SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 23: The Olympic Flag waves as part of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony at Fisht Olympic Stadium on February 23, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)

Athletes like Muhammad Ali, Dorothy Hamill, Caitlyn Jenner, Mary Lou Retton, George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard, Scott Hamilton, Brian Boitano, Greg Louganis, and Kristi Yamaguchi have all previously been inducted

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March 11, 2019 02:34 PM

The U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame is returning with a new induction class in 2019 — and fans can help choose who will make the cut!

On Monday, the United States Olympic Committee announced that the Hall of Fame will expand its 139 current members for the first time in 7 years. The honors were established in 1979, with its introductory members named in 1983 (though no new members were added between 1992 and 2003).

Five Olympic athletes, three Paralympic athletes and two legends will be inducted this year alongside one team, one coach, and a special contributor, the USOC said in a press release.

A new group of 13 inductees with be added to the roster every two years thereafter, with the full list living at the U.S. Olympic Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado (set to open in early 2020).

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The nomination window for potential 2019 honorees will open Tuesday, March 12, and run until April 2. Members of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic communities, as well as individuals and national governing bodies, may submit their nomination forms, naming up to five Olympians, three Paralympians, two legends, one team, one coach and one special contributor. 

Once the nomination window closes, the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame nominating committee — made up of members from the U.S. Olympians and Paralympians Association, Athletes’ Advisory Council, Paralympic sport, media, plus the USOC Board of Directors and a USOC executive and one at-large committee member — will select the finalists for the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019.

They’ll make the public announcement on August 12, at which time the voting window opens. Olympic and Paralympic alumni can vote, as can Team USA fans (it’ll be the first major sports hall of fame to incorporate fan voting into the selection process). Votes can be submitted once per day through Sept. 3.

The final results will be announced in late September, with an induction ceremony taking place on Friday, Nov. 1 — in conjunction with the all-alumni U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team Reunion in Colorado Springs.

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Said USOC chief executive officer Sarah Hirshland in a statement from the news release: “The U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame celebrates the incredible history of the Olympic and Paralympic athletes who have represented our country with excellence and distinction since the first modern Games in 1896. We are proud to honor the legacies of these athletes, along with the teams, coaches and contributors who inspired our nation on and off the field of play. With the revival of the hall of fame, their accomplishments and shining examples will live on to inspire future generations of Americans.”

In addition to the refreshed U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, USOC also launched a new, virtual hall of fame at TeamUSA.org, chronicling the history and achievements of all members.

Athletes like Muhammad Ali, Dorothy Hamill, Caitlyn Jenner, Mary Lou RettonGeorge Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard, Scott Hamilton, Brian BoitanoGreg Louganis, and Kristi Yamaguchi have made the cut so far.

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