Hall of Fame 2008 event
The Hall of Fame honours the athletes involved but it is also about helping to build their legacy in inspiring the next generation of athletes.
David Holding described what the award meant to him, and the impact he hoped the Hall of Fame would have on future generations of athletes: ‘As a Paralympian I hope this inspires younger Paralympians for 2012 and beyond. The Paralympic movement is always improving and gaining more publicity. It is always worth giving it a go at any level whether you are doing it just for enjoyment or are going to be able to go on to be in a future Paralympic team. I have had a lot of enjoyment from the sport. It is great to receive something like this in recognition of my career. It is an honour.’
Sally Gunnell joked to those gathered at the ceremony that it had been a long time since she won an award but paid tribute to what the Hall of Fame can achieve and to the efforts of the many people within the sport. She said.’ Athletics taught me so much, it’s only when you retire that you appreciate what the world of athletics is and if anything it’s a chance today to thank everybody who has been so involved for so many years. It made me the person I was I would never have gone on and won those titles if people hadn’t been there. I hope this Hall of Fame inspires youngsters to get into the sport as that is what we need. It is a fantastic sport and the more kids we get into it to enjoy it the better.’
The 2008 ceremony was held at the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull. Those athletes short listed but not inducted will remain on the shortlist for voting in 2009.
The eleven short-listed athletes chosen by the panel were (in alphabetical order):
- Harold Abrahams – 1924 Olympic 100m champion and long-time athletics administrator
- Roger Bannister – first man to run a sub-four-minute mile
- Seb Coe – twice Olympic 1500m champion, multi-world record-holder and chairman of London 2012
- Sally Gunnell – 1992 Olympic 400m hurdles champion and world record-holder
- David Hemery – set world record to win 1968 Olympic 400m hurdles title
- Steve Ovett – multi-world record-holder and Olympic 800m champion
- Ann Packer – 1964 Olympic 800m gold medallist
- Mary Rand – jumped world record to win Olympic long jump title in 1964
- Daley Thompson – 1980 and 1984 Olympic decathlon winner and world record-holder
- Dorothy Tyler – won Olympic medals in high jump both sides of World War II
- Sydney Wooderson – world record-holder for 880 yards and the mile
Voters could also nominate a choice from a further list of athletes to add another name to their list.