Teresa Edwards named to 2009 U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Class
The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) named five-time Olympian and four-time gold medalist Teresa Edwards as a member of theÂ 2009 class to be inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame presented by Allstate.
Teresaâ€™s statement on being inducted:
For me, it’s the highest of highs because I’ve always looked at the Olympics as being the best that you could possibly get for women’s basketball. For me, it’s the most important honor ever. To be in the company of Muhammad Ali and Wilma Rudolph, that’s huge. It’s kind of like, pinch me, because I still can’t believe it.
There’s too many memories from the Olympics to pick just one. I think the greatest has always been my first. You can never top the first time. Even though I did return, you can never top that feeling of everything being so wonderful and being the first time. I think ’96 was huge because it changed the face of the women’s game in the States. To be a part of the ’96 team, that’s probably my all-time greatest team. Just the magnitude of it all, every Olympics had an equal importance to me and the reason I was able to continue to go back. I have a lot of great memories, a lot of great coaches, I’ve had a lot of great teammates, a lot of great travel. Most of all, you can’t top the feeling you get once you step on top of that podium and get that gold medal around your neck. That’s the biggest, brightest moment an athlete can have
Teresa Edwards is the most decorated Olympic basketball player, male or female, with four gold medals and one bronze medal in five Olympics. She is the USAâ€™s only five-time Olympic basketball player and one of only three five-time Olympic basketball players in the world, joining Oscar Schmidt of Brazil and Andrew Gaze of Australia. She is also one of only three U.S. Olympians to win gold in four different Olympic Games, joining former teammate Lisa Leslie and sprinter Carl Lewis. Only five other non-U.S. athletes have accomplished that feat.
Edwards played on the 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996 and 2000 U.S. Olympic Teams. Those teams combined to achieve a 31-1 record. Only the 1992 team failed to win gold, falling in the semifinals to the Unified Team, but still salvaged bronze.
Finalists must be retired from Olympic competition for at least four years following the last Olympic competition to qualify. Five individuals are inducted in each Hall of Fame Class. The U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Class of 2009 will be formally introduced and honored August 12 at a banquet-style induction ceremony at McCormick Place in Chicago.
The U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame was established in 1979 to celebrate the achievements of America’s premier athletes in the modern Olympic Games. The first U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame class was inducted in 1983 during ceremonies in Chicago. In 2004, after a 12-year hiatus, the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame was revived through the support of the Allstate Insurance Company as the presenting sponsor.