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Thursday, December 8, 2005
Brooks, Hayes, Ashford join U.S. Olympic Hall

Associated Press

"Miracle on Ice" 1980 hockey coach Herb Brooks, track stars Bob Hayes and Evelyn Ashford and the 1984 U.S. men's gymnastics team were inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Thursday night in Chicago.

Other inductees included: gymnast Shannon Miller, figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi, swimmer Rowdy Gaines, Jack Shea in the Veterans category, paralympian Diana Golden-Brosnihan and NBC sports chief Dick Ebersol.

Brooks led a team of college players to the greatest upset in hockey history, the "Miracle on Ice" victory over the mighty Soviet machine in the 1980 semifinals. The Americans went on to win the gold medal, their only one since 1960.

Brooks also played on the 1964 and '68 teams, and was the last player cut in 1960. He died in a car accident in 2003. Some members from the 1980 team, Jim Craig, Mike Eurizone and Jack O'Callahan, along with Brooks' wife Patti, son Dan and daughter Kelly, were at Thursday's ceremony.

Hayes, the only man to win an Olympic gold medal and a Super Bowl ring, was dubbed the "World's Fastest Human" after he won a pair of gold medals at the 1964 Olympics. He tied the world record in the 100 meters, then anchored the 400 relay team that set a world record. After his track and field career, "Bullet Bob" spent 11 years in the NFL and was part of the Dallas Cowboys' team that won the Super Bowl after the 1971 season.

Hayes died of kidney failure in 2002.

Ashford won five Olympic medals, four of them gold. She won the 100 meters at the Los Angeles Games, and helped the Americans win three straight golds in the 400 relay at the 1984, '88 and '92 Games. Ashford made five Olympic teams, but only competed in four because of the United States' boycott of the 1980 Games.

Led by Bart Conner, Peter Vidmar and Mitch Gaylord, the 1984 men's gymnastics team won eight medals, including the United States' first gold in the team competition. Vidmar won a gold on the pommel horse and a silver in the all-around, and Conner took gold on the parallel bards. Gaylord won silver on vault, and added bronze medals on parallel bars and still rings.

Miller is the most decorated American gymnast with seven Olympic medals, two of them gold. She helped lead "The Magnificent Seven" to the team gold in 1996, then added another on balance beam.

Gaines won three golds at the 1984 Games. Yamaguchi was the gold medalist at the Albertville Games and the world champion in 1991 and 1992.

Shea was the patriarch of the United States' first three-generation Olympic family. A speedskater, he won gold in the 500 and 1,500 meters at the 1932 Olympics in his hometown of Lake Placid, N.Y. His son, Jim Shea Sr., was a member of the U.S. ski team in 1964, and grandson Jimmy Shea carried a picture of his grandfather in his helmet when he won gold in skeleton in 2002, a few weeks after the eldest Shea died.