11 NCOs Part Of Army’s Soldier-Athlete Contingent on U.S. Olympic Team
By Pablo Villa - NCO Journal
August 5, 2016
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Going For the Gold
Meet the Army’s Soldier-athletes competing at the Rio Olympics
Fifteen U.S. Army Soldiers will begin their quest for medals on the grandest stage in sports tonight as the 2016 Summer Olympics kick off in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They will be guided by some of their own as three other Soldiers will participate in the Games as coaches. Three other Soldiers will compete in the 2016 Paralympic Games next month. Learn more about this year’s Army Olympians:
1 Sgt. 1st Class Joe Guzman, boxing coach: When Team USA’s boxers enter the ring in Rio this summer, they’ll be lucky to have Guzman in their corner. An Army Soldier since 1999, he has more than five years of experience as a boxing coach with WCAP. Along the way he’s helped male and female boxers learn what it takes to bob and weave with the best. He’s coaching in his second Olympic Games.
2 Capt. Andrew Locke, rugby coach: Rugby sevens is an event that makes its debut at the 2016 Summer Olympics. It’s also the first Olympics for Locke. As the assistant coach for the U.S. women’s rugby team, Locke will bring the leadership and discipline he’s gained from experience as a two-time collegiate All-American at the United States Military Academy at West Point, as well as from four deployments as an infantry officer.
3 Spc. Shadrack Kipchirchir, track and field: Finishing just a breath behind the reigning Olympic silver medalist, Kipchirchir secured a spot to run the 10,000-meter event on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team. He’s a four-time NCAA All-American, U.S. Army Soldier and Army World Class Athlete. Now the native Kenyan is heading to the biggest race of his life in Rio.
4 Staff Sgt. Michael Lukow, para-archery: Rehabilitating a foot amputation got a lot easier for Lukow when he took up archery. Retrieving his bows on prosthetics and braces was easier when he hit more targets, so that was a huge incentive to practice even harder. From his 2008 injury while deployed in Iraq, Lukow is now aiming for the recurve bow competition as a member of the U.S. Paralympic Team.
5 Sgt. Elizabeth Marks, para-swimming: Marks made international I waves this summer, when she gave one of her four gold medals from the Invictus Games to Prince Harry to return to London and honor those who saved her life. As a Paralympic swimmer in the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, Marks will compete in the 100-meter breaststroke as part of the U.S. Paralympic team in Rio.
6 Sgt. Nathan Schrimsher, modern pentathlon: If there’s one Olympic event that has U.S. Army Soldier written all over it, it would be the modern pentathlon. These five events - swimming, fencing, show jumping, pistol shooting and cross-country running - mirror the same skills Army Soldiers have had to master for centuries.
7 Staff Sgt. John Nunn, 50K race walk: When you see race walking, you can tell there’s something unusually precise about how these athletes have to train and perform. Nunn has mastered the technique that gets him to walk faster than many people can run. He’s on board for his third Olympics with this year’s Games in Rio.
8 Sgt. 1st Class Keith Sanderson, 25m rapid fire pistol: Many Soldiers are trained marksmen. But Sanderson takes his rapid-fire pistol skills to a completely different level. He’s as seasoned as they come, and his shooting skills will be put to the test at his third Olympic appearance.
9 Spc. Leonard Korir, track and field: Korir is one of the two of the top three finishers in the 10,000-meter event at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team Trials that are from the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program. Korir wears red, white and blue now, but hails from lten, Kenya. He won the New York City half-marathon in 2015. Now, he’s on his way to run for Team USA in Rio.
10 Spc. Paul Chelimo, track and field: From Iten, Kenya, to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, Chelimo is now headed to Rio as a member of the U.S. Olympic team. A standout athlete in college, Chelimo is taking on the 5,000-meter race.
11 Sgt. Hillary Bor, track and field: The 3,000-meter steeplechase race is not just about running, or running fast. Competitors have to clear 28 fixed barriers and seven water jumps while they’re at it. Bor had to clear a slew of hurdles on his way from Eldoret, Kenya, to become a U.S. Soldier and member of WCAP. Along the way he’s stacked up NCAA All-America titles and is ready to capture a spot among the world’s most elite steeplechasers in Rio.
12 Staff Sgt. Dennis Bowsher, modern pentathlon coach: The modern pentathlon competition is two weeks after tonight’s opening ceremony. But, that won’t mean a break for this coach. It means more time to train with his WCAP teammate, Sgt. Nathan Schrimsher. This is Bowsher’s second Olympics.
Sgt. 1st Class Gleen Eller, double trap: Part of the Army Marksmanship Program, the five-time Olympian joins the 2016 team.
Spc. Daniel Lowe, air rifle, three-position prone rifle: Part of the Army Marksmanship Program, Lowe makes his Olympic debut this year.
Sgt. 1st Class Michael McPhail, 50-meter prone rifle: Part of the Army Marksmanship Program, McPhail enters his second Olympics.
Sgt. 1st Class Josh Richmond, double trap: Part of the Army Marksmanship Program, Richmond is competing in his second Olympics. Photos courtesy of U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program.
Photos courtesy of U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program.