Former Auburn swimming great and Olympian Rowdy Gaines will be inducted in the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Class of 2006 the U.S. Olympic Committee annnounced on Wednesday afternoon.
"To be inducted in this class of nominees is something dreams are made of. It is an incredible honor and very humbling," Gaines, who currently serves as USA Swimming's Chief Fundraising and Alumni Officer, said.
"I have always considered the swimming family to be a small group, but I feel that way about the Olympic family as well. I really appreciate all of the support I have received from our swimming family throughout this process."
Gaines is part of a phenomenal 2006 class of inductees, which also includes track & field athletes Evelyn Ashford and Bob Hayes, gymnast Shannon Miller, figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi, the 1984 men's gymnastics team, ice hockey coach Herb Brooks and Paralympic skier Diana Golden-Brosnihan.
Also being honored are speedskater Jack Shea in the veterans category and special contributor Dick Ebersol.
"Rowdy is our sport's ambassador to the world," said Chuck Wielgus, Executive Director of USA Swimming. "As an Olympian, his athletic achievements were awe inspiring and heroic. But even more meaningful to those of us in the swimming family, Rowdy Gaines is a world class human being. We could not ask for a better role model for our youth, a better All-American hero for our sport, and a better friend and colleague."
Gaines, a two-time Olympian (1980, 1984) and 17-time national champion, swam to three gold medals at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, winning in the 100m freestyle, 400m freestyle relay and 400m medley relay.
He was also a member of the 1980 Olympic Swim Team that boycotted the Olympics held in Moscow. Known as the voice for swimming, Gaines called his fourth Olympic telecast for NBC at the 2004 Games in Athens.
While at Auburn, Gaines collected 22 All-American honors and was chosen over Herschel Walker as the Southeastern Conference Athlete of the Year in 1981.
An eight-time NCAA Champion, Gaines also garnered six SEC individual titles during his Tiger career. Gaines joins 13 other swimmers who have been inducted in the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame since the charter class of 1983.
The most recent swimming >inductees were Matt Biondi and Janet Evans in 2004.The Class of 2006 will be honored during the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Dec. 8 at the Harris Theatre in Chicago, Ill.