Two Springfield College Alums Nominated for the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Class of 2009May 14, 2009
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., May 14, 2009 -- The nominees for the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Class of 2009 have been announced, and the list for individual honors includes two people with Springfield College connections.
Jeff Blatnik - Olympic wrestlerJeff Blatnik ’79 won a gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, making him and teammate Steve Fraser the first Americans to win gold in Olympic Greco-Roman history. He overcame Hodgkin’s lymphoma two years before the Olympics and retired following a second bout with the disease. He now coaches high school wrestling in New York State and is a motivational speaker.
Willye White - Olympic long jumper and sprinterWillye White, who received an honorary Doctor of Humanics degree in 1999, competed in five Olympic games as a long jumper and sprinter. White was the first American woman to win a medal, a silver, in the long jump in the 1956 Melbourne Games and won a second silver as part of the 400-meter relay team at the 1964 Tokyo Games. She also competed in the 1960, 1968, and 1972 Olympic Games, and she passed away in 2007.
The U.S. Olympic Committee will induct five individual athletes and one team, Paralympian, coach, veteran, and special contributor. Please click here to vote for your nominees for induction into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame before the June 12 deadline. Inductees will be announced in July.