Maj. Christopher Fogt, a military intelligence officer, formerly with 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division — whose family is still in Killeen — is returning to the Olympic stage for the third time to compete this week in the four-man bobsled event at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The men’s four-man bobsled events begin Friday at 6:30 p.m. Central and will continue through Saturday, when the medaling run will begin at 7:40 p.m. Central.
Fogt, 34, will be the brakeman for a four-man team including Carlo Valdes and fellow soldiers Sgt. 1st Class Nate Weber, 10th Special Forces Group, and Sgt. Justin Olsen of the New York Army National Guard. Fogt competed in the 2010 Vancouver Winter games and won bronze during the 2014 Sochi games.
In an Associated Press interview on Feb. 2, Fogt, a Killeen resident, said soldiers do well at sliding events because of the teamwork involved.
“In the Army, you have to be part of a team from your very first day of basic training. On top of that, we’ve been through worse situations,” he said in the interview. “When you’re bobsledding and it’s minus-20 degrees on the hill and it’s snowin’ and blowin’, you remember you’ve been on the field without meals in this kind of weather, hanging out in a foxhole. So that mental toughness helps us a lot.”
Fogt and fellow soldier Olsen are members of the Army’s World Class Athlete Program and train full-time for their sport. According to an interview with DoD News, Fogt is considered one of the fastest athletes in the men’s program.
He helped put his team in medal contention after placing in the top six during competition at the 2010 Vancouver games, but his squad failed to medal. After the 2010 games, Fogt deployed to Iraq for a year.
Fogt’s team went on to win bronze in the 2014 Sochi Games and he decided to leave the bobsled program due to another pending deployment. He rejoined the squad shortly after finding out that deployment was cancelled.
Less than a year before leaving for the 2018 Games, tragedy struck the bobsled team, however.
Steven Holcomb, a former soldier with the Army World Class Athlete Program and Fogt’s driver during the 2014 bronze-winning run in Sochi, died in his sleep in May 2017 at the age of 37. He was found with alcohol and sleeping pills in his system in what is believed an accidental, yet fatal, mix.
In a remembrance posted on teamusa.org, Fogt said he and his fellow athletes were in shock when they found out.
“When we come together for team trials we’ll miss the wisdom he brings to the table — his knowledge, his experience, his attitude, his laughter and just him as a person,” Fogt said in the teamusa.org article. “We’ve all grown so close to him. My plan in my comeback was to be on his team because why not slide with the best.
“When we won bronze, I was the only one on the team who hadn’t medaled yet,” he added. “He was just so excited for me that day; even though he was a three-time Olympic medalist, he could not stop congratulating me and saying how happy he was for me for winning my first Olympic medal. That, to me, was a big one, to see his drive and ambition and see how happy he was for me. It was not about him at all.”
Fogt is an Eagle Scout who served as an assistant Scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 239 of the Longhorn Council while at Fort Hood. He is a father of two whose family lives in Killeen, even though he calls Alpine, Utah his home. He graduated from Utah Valley University with a degree in Business Management.
He has spent the last several months in Colorado with the Army World Class Athlete Program — his immediate assignment after Fort Hood — training for the Olympics, according to a 1st Cavalry Division spokesman.
But of all his titles — soldier, Olympian, Eagle Scout — the one he is most proud of is “dad,” according to an interview with Deseret News on Monday while in Pyeongchang.
“My family is just one more motivating factor,” he said in the Monday interview. “There are times when I’m so tired, and I’m in a workout, and I just think, I want to be able to tell my son when he is a teenager, ‘I did not take the shortcuts.’ I want him to know when things got hard, you just don’t quit. Having (children) holds me a little bit more accountable. I have to set an emotional example for someone else.”
In an interview for the Deseret News article, his wife, Rachel, said being a dad is something he’s extremely good at.
“Even though we’re not with him, he FaceTimes the kids twice a day, tells them stories, and we still feel like (we’re) involved in each other’s lives,” she said. “It is awesome to see him as a father. If there is one job that he does well, he’s definitely dedicated to fatherhood. He’s not the come-home-sit-on-the-couch kind of dad. He’s really active, and it’s really awesome to see him with the kids.”
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