The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, is seeing the largest contingent of U.S. athletes ever at a Winter Olympics with more 244 athletes (135 men, 109 women) representing our great nation.
Among them are seven soldiers who are not only representing our nation, but the U.S. Army. Four are bobsledders and three are lugers, and as I write this, they have not yet competed. I do, however, look forward to seeing them shine.
In honor of these outstanding soldiers, I’d like to introduce them so you’ll know who to look for during the games.
Maj. Christopher Fogt
Maj. Christopher Fogt returns to the Olympics as a bobsled brakeman after earning a bronze medal in 2014. He is a military intelligence officer from Alpine, Utah, who will be competing in the two- and four-man bobsled events as a brakeman. As a captain, the 34-year-old previously served as the company commander for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Engineer Battalion, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood.
Sgt. 1st Class Nate Weber
Sgt. 1st Class Nate Weber is a Green Beret special forces medic who trained as a bobsled pushman during deployments with 10th Special Forces Group to Cameroon, Niger and Afghanistan. The 31-year-old from Denver is competing in his first Olympic Games, qualifying despite his rather unusual training regimen.
Sgt. Emily Sweeney
Sgt. Emily Sweeney, 24, of Suffield, Connecticut, was the luge Junior World Champion in 2013 and holds one World Cup gold medal. She is a military policeman who will be competing in the women’s singles luge.
Sgt. Matt Mortensen
Sgt. Matt Mortensen, 32, of Huntington Station, New York, will be competing in the doubles luge for his second Olympics. He joined the New York National Guard in 2010 and trained as an electrician.
Sgt. Taylor Morris
Sgt. Taylor Morris, 26, of Salt Lake City, will compete in the men’s singles luge in his first Olympics appearance. He joined the National Guard in 2011 as a human resources specialist.
Sgt. Nick Cunningham
Sgt. Nick Cunningham, 32, of Monterey, California, will be competing in his third Olympics on both a four-man and two-man bobsled team. He enlisted in the New York Army National Guard in 2011 and is a carpentry and masonry specialist.
Sgt. Justin Olsen
Sgt. Justin Olsen, 30, of San Antonio, was a gold medalist in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and came in 12th in Sochi. Olsen will compete as a bobsled driver for the first time and will seek another medal in the four man and two man events. Olsen joined the New York National Guard in 2011 as a human resources specialist.
Best of luck to these great examples of our nation’s finest. I look forward to seeing your triumphs!
David A. BRYANT is an Army retiree and a military journalist for the Killeen Daily Herald. You can reach him at email@example.com or 254-501-7554.