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 Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals 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.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More