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Oklahoma State wrestling: John Smith named US Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame finalist

Smith holds the record for consecutive World/Olympic championships with six.

Summer Olympics

Oklahoma State wrestling coach John Smith is a finalist for the United States Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame class of 2019, the Hall’s Committee announced Monday.

Smith, who competed at 62 kilograms in men’s freestyle, is widely regarded as the greatest American wrestler to ever step on the mat. After going 154-7-2 with two individual NCAA championships at OSU, Smith won six consecutive World Championships/Olympic gold medals, starting at the 1987 Worlds in Clermont-Ferrand, France. He is one of three American wrestlers to win two Olympic golds, taking the top of the podium at the 1988 Seoul Games and the 1992 Barcelona Games.

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

After his wrestling days were over on the mat, he served as the U.S. Olympic men’s freestyle coach for the 2000 Sydney Games, where the U.S. won four medals. He has served on multiple other U.S. coaching staffs since then.

Fans can help Smith reach the Hall by casing votes until Sept. 3 at TeamUSA.org/Vote. The fan vote will make up 10 percent, while 60 percent will come from Olympians and Paralympians and the other 30 percent from USOPC family members and media, which were not made public.

The class of 2019 will be announced Monday, Sept. 23, and an induction ceremony will be Friday, Nov. 1 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame finalists for 2019 include:

Olympic

Gary Anderson, shooting
Greg Barton, canoe/kayak
Laura Berg, softball
Anne Donovan, basketball
Lisa Leslie, basketball
Nastia Liukin, gymnastics
John Mayasich, ice hockey
Misty May-Treanor, beach volleyball
Jonny Moseley, freestyle skiing
Apolo Anton Ohno, short track speedskating
Mark Reynolds, sailing
Angela Ruggiero, ice hockey
John Smith, wrestling
Dara Torres, swimming
Brenda Villa, water polo

Paralympic

Cheri Blauwet, track and field
Candace Cable, track and field, Nordic skiing, alpine skiing
Muffy Davis, cycling, alpine skiing
Bart Dodson, track and field
Greg Mannino, alpine skiing
Erin Popovich, swimming
Marla Runyan, Para track and field, Para-cycling, Olympic track and field
Chris Waddell, alpine skiing, track and field
Trischa Zorn, swimming

Team

1996 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team
1998 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team
2010 U.S. Olympic Four-Man Bobsled Team