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

Video Iran Nuclear Deal Becomes US Campaign Issue

Voters in three crucial battleground states - Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania - overwhelmingly oppose nuclear deal with Iran More

With IS in Coalition Cross-Hairs, al-Qaida's Syria Affiliate Reemerges

Jabhat al-Nusra has rebounded, increasingly casting itself as a critical player in battle for Syria’s future More

Lessons Learned From Katrina, 10 Years Later

FEMA chief Craig Fugate says key changes include better preparation, improved coordination among state, federal assistance agencies 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs