LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) — Olympic gold medalists Tristan Gale Geisler, Steve Mesler and Vonetta Flowers are among a six-person class of enshrinees to the USA Bobsled and Skeleton Hall of Fame.
Olympic silver medalist Randy Jones, driving pioneer Jimmy Morgan and longtime NASCAR driver Geoff Bodine — who helped develop the sled that Steven Holcomb drove to gold at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics — are now Hall of Famers as well.
They are part of the eighth USABS Hall of Fame class that was unveiled Wednesday; a celebration will be scheduled when the inductees can safely gather, the federation said.
“These six people are titans of our sports, and we are honored to recognize their achievements as the newest members of our Hall of Fame,” USABS CEO Aron McGuire said. “Our current success is thanks to the hard work, dedication, and success of the people that have come before us and who’ve paved the way for the future. We are grateful for their contributions and we’re excited to celebrate their accomplishments.”
Gale Geisler won the 2002 Olympic skeleton gold medal at the Salt Lake Games — doing so in her hometown and winning the inaugural women’s Olympic skeleton event. She was also a world championship bronze medalist in 2003.
Mesler was part of 39 top-three World Cup finishes, the most of any U.S. push athlete. He was a three-time Olympian, a world champion and part of the four-man sled that Holcomb drove to gold at the 2010 Vancouver Games.
Flowers was the push athlete on the sled that won the first women’s bobsled Olympic gold in 2002, teaming with Jill Bakken for that gold. She became the first Black athlete to win a Winter Olympic gold medal.
Jones was a four-time Olympian and silver medalist at the 2002 Salt Lake Games in the four-man sled driven by Todd Hays. That was the first time since 1956 that the U.S. won an Olympic medal in men’s bobsled.
Morgan was the top U.S. driver from the mid-1970s until 1981, when he died at that season’s world championships after an on-track crash in Cortina, Italy. Morgan — whose brother John is also in the USABS Hall of Fame — is the only U.S. bobsledder to have been killed in a crash during an international competition.
Bodine helped create the “Bo-Dyn” project, one where the same principles that went into auto racing were turned into ways to build faster bobsleds. The project’s most famous work was the “Night Train” that Holcomb drove and Mesler helped push to that 2010 four-man gold.