John Smith named US Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame finalist, VOTE NOW!

By Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling | Aug. 12, 2019, 11:49 a.m. (ET)

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Widely recognized as one of the best American wrestlers in history John Smith, a two-time Olympic champion and four-time World champion, is a finalist for the United States Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame class of 2019.

With more World-level gold medals than any other U.S. wrestler, Smith, who competed at 62 kg, claimed Olympic titles at the 1988 Seoul Games and the 1992 Barcelona Games as well as World championships from 1987-1991.

He is only one of three U.S. wrestlers to earn two Olympic golds and currently holds the record for consecutive World/Olympic titles won with six.

Additionally, Smith is a two-time Pan American Games champion and a two-time Goodwill Games champion.

In 1990, Smith became the first wrestler in history to win the James E. Sullivan Award, which is presented annually to the country’s most outstanding amateur athlete. That same year, he was awarded the USOC Sportsman of the Year award.

Smith was named the U.S. Olympic men’s freestyle coach for the 2000 Sydney Games and helped Team USA to four Olympic medals, including one gold, one silver and two bronzes.

He’s served on many other World Championships coaching staffs with his most recent stint in 2017 as a women’s freestyle World Team coach.

Team USA fans can cast their vote at TeamUSA.org/Vote from today through Sept. 3 to help determine the class of 2019, which will mark the first class inducted into the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame since 2012.

The fan vote counts for 10 percent in the weighted total, while 60 percent is made up of Olympians and Paralympians and the remaining 30 percent coming from members of the USOPC family as well as media.

The finalists include 15 Olympians, nine Paralympians and three teams.

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.