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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid