News / USA

Six US Army Soldiers to Compete at Sochi

FILE- A two-man bobsled steered by a U.S. Army soldier is seen at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. (U.S. Army)
FILE- A two-man bobsled steered by a U.S. Army soldier is seen at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. (U.S. Army)

Related Articles

Photogallery Coe: Olympic Games Boycotts Absurd

Some rights groups had called for a boycott of the Sochi Winter Games in protest over Russia's treatment of gays, but that demand has gone unheeded

US Warns of Explosives in Toothpaste Tubes on Flights to Russia

US security officials gave no details on intelligence that prompted warnings

Sochi Games Present Hacking Minefield

If you do not need the device, do not take it, US State Department warns
When the U.S. Olympic team parades into the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, Russia Friday, there will be six active-duty members of the U.S. Army among them.

The Olympians come from the Army’s World-Class Athlete Program (WCAP), which  “pays them to train full time and, in return, they host clinics for soldiers and act as goodwill ambassadors for the Army and the United States at international games,” according to the Army.

To be selected to the WCAP program, soldiers must be in good military standing and compete in a recognized Olympic sport. It is open to both officers and enlisted service men and women, including those on active duty as well as those serving in the Army Reserve or National Guard, provided they have completed basic Army entry requirements. If selected, reserve and National Guard members will be brought into active duty.

Once in the program, the athletes will receive “elite level training from some of the best coaches and trainers in America,” according to the website.

For sports like boxing, taekwondo and wrestling, the Army has its own training facilities, but for other sports, WCAP participants may be assigned to locations near Olympic training facilities.

While the athletes benefit from the training, the Army gets excellent recruitment tools. In addition to their training duties, the WCAP members “support the U.S. Army Recruiting Command mission by conducting clinics and making appearances at high schools and colleges,” according the website.

This year’s WCAP contingent is made up of bobsledders and lugers.

Capt. Chris Fogt, a member of the bobsled team, says the military experience helps in his athletic endeavors.

"I try to apply the warrior ethos and mentality of never quitting or accepting defeat in my training and competitions,” he said in a statement. “Being a Soldier-athlete helps keep me focused and working hard because I am representing more than just my team and myself. I’m representing the most powerful and respected organization in the world. I need to reflect that in the way I present myself, train, and perform."

Fogt competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics, and then deployed to Iraq for a year, according to his bio. He resumed his Olympic training in 2011.

His fellow bobsledder, Sgt. Nicholas Cunningham, said he was proud to be able to represent the U.S. both as a soldier and athlete.

Other members of the team include Sgt. Justin Olsen, who won Olympic gold in 2010 as part of the four-man bobsled team; Sgt. Dallas Robinson, a bobsledder; Sgt. Preston Griffall, a luger; and Sgt. Matt Mortensen, also a luger.

Another WCAP participant, SSgt. Jen Lee, will represent the U.S. in the 2014 Paralympics as a goalie in sled hockey.

Since the WCAP program started in 1997, 55 soldier-athletes have participated in the summer and winter Olympic Games, many having medaled, according to the Army.

None of the other branches of the U.S. Armed Forces have athletes participating in Sochi.

The International Olympic Committee said they didn’t have data about other countries sending members of their militaries to the winter gamesi.

The U.S. team at Sochi is comprised of 230 athletes.

You May Like

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally Draws Thousands in Washington

update President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs