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Olympic & Paralympic Tribute

1501 N. Mattis Ave. (Dodds Park)
Architect: Jeffery S. Poss, AIB

The Intentions of the Design

The Tribute to Olympic and Paralympic Athletes rises from an ordinary prairie landscape transformed by playing fields, gardens, and a community college campus. It honors the extraordinary achievements of Champaign County residents who have participated in the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and its granite platform is inscribed with their names and the Olympic symbol of linked rings.

Visitors to the Tribute move from an approach walk to a series of intermediate platforms, marked by light bollards and granite aggregate, reflecting the plateaus achieved then surpassed as the athletes pursue their dreams. Then to the climactic, final, inscribed granite platform beyond the gateway–the smallest but grandest plateau–representing the pinnacle of achievement. Here they can view the surrounding countryside. It is this rising progression that is a metaphor for the path traveled by Olympians as they compete, and excel through discipline and desire. The steps connecting that platform to the ground suggest that the personal glory of achievement is transitory, and that the progress must begin again. The forced perspective of the approach walk and gateway gives the illusion of great depth, expressing the great endurance and long commitment required in the pursuit of excellence.

The Tribute is conceived as a strong geometric counterpoint to its naturalistic setting. It is embedded in and grows out of the soil of its place, a symbolic reminder of the Olympians’ bond with the community that honors them.

Policy for Inclusion of Area Athletes

Automatic Inclusion:

Any athlete listed on the Olympic or Paralympic team roster, for any Olympiad or Paralympiad, who designated a community in Champaign County as his/her hometown on the roster.
Other inclusion possibilities (Material to validate must be provided by the applying athlete or representative of the athlete):

  1. A candidate who attended elementary or high school in Champaign County for five years or more.
  2. A candidate who moved to Champaign County within five years from the time he or she participated as an Olympic or Paralympic athlete and remained in residence for a period of fifteen years or more.
  3. Any unusual situations will be considered


Learn more about our local athletes in the Olympic & Paralympic Booklet!

NameEventYear & Location
Arie, Mark P.Trapshoot1920 Antwerp, Belgium
Ayars, Rebecca J.Track & Field1956 Melbourne, Australia
Bailey, Chantal DunnSpeedskating1994 Lillehamer, Norway
Blair, BonnieSpeedskating1984 Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
1988 Calgary, Canada
1992 Albertville, France
1994 Lillehammer, Norway
Bolin-Kelley, DianeGymnastics1968 Mexico City, Mexico
Brems, KarenCycling2000 Sidney, Australia
Broeren, Wayne HenryWheelchair Archery & Wheelchair Basketball1960 Rome, Italy
Capan, RogerSpeedskating1968 Grenoble, France
Cody-Morris, AnnWheelchair Track & Wheelchair Basketball1984 Stoke Mandville, England
1988 Seoul, South Korea
1992 Barcelona, Spain
Coleman, Phillip Y.Track & Field-Steeplechase1956 Melbourne, Australia
160 Rome, Italy
Driscoll, JeanWheelchair Track1988 Seoul, South Korea
1992 Barcelona, Spain
1996 Atlanta, United States
2000 Sydney, Australia
Eddleman, DwightHigh Jump1948 London, England
Espeseth, Robert JrRowing1976 Montreal, Canada
1980 Moscow, Russia
1984 Los Angeles, California
1988 Seoul, Korea
Fitch, Horatio M.Track & Field1924 Paris, France
George, JoshuaWheelchair Track2004 Athens, Greece
2008 Beijing, China
2012 London, United Kingdom
2016 Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Goodknight, TerriWheelchair Track & Basketball1988 Seoul, South Korea
1992 Barcelona, Spain
Grossfeld, AbrahamGymnastics1956 Melbourne, Australia
1960 Rome, Italy
Grossfeld, Muriel (Davis)Gymnastics1956 Melbourne, Australia
1960 Rome, Italy
1964 Tokyo, Japan
Hedrick, BradWheelchair Track & Basketball1980 Arnhem, Netherlands
1984 Stoke-Mandeville, England
Hedrick, SharonWheelchair Track, Basketball, and Swimming1976 Ornskoldsvik, Sweden
1980 Arnheim, Netherlands
1984 Los Angeles, United States
1988 Seoul, South Korea
1992 Barcelona, Spain
Henriksen, ErikSpeedskating1980 Lake Placid, New York
1984 Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
1988 Calgary, Canada
Johnson, HarlanModern Pentathlon1952 Helsinki, Finland
Johnson, Mark Wrestling1980 Moscow, USSR
Kuck, Jonathan Speedskating2010 Vancouver, Canada
Laz, Donald R. Pole Vault1952 Helsinki, Finland
Lewis-Smallwood, GiaDiscus Throw2012 London, United Kingdom
McFadden, TatyanaWheelchair Track & Nordic Skiing2004 Athens, Greece
2008 Beijing, China
2012 London, United Kingdom
2014 Sochi, Russia
2016 Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
McGill, TylerSwimming2012 London, England
McGrory, AmandaWheelchair Track2008 Beijing, China
2012 London, United Kingdom
2016 Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Metheny, LindaGymnastics1964 Tokyo, Japan
1968 Mexico City, Mexico
1972 Munich, Germany
Millage, NicholeSitting Volleyball2008 Beijing, China
2012 London, England
2016 Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Mulliken, WilliamSwimming1960 Rome, Italy
Mulvihill, ColleenGymnastics1968 Mexico City, Mexico
Murphy, FrankPole Vault1912 Stockholm, Sweden
Osborn, HaroldTrack & Field1924 Paris, France
1928 Amsterdam, Holland
Olesen, RobertBobsled1998 Nagano, Japan
Reutter, KatherineSpeedskating2010 Vancouver, Canada
Richards, BobPole Vault1948 London, England
1952 Helsinki, Finland
1956 Melbourne, Australia
Ruddell, JenniferWheelchair Basketball2004 Athens, Greece
2008 Beijing, China
Shine, MikeTrack & Field1976 Montreal, Canada
Siemann, BrianWheelchair Track2012 London, United Kingdom
2016 Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Thies, NancyGymnastics1972 Munich, Germany
Thompson, Gayle R.Rowing1960 Rome, Italy
Whitman, JackWheelchair Archery1960 Rome, Italy
Yoss, BarbaraWheelchair Basketball1984 Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
1988 Calgary, Canada


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