award in 2017. The 2032 Summer Games were awarded to Brisbane last year without a traditional bid race.

There are three interested parties for the 2030 Winter Olympics, the IOC said Tuesday without naming them. Previously, Salt Lake City, Sapporo and Vancouver were confirmed as bids. Then in October, the British Columbia government said it would not support a Vancouver bid, a major setback, though organizers did not say that decision ended the bid. All three cities are attractive as past Winter Games hosts with existing venues.

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee officials have said Salt Lake City is a likelier candidate for 2034 than 2030, but could step in for 2030 if asked.

The future host commission outlined proposals for future Winter Olympics, which included rotating hosts within a pool of cities or regions and a requirement that hosts have an average minimum temperature below freezing (32 degrees) for snow competition venues at the time of the Games over a 10-year period.

The IOC Executive Board gave the commission more time to study the proposals and other factors impacting winter sports.

The IOC board also discussed and will continue to explore a potential double awarding of the 2030 and 2034 Winter Olympic hosts.

Also Tuesday, the IOC board said that Afghanistan participation in the 2024 Olympics will depend on making progress in safe access to sports for women and young girls in the country.

On Monday, Human Rights Watch urged the IOC to suspend Afghanistan until women and girls can play sport in the country.

In a press release, the IOC board expressed “serious concern and strongly condemned the latest restrictions imposed by the Afghan authorities on women and young girls in Afghanistan, which prevent them from practicing sport in the country.” It urged Afghanistan authorities to “take immediate action at the highest level to reverse such restrictions and ensure safe access to sport for women and young girls.”

The IOC board also announced that North Korea’s National Olympic Committee will be reinstated when its suspension is up at the end of the year.

In September 2021, the IOC banned the North Korean NOC through the end of 2022, including banning a North Korean delegation from participating in the Beijing Winter Games, after it chose not to participate in the Tokyo Games.

North Korea, formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, was the only one of 206 National Olympic Committees to withdraw from Tokyo. The country made its choice in late March 2021, citing a desire “to protect our athletes from the global health crisis caused by the malicious virus infection.”

The IOC said in September 2021 that it “provided reassurances for the holding of safe Games and offered constructive proposals to find an appropriate and tailor-made solution until the very last minute (including the provision of vaccines), which were systematically rejected by the PRK NOC.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Olympic champion Justine Dufour-Lapointe leaves moguls for another skiing discipline

Justine Dufour-Lapointe

Justine Dufour-Lapointe, the 2014 Olympic moguls champion, is leaving the event to compete in freeriding, a non-Olympic skiing discipline.

“After three Olympic cycles and 12 years on the World Cup circuit, I felt that I needed to find a new source of motivation and had to push my limits even more so I can reach my full potential as a skier,” the 28-year-old Montreal native said in a social media video, according to a translation from French. “Today, I am starting a new chapter in my career. … I want to perfect myself in another discipline. I want to connect with the mountain differently. Above all, I want to get out of my comfort zone in a way I’ve never done before.”

Dufour-Lapointe said she will compete on the Freeride World Tour, a series of judged competitions described as:

There‘s a start gate at the summit and a finish gate at the bottom. That’s it. Best run down wins. It truly is that simple. Think skiers and snowboarders choosing impossible-looking lines through cornices and cliff-faces and nasty couloirs. Think progressive: big jumps, mach-speed turns and full-on attack. Think entertaining.

Dufour-Lapointe has retired from moguls skiing, according to a Freeride World Tour press release, though she did not explicitly say that in social media posts Tuesday.

At the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, Dufour-Lapointe denied American Hannah Kearney‘s bid to become the first freestyle skier to repeat as Olympic champion. Older sister Chloé took silver in a Canadian one-two.

Dufour-Lapointe also won the world title in 2015, then Olympic silver in 2018 behind Frenchwoman Perrine Laffont.

Chloé announced her retirement in September. A third Dufour-Lapointe Olympic moguls skier, Maxime, retired in 2018.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!