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Fan voting starts for U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame

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The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee announced finalists Monday for the organization’s Hall of Fame.

Fans can vote as part of a process that selects five Olympians, three Paralympians and one team from a final list of 15 Olympians, nine Paralympians and three teams. Other voters include U.S. Olympians and Paralympians, national governing bodies and multisport organizations, the USOPC board, select members of the media, and USOPC corporate partners.

The nominees are:

Olympic:

  • Gary Anderson, shooting: Gold medalist in 1964 and 1968
  • Greg Barton, canoe/kayak: First American to win kayaking gold (1988)
  • Laura Berg, softball: Center fielder, gold medalist in 1996, 2000 and 2004
  • Anne Donovan, basketball: Center, gold medalist in 1984 and 1998
  • Lisa Leslie, basketball: Second player to win four Olympic golds (1996-2008)
  • Nastia Liukin, gymnastics: 2008 all-around gold medalist, five total medals
  • John Mayasich, ice hockey: Gold medalist in 1960, leading scorer on silver-medal team in 1956
  • Misty May-Treanor, beach volleyball: Gold medalist (with Kerri Walsh Jennings) in 2004, 2008 and 2012
  • Jonny Moseley, freestyle skiing: Gold medalist in moguls in 1998
  • Apolo Anton Ohno, short-track speed skating: Eight medals in 2002, 2006 and 2010
  • Mark Reynolds, sailing: Gold medalist in 1992 and 2000
  • Angela Ruggiero, ice hockey: Gold medalist in 1998, other medals in 2002, 2006 and 2010, all-time leader in games played
  • John Smith, wrestling: Gold medalist in 1988 and 1992
  • Dara Torres, swimming: 12 medals from 1984 (age 17) to 2008 (age 41)
  • Brenda Villa, water polo: Gold medalist in 2012, other medals in 2000, 2004 and 2008

Paralympic:

  • Cheri Blauwet, track and field: Seven medals in three Paralympics, several major marathon wins
  • Candace Cable, track and field, Nordic skiing, alpine skiing: First American woman to win medals in summer and winter
  • Muffy Davis, cycling, alpine skiing: Four medals in skiing before switching to cycling and winning three golds
  • Bart Dodson, track and field: Eight gold medals in 1992 alone, 20 medals total over five Paralympics
  • Greg Mannino, alpine skiing: Six gold medals and 12 total over five Paralympics
  • Erin Popovich, swimming: 14 gold medals and 19 total over three Paralympics
  • Marla Runyan, Para track and field, Para-cycling, Olympic track and field: Six Paralympic medals, first legally blind American to compete in Olympics
  • Chris Waddell, alpine skiing, track and field: 12 Paralympic medals in skiing, one in track and field
  • Trischa Zorn, swimming: 52 medals, including 38 gold, over seven Paralympics

Team:

  • 1996 U.S. Olympic women’s basketball: Led by Leslie (19.5 points per game, 7.2 rebounds per game), Katrina McClain (8.2 rebounds per game) and Teresa Edwards (7.3 assists per game)
  • 1998 U.S. Olympic women’s ice hockey: Upset Canada 3-1 in final, team included Ruggiero, Cammi Granato and Tricia Dunn
  • 2010 U.S. Olympic four-man bobsled: Won gold medal with driver Steven Holcomb and push athletes Steve Mesler, Curtis Tomasevicz and Justin Olsen

Fan voting continues at TeamUSA.org until Sept. 3.

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U.S. water polo player details South Korea balcony collapse

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One moment, Kaleigh Gilchrist was celebrating an unprecedented third straight world championship for the U.S. women’s water polo team.

In the next moment, she was headed to a hospital in South Korea.

Gilchrist was partying with teammate Paige Hauschild and other competitors from the world championships when a balcony at a nightclub near the athletes’ village collapsed early Saturday morning, killing two people and creating a chaotic scene in the southern city of Gwangju.

“We were having the best night ever celebrating our win, and somehow, a freak accident happened,” Gilchrist told The Associated Press in a phone interview.

Gilchrist, a 27-year-old attacker from Newport Beach, Calif., who also was part of the United States’ gold medal-winning team at the Rio Olympics, sustained some deep lacerations on her left leg and got some stitches for cuts on her left thigh. But she said she had no broken bones or nerve damage.

Gilchrist had surgery later Saturday morning. She remained in the hospital Monday while doctors monitored her recovery, but she hoped to return to the U.S. on Tuesday.

She was counting her blessings, too.

“We are the lucky ones and our thoughts and prayers go out to the families who have lost loved ones,” she said.

Gilchrist, who also has traveled the world as an accomplished surfer, remembers only parts of the harrowing night.

Hours after the Americans’ 11-6 victory over Spain in the final, Gilchrist was on the balcony with Hauschild, U.S. men’s attacker Johnny Hooper and other athletes when it went down.

“It was all pretty quick, I think,” Gilchrist said. “But I remember falling and I talked to Johnny and we kind of thought the same thing: It’s like, we felt like (we were) falling for 10 seconds, which it probably ended up being one or two seconds. But everything kind of slowed down.”

Gilchrist said the railing of the balcony was lined with glued-down beer bottles that shattered when it collapsed. She thinks she was helped up before she made her way out of the nightclub with Hauschild.

When Gilchrist got outside, she realized the extent of her injuries and laid down on the sidewalk. She then got some help from some players on the U.S. men and Australian water polo teams, and Christopher Bates, a trainer for the U.S. men’s team, joined the group.

“Chris was kind of just the biggest blessing,” Gilchrist said. “He came, he’s a trainer, he put his belt around my leg as a tourniquet and he came in the ambulance with me.”

Gilchrist face-timed with her parents, Jenny and Sandy, and sister, Ali, right after she got hurt, and Bates and her U.S. teammates also provided updates. Larnie Boquiren, a trainer for the women’s team, and team doctor Seth Schmoll also helped take care of Gilchrist.

“My mom wanted to fly out, but I said ‘Don’t worry. I’m here with our trainer, Larnie, and Dr. Seth,’” Gilchrist said. “They’ve been so great to me, so I told my mom don’t worry and I’ll be home in no time.

“She still wanted to come, but it’s all good.”

Hauschild, Hooper and U.S. center Ben Hallock also got hurt. Hauschild got stitches on her right arm and Hooper needed stitches for cuts on his left hand. Hallock had some minor scrapes on his legs.

Gilchrist said she should know more about her recovery after she returns to the U.S., but she is hoping to be back in the pool with the team in a few months. The U.S. became the first team to win three straight world water polo titles with the victory in South Korea, and it is a big favorite to win a third consecutive gold at the Olympics next year.

“It’s awesome to be a part of history and I think there’s something special about our team,” Gilchrist told the AP. “It’s just a bummer that an incident like this has to bring headlines to our team and not just the way we play the game and the way we work and grind. I think there’s something to be said of the success and I think a lot of people could learn from us.”

MORE: Most experienced Olympian in history retires at 72

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2 dead, 8 world aquatics champs athletes hurt in S. Korea balcony collapse

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A balcony inside a nightclub in South Korea collapsed on Saturday, killing two people and injuring 16, including American and other athletes at the world swimming championships, officials said.

Hundreds were at the nightclub in the southern city of Gwangju when the collapse occurred next to the athletes’ village.

Two South Korean men died while 16 others were injured, police said. According to a police account, the injured include 10 foreigners, eight of them athletes who were in Gwangju to participate in the swimming championships.

Among the athletes were three Americans, two New Zealanders, one Dutch, one Italian and one Brazilian, a police officer said, requesting anonymity ahead of an official announcement. He said most had minor injuries but an American female water polo player required surgery. The other two Americans — a man and a woman — are also water polo players, the police officer said.

Police said they detained one of the nightclub’s co-owners and summoned three other club officials to investigate whether the collapsed balcony was an unauthorized structure.

“This is an awful tragedy,” said Christopher Ramsey, CEO of USA Water Polo. “Players from our men’s and women’s teams were celebrating the women’s world championship victory when the collapse occurred at a public club. Our hearts go out to the victims of the crash and their families.”

Among the Americans, Kaleigh Gilchrist of Newport Beach, California, suffered a deep left leg laceration and underwent surgery at a hospital in Gwangju, said Greg Mescall, director of communications for USA Water Polo. He said Paige Hauschild of Santa Barbara, California, suffered lacerations on the right arm and Johnny Hooper of Los Angeles on the left hand that required stitches.

Ben Hallock of Westlake Village, California, suffered minor scrapes on the legs, he said.

The anti-disaster agency said the injured also included two Uzbekistan exchange students. None of the injured was in life-threatening condition.

Members of the New Zealand men’s and women’s water polo teams were also at the nightclub. The men’s captain, Matt Small, described a chaotic scene and said that his team tried to help the injured.

″(It was) business as usual and then it literally collapsed beneath our feet,” Small said, speaking to New Zealand Radio Sport by phone. “None of the boys are hurt or injured though — so that’s good. But everyone’s a bit shaken up at the moment.”

“We did what we could but we couldn’t really do too much. Some of them were pretty dire cases,” he said. “We were more so just concerned about everyone else, we were trying to do a number count and make sure all the boys were there.”

The local organizing committee for the world swimming championships said that eight of the athletes attending the event were injured, most slightly.

A committee statement said seven of them had already returned to the athletes’ village after minor treatments at hospitals. It said one player had a leg lacerated and was to receive stitches at a hospital.

The organizing committee said it won’t disclose other personal information about the athletes at the request of their national teams.

FINA, international swimming’s governing body, said in a statement that it was “carefully monitoring the situation and will activate all measures to ensure health care and assistance is provided whenever necessary.”