Olympic champions and record holders Mildred ‘Babe’ Didrikson, Michael Johnson and Dan O’Brien
are the latest American track and field legends to be included among
the 24 inaugural members of the International Association of Athletics
Federation (IAAF) Hall of Fame.
IAAF President Lamine Diack made
the announcement in Times Square in New York City Wednesday as part of a
‘100 Kids – 100 metres – 100 years’ relay event to mark 100 years of
Diack was accompanied by IAAF
Athlete Ambassador Tirunesh Dibaba, the reigning Olympic 5,000m and
10,000m champion, and were joined by OÛªBrien, who was the surprise guest
Didrikson was the 1932 Los
Angeles Olympic champion in the javelin and 80m hurdles and silver
medallist in the high jump. She first equalled and then broke the world
record in the hurdles and also tied the world record in the high jump.
Johnson, regarded as the finest
combination 200m and 400m sprinter of all-time, won nine individual
Olympic and World Championships titles in the events. Johnson made
history at the 1995 World Championships when he became the first man to
win both events at a global championships, a feat he famously replicated
a year later at the Olympic Games in Atlanta. A former world record
holder at 200m, he has held the 400m world record since 1999.
A three-time World Outdoor
champion in the Decathlon, O’Brien is rightly considered one of the
finest multi-event athletes in history. The American record holder in
the decathlon, O’Brien is the former world record holder and also won
Olympic gold in 1996.
ÛÏIt gives me immense pleasure to
honor the historic records and achievements of Mildred Didriksen,
Michael Johnson and Dan O’Brien,Û commented Diack. “There can be few
more iconic American locations than New York CityÛªs Times Square and so
today is a most appropriate occasion on which to announce the inclusion
of three American greats, all-time legends of track and field athletics,
among the inaugural members of the IAAF Hall of Fame.Û
Profiles for Didrikson, Johnson
and O’Brien’s profiles in the Hall of Fame MembersÛª section can be found
here on the IAAF website: http://www.iaaf.org/mini/hof/Members/Members.aspx
To mark the IAAF Centenary, a
total of 24 athletes will become inaugural members of the IAAF Hall of
Fame in 2012, with the official induction ceremony taking place at the
IAAF Centenary Gala in Barcelona on Saturday, November 24, 2012.