For each athlete, you can vote in the poll; it closes a week from today at midnight. After the jump, you can read the athlete profiles written up by our commenters, and discuss in the comments your memories of each athlete and which one deserves to move on.
Check out the full bracket here. To check out the original nomination thread, click here. For those who want to track the CGB Hall of Fame posts exclusively, click here or right next to the timestamp above where it says "Hall of Fame".
11 Olympic Medals
3 Olympic Gold medals
Holds numerous US records and set numerous world records
I was planning on putting some of her sweet Olympic backstroke races, but NBC, being the total dicks they are about copyright, pulled them all off YouTube. Great job fellas. Way to promote your athletes. So I'm left with this article about the physics/fluid dynamics of dolphin kicks which Coughlin is famous for using off the turns, and an even cooler video of a female swimmer simulation (probably Coughlin?) of the fluid dynamics of the kick.
Twist once did a fine YouTube Thursday post on her (for the 4th of July!) which includes some interviews, highlights and training tips. He also showed Coughlin's pre-Beijing profile, which includes her NCAA accolades at Cal. Check it out below.
Event: Women's Swimming - Freestyle/Backstroke/IM
Hometown: Vallejo, Calif.
Years at Cal: 2001-04
Arguably the greatest female swimmer in Cal history, Coughlin won 12 NCAA titles with the Golden Bears (the second-most career titles for a women's swimmer in NCAA history). She was a three-time NCAA and Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year. Her success only grew more after her collegiate tenure. At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Coughlin became the third American woman to win five medals at one Olympics (the others are Mary Lou Retton and Shannon Miller). She took gold in the 100-meter backstroke and the 800 freestyle relay, breaking the world record in that event. Coughlin also won silver medals in the 400 free relay and the 400 medley relay, and a bronze in the 100 free. At the 2008 Olympic Trials, Coughlin lowered her world record in the 100 back to 58.97. In addition, she finished second in both the 100 free (53.83) and 200 individual medley (2:10.32).
I predict you already have a solid appreciation of who Natalie Coughlin is. Although it states her hometown is the Valley Jo. I always thought it was Concord.
Also, she's one of our many athletes on Twitter! Everyone who saw her Olympic profile knows she's grown huge on the cooking thing to keep her from going crazy during all the swimming training. Thus, posts like "Fava bean puree on garlic toast, dungeness crab/avoc/beet salad, saffron chick w/ parm pudding, & cheese tart w/ blueberry lemon cream" "Making dinner. Just when I thought I had nothing to eat...found frozen artichokes in freezer. Voilà: artichoke-lemon risotto!" are not the least bit surprising!
OH MAKE NO MISTAKE, PAIN TRAIN IS NOT LEAVING BERKELEY. PAIN TRAIN IS *SPARING* BERKELEY. PAIN TRAIN REMEMBERS THE FIRST TIME HE BROUGHT HIS PAIN UPON BERKELEY. HE TRIED TO OFFER A VAGRANT HIS LEFTOVER PAD THAI BUT THE VAGRANT DEMANDED COMPENSATION FOR BEER INSTEAD. ALCOHOLISM WRECKS FAMILIES, SO PAIN TRAIN WRECKED THE VAGRANT, WITH A TITANIC HELMET CRUSH BLOW TO THE COLON.
DO YOU RECALL THE FENCES AROUND THE TREE SITTERS? THEY WERE NOT BUILT TO PROTECT PEDESTRIANS, THEY WERE PUT IN PLACE TO PROTECT THE TREE SITTERS FROM PAIN TRAIN. OTHERWISE, PAIN TRAIN WOULD HAVE REMOVED THE TREES WITH HIS BARE, SHARP TEETH. *ringtone chimes, playing I'm On a Boat ft. T-Pain.* PARDON ME, PAIN TRAIN IS RECEIVING A TELEPHONE CALL.
OH HELLO THERE, DUMPSTER MUFFIN. WHAT'S THAT? YOU DON'T KNOW WHETHER TO USE SILK OR COTTON SHEETS ON THE GUEST BED? AND YOU'RE TIRED OF YOUR JOB? WELL, PERHAPS YOU SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF THAT BEFORE YOU JOINED YOUR LITTLE PROTEST. THEN THE JUDGE WOULDN'T HAVE SENTENCED YOU TO BE MY BUTLER FOR LIFE. I REALIZE YOU THINK THAT'S UNFAIR, BUT WE WILL TALK ABOUT IT LATER, I'M CONDUCTING AN INTERVIEW RIGHT NOW. NO, I HAVE TO GO, NO, YOU CAN'T SIT ON THE OAK CABINET, IT'S AN ANTIQUE FROM THE ESTATE OF SIR THOMAS CALHOUN. NO, LIKE I SAID, YOU C--NO! NO! DO NOT ANTAGONIZE PAIN TRAIN FURTHER. PAIN TRAIN JUST MAY EXTRACT YOUR ARMPIT HAIRS ONE BY ONE JUST LIKE HE WOULD HAVE LIKED TO REMOVE THE OAKS ONE BY ONE.
JUST LIKE HE REMOVED PRETTYBOY QUARTERBACKS ONE BY ONE. FOR FOUR YEARS. ERIK AINGE STILL HAS A TRAIN SHAPED IMPRINT ON HIS EIGHTH AND NINTH VERTEBRAE. LET IT BE KNOWN: TOM BRADY WILL WISH HE TORE BOTH HIS ACL'S AND BE OUT FOR HIS CAREER, BECAUSE PAIN TRAIN IS ABOUT TO TEAR TOM BRADY'S SOUL WITH THE AMOUNT OF PAIN HE WILL IMPART. DO YOU HEAR THAT, NFL QB'S? PAIN TRAIN IS ATTENDING YOUR POTLUCK. AND HE IS BRINGING ONLY PAIN.
Let's get this on.