HOW Nation Salutes Military Olympic Athletes
The Olympics is such a proud time for every country, and yes, we absolutely root for every amazing man and woman competing for the United States in the 2018 Olympics. As an organization that supports veterans, active-duty military, first responders and their families, those athletes who have military ties hold an extra special place in our hearts. We are beaming with pride over the number of athletes who represent this dynamic and want to give a big HOW Nation “shout out” to all of them!
2018 Olympic Contenders
There are seven soldiers participating – four bobsledders and three lugers – and six are associated with the ARMY MWR World Class Athlete Program designed to allow service men and women to train for international athletic competitions while serving. They include:
Returning bobsled team members include 2010 Olympic Gold Medalist Sgt. Justin Olsen from San Antonio, Texas; 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist Cpt. Chris Fogt from Alpine, Utah; and 2010 and 2014 Olympic team member Sgt. Nick Cunningham from Monterey, California. Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Weber, of the 10th Special Forces, from Pueblo West, Colorado rounds out the team. (Check out the NBC interview with the bobsled team.)
Sgt. Emily Sweeney from Suffield, Connecticut competed in singles luge. It was amazing to watch her grace and valor after the luge crash on the ninth turn. We are thankful she was not seriously injured, and are cheering for you, Emily! Her courage is an inspiration to us all.
Sgt. Taylor Morris from South Jordan, Utah, also competed in singles luge, and was proudly cheering on his team mate Chris Mazdzer who made US Luge history by winning an Olympic Silver medal. Rounding out the Army participants is St. Matthew Mortensen from Huntington Station, New York, who competed in the doubles luge event with Jayson Terdiman. They missed medal position, but we are proud of these gentlemen for a great showing!
Olympic Level Dedication
These men and women train for the Olympics and other competitions in addition to fulfilling their full-time military commitments. This requires them to often work around the clock to fulfill their Olympic dreams. Don’t fool yourself – their military jobs are tough and take a lot of time, which means they have to carve out additional time to train.
To get an idea of the level of dedication it takes, view this video where Chris Fogt talks about how he manages his Army officer duties, training for the Olympics, and gives you an insider’s view on the U.S. bobsled crash in Vancouver 2010 and the elation of winning Bronze in Sochi in 2014.
That level of dedication is something we believe must be recognized, which is why Heroes on the Water focuses on supporting active-duty military, veterans, first-responders and their families through free therapeutic kayak fishing experiences. The rigors of combat cannot be minimized, and brave men and women who fight to ensure our way of life regularly put themselves in harm’s way. We believe in giving back to those fine men and women – whether they fought battles or represent our nation in the Olympics. Show your support for their efforts by donating to HOW Nation.
Good luck to the bobsled team and thank you to everyone for your heroic efforts at the Olympics. You make us proud!