(STILLWATER, Oklahoma / August 12, 2019) – Oklahoma State wrestling coach John Smith was named a finalist for the United States Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame class of 2019, USA Wrestling announced on Monday.
The two-time Olympic champion and four-time World gold medalist competed at 62 kilograms at the 1988 Seoul Games and the 1992 Games in Barcelona in addition to wrestling at the World Championships from 1987 to 1991.
Smith owns more World-level gold medals than any other American wrestler and is one of only three U.S. wrestlers to win two Olympic golds. To this day, he holds the record for consecutive World/Olympic titles with six. The Cowboy head coach was a two time Pan American and Goodwill Games champion as well.
In 1990 coach Smith became first wrestler in history to win the James E. Sullivan Award. The honor is presented annually to the country’s most outstanding amateur athlete. In the same year, Smith was named the USOC Sportsman of the Year.
The Del City, Okla., native served as a coach on multiple World Championship staffs, most recently in 2017 as a women’s freestyle World Team coach. He was named USA Wrestling Women’s Co-Coach of the Year for his role with that team.
Team USA fans can cast their vote at TeamUSA.org/Vote from today through Sept. 3, to help determine the class of 2019. This year’s class will mark the first inducted into the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame since 2012.
The fan vote counts for 10 percent in the weighted total, and 60 percent is made up of Olympians and Paralympians. The remaining 20 percent comes from members of the USOPC family and 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.