Oscar de la Hoya Enshrined in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Class(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) - Boxing legend Oscar de la Hoya has been named a member of the 2008 United States Olympic Hall of Fame, joining an accomplished class of athletes from both the winter and summer Olympic Games. The 2008 Hall of Fame class is made up of nine individuals, including De La Hoya, one Paralympian, an Olympic Coach, Veteran, Team and a Special Contributor.
A 1992 Olympic gold medalist in the lightweight division, De La Hoya enjoyed an outstanding amateur career, capped by his victory at the Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. "The Golden Boy" took up the sport of boxing at only six-years-old, following his father and grandfather into the ring. He built an incredible 223-5 record during his thirteen years as an amateur, winning numerous national titles as well as a gold medal at the 1991 Goodwill Games. His amateur career culminated in a win over Germany's Marco Rudolph in the gold medal bout of the 1992 Olympics. The victory avenged a loss to Rudolph a year earlier at the World Championships.
"I am extremely honored to be recognized by the panel of voters for the Olympic Hall of Fame," said De La Hoya. "My Olympic gold medal means everything to me and that experience alone became the launching pad for my professional boxing career. I will never forget how wonderful it felt to represent my country atop the gold medal stand and for that honor, I am truly grateful."
Known as one of the greatest boxers of his generation, De La Hoya took the professional boxing game by storm following his gold medal. A 10-ten world champion, in six weight classes, "The Golden Boy" has fought and defeated the best in his sport. He continues to thrill his fans, and is currently preparing for his final professional contest, which will take place later this year.
The 2008 United States Olympic Committee Hall of Fame class was inducted on June 19 in Chicago, Ill. The awards-style ceremony will air on NBC, on August 3, less than one week before the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympic Games. De La Hoya addressed the event via videoconference due to the graduation ceremony at the Oscar de la Hoya Amino Charter High School taking place on the date of the induction.
The charter class of the U.S. Olympic Committee Hall of Fame was inducted in 1983 during ceremonies in Chicago and included 1960 Olympic gold medalist Cassius Clay, Jesse Owens and Jim Thorpe. De La Hoya is the seventh boxer to earn a spot in the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, joining Clay, Eddie Eagan, George Foreman, Joe Frazier, Ray Leonard and Floyd Patterson in enjoying the honor.
The Hall of Fame inductees were chosen by Olympians and Paralympians, members of the Olympic family as well as an online vote by fans. De La Hoya, volleyball player Karch Kiraly, wrestler Bruce Baumgartner, athletics athlete Joan Benoit, figure skater Brian Boitano, equestrian J. Michael Plumb, basketball athlete David Robinson, swimmer Amy Van Dyken, shooter Lones W. Wigger, Jr. and Paralympic swimmer John Morgan will be inducted as individuals. Figure skating coach Carlo Fassi will be inducted in the Coach category along with Olympic figure skating gold medalist Carol Heiss Jenkins in the Veteran category. The members of the 1996 Women's Gymnastics Team - Amanda Borden, Amy Chow, Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller, Dominique Moceanu, Jaycie Phelps and Kerri Strug - will also be honored in the Team category, as will legendary Hollywood producer Frank Marshall as the Special Contributor.