Army Soldiers Go for Gold in Sochi

Steven Holcomb, a member of the Army's World Class Athlete Program, pilots one of the United States' bobsleds during an event in Sochi. Steven Holcomb, a member of the Army's World Class Athlete Program, pilots one of the United States' bobsleds during an event in Sochi. Natacha Pisarenko/AP

Becoming an Olympic athlete requires discipline and focus, drive and determination, a supreme commitment to being the best you can be.

It stands to reason then that the U.S. Army would be a launching pad for Olympians, and its World Class Athlete Program attempts to tap into that crossover.

Since 1948, 446 Army soldiers have competed in the summer and winter Olympics, earning 111 medals. Since the WCAP was created in 1997, 55 soldiers have participated in the games.

The World Class Athlete Program recruits athletes from all of the Army’s components: active, reserve and National Guard -- although all participants join the active-duty ranks upon entering the program. The athletes then receive special training from military and civilian coaches and have access to Olympic training facilities. The primary mission of the unit is to prepare and send athletes to the Olympics.

The Army sent six athletes to compete in the 2014 Sochi games, as well as three coaches. Capt. Christopher Fogt, a brakeman for the four-man bobsled team, is competing in his second Olympics. Steven Holcomb, a WCAP alum, is also a member of that team. Sgt. Justin Olsen -- who won a gold medal in 2010 in Vancouver -- joined Sgts. Nick Cunningham and Dallas Robinson to form a second bobsled squad for Team USA in Sochi.

"It's not just me I'm representing when I'm in the sled," Cunningham told the American Forces Press Service. "I have all U.S. soldiers behind me as I slide down every track worldwide."

Fogt said his training as a soldier helps him mentally prepare for his events.

"I try to apply the warrior ethos and mentality of never quitting or accepting defeat in my training and competitions," he told AFPS.

Sgts. Preston Griffal and Matt Mortenson competed in doubles luge earlier this week, coming in 14th place. 

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.