The US Olympic Committee announced today that voting is open for the US Olympic Hall of Fame and Cammi Granato and the gold-medal winning 1998 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team are among the list of eligible nominees.
Women’s hockey in the US benefitted immensely by the success of the US Olympic Women’s Hockey Team at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, where the US Women’s hockey team went undefeated, beating the much-favored Canada 3-1 and winning their first gold medal. That year was the first year for women’s ice hockey at the Olympics and set the stage for the growth in popularity of women’s hockey in the US.
The captain of that 1998 winning team was none other than Cammi Granato who played a key role is the US women’s hockey team’s success as well as the success of women’s hockey across the nation. Granato was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November 2010.
Granato, the younger sister of former NHL player Tony Granato, graduated at Providence College. She played hockey for Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec,Canada. In June 1997, New York Islanders general manager Mike Milbury extended an invitation to Granato to attend Islanders training camp. Granato eventually declined.
From 2001 to 2003, Granato played for the Vancouver Griffins and the NWHL. She has been a recipient of the Lester Patrick Award (2007), inducted into the International Hockey Hall of Fame (2008), the US Hockey Hall of Fame (2009). With the national team, Granato Granato recorded 343 points (186-157) in 205 games.
USAhockey.com says, “Once voting closes, the public vote totals will be added to the vote totals of Olympians, Paralympians and U.S. Olympic Family members to determine the six Olympians, one Paralympian and one team that will make up the 2012 class. The U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Class of 2012 will be announced in May and inducted on July 12 during an induction ceremony at the Harris Theater in Chicago, Ill.
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.
The nominee list consists of 18 individual Olympic athletes, five Paralympic athletes and five teams. To find out more about the Olympic Hall of Fame, click here.
USAhockeycom says fans are invited to vote for those athletes and teams they feel are most deserving of a spot in the Class of 2012 by clicking here. Voters will be allowed to vote once per day, per category, through April 9, 2012