olympics

There Are 6 U.S. Military Personnel Competing In Sochi

Serving their country in more ways than one.

1. Dallas Robinson - Bobsleigh

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With a background in football and sprinting, Robinson never expected to end up in the olympics for bobsledding. In fact, he trained for a spot on the US track and field team in 2008 but tore his hamstring. In 2011 he joined the bobsledding team and is now part of the Kentucky Army National Guard.

2. Nick Cunningham - Bobsleigh

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Nick Cunningham is a combat engineer in the New York Army National Guard’s 1156 Engineering Company. He graduated from Monterey Peninsula College in 2005 and Boise State University in 2008 with a degree in Communications. He was a “brakeman” for three 2 Man and 4 Man olympic teams in 2010. Before becoming the pilot of a sled that he will race in with fellow soldier Sgt. Dallas Robinson. He says that when he’s done competing he thinks he may move into the rodeo circuit.

3. Christopher Fogt - Bobsleigh

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During his Olympic debut in 2010, Fogt’s bobsled crashed on Vancouver’s infamous track. After recovering, he WAS deployed to Iraq for a year. Since coming back he has become an intelligence officer with the Vermont Army National Guard, and is still bobsledding as well — he won he U.S. National Push Championship title in 2013.

4. Justin Olsen - Bobsleigh

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Olsen was at the Air Force Academy in 2007 when he discovered he had a secret talent in bobsledding. Soon after enlisting in the New York Army National Guard he took home competed in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. His four-man bobsled took gold for the first time in 62 years. Olsen has said that when he’s done competing he’d like to serve his country. “Once I feel like I’m not athletic enough to be on top and represent the country in the manner that I feel that I need to, I’ll probably step down and fulfill my military career.”

5. Preston Griffall - Luge

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Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Preston Griffall first tried luging at age 11. Griffall and his partner Matt Mortensen were locked out of the olympics last time around. But this member of the National Guard wouldn’t let it happen this time around. He told The Salt Late Tribune, “It’s fly-or-die there. This is our opportunity to shine, and so I’d rather go for the win and maybe get a chance at doing it — or crash trying. We’ll see.”

6. Matt Mortensen - Luge

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Matt Mortensen is competing in a 2 man luge with Preston Griffall. He has been competing since 2000 but was unable to make the olympic team in 2010. When he’s not training for competition, he is an electrician in the New York Army National Guard.

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