North Bay's Jonny Moseley named finalist for U.S. Olympic, Paralympic Hall of Fame class

The Bay Area's own, gold medal skier Jonny Moseley, has been nominated into the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame.

Moseley is one of 15 Olympians, nine Paralympians and three teams being considered for induction into the class of 2019 Hall of Fame.

The Marin County native from Tiburon won a gold medal in men's moguls, in his first Olympic appearance at the 1998 Winter Games in Japan, with his show-stopping aerial stunts including the “Iron Cross.”

He's widely considered a pioneer in the sport and often credited for changing the face of competitive mogul skiing.

He's known for his signature move, The Dinner Roll, an impressive, high-flying 720-degree spin, which was a topic of controversy during the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Despite the judges' initial rule that banned inverted maneuvers in moguls, Moseley carried out the move, noting then that he wanted to bring back innovation and creativity to freestyle skiing and do something that had never been performed on the world's biggest sporting stage.

He landed the maneuver before an excited crowd but did not end up medaling, coming in 4th place. But Moseley said he ultimately accomplished what he set out to do. 

"The following season the IFS [International Skiing Federation] removed their ban on inverted tricks and increased the point value of the Dinner Roll; had the higher degree of difficulty been applied to the trick at the 2002 Olympics, Jonny would have found himself on top of the podium," according to Jonny

"Today, every winning competitor on the World Cup circuit performs a version of the Dinner Roll," the website added.

In 2007, Moseley was inducted in the Ski Hall of Fame. 

In 2008, Ski Magazine named the Olympian among its list of "10 Most Influential Skiers of All Time," and noted, "Jonny Moseley changed the sport of skiing -- and the way ski competitions were judged -- with a few simple tricks."

Beyond skiing, the North Bay resident has made a career as a television host and commentator. He's also a spokesman for his home mountain of Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, and he's involved in multiple business ventures, including a new sports bar in Corte Madera.

On Thursday, Moseley is set to make an appearance on KTVU's "The 4" to talk about his nomination  and other highlights of his career. 

If he's voted into the Hall of Fame, he'll join the ranks of some of the most storied athletes of all time,  including Muhammad Ali, Oscar De La Hoya, “Sugar Ray” Leonard, Carl Lewis, Peggy Fleming Jenkins, Janet Evans, Florence Griffith Joyner, as well as other notable Olympians from the Bay Area, like figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and swimmer Matt Biondi. 

Along with Moseley, other 2019 Hall of Fame finalists with ties to the Bay Area, include Olympic women's water polo gold medalist Brenda Villa. She played for Stanford and led the U.S. team with nine goals in Sydney, helping to bring home a silver for the team. She's currently the water polo coach for Castilleja School in Palo Alto.  

Another Stanford alum is also on the list.  Paralympian and seven-time medalist, Muffy Davis, won a combined four medals in alpine skiing at the 1998 and 2002 Paralympic Winter Games. In 2012, Davis won three golds in cycling.

“It is a privilege to introduce these deserving finalists for induction into the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame,” said Sarah Hirshland, USOPC CEO. “They represent the pinnacle of athletic achievement and personal excellence, both on and off the field of play.”

The public is encouraged to cast its vote for the Hall of Fame class of 2019. Voting is open through Sept. 3 through the U.S. Olympic Committee site here.

The finalists will be narrowed down to five Olympians, three Paralympians and one Olympic team. In addition to the public vote, others that weigh in on the inductees include U.S. Olympians and Paralympians along with the USOPC board of directors, the Athletes’ Advisory Council and members of the media. 

The class of 2019 will be announced on Sept. 23, and inducted on Nov. 1, during a ceremony in conjunction with the all-alumni U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team Reunion in Colorado Springs, Colo.