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For Air Force Olympian, One Touch from a Medal

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Dmitry Lovetsky/AP
You'd think it would be the worst athletic feeling in the world: fourth place at the Olympics, just missing a medal. But Air Force Capt. Seth Kelsey doesn't seem to mind. Which actually is not that shocking, since his fourth-place finish in epee fencing at the Olympics was the best performance by an American in the event since 1956.

"I was very excited about my results, that I was able to beat the No. 1 ranked guy in the world and win two other bouts," Kelsey told Air Force News Service. "I would have loved to have gotten a medal, but I came super close and lost in overtime. I was happy with how I performed and how I represented my family, my country and my unit. So, at the end of the day, I was disappointed that I didn't get a medal, but I was proud of what I did and how I achieved it."

In the bronze-medal match, Kelsey lost by a single touch in overtime. 

When he returns to the United States after the Olympics, Kelsey plans to take a break from fencing, but he'll stay busy. He'll be on duty and in training with his squadron at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.

Tom Shoop is vice president and editor in chief at Government Executive Media Group, where he oversees both print and online editorial operations. He started as associate editor of Government Executive magazine in 1989; launched the company’s flagship website, GovExec.com, in 1996; and was named editor in chief in 2007.

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