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Meet America's soldier-athletes

NEED TO KNOW
  • Ten members of the U.S. armed forces are taking part in the Olympics
  • There are athletes AND coaches among them
Meet America's soldier-athletes

Here's a fun fact for your next Olympics viewing session: There are no fewer than 10 Army members on Team USA in Sochi. That's pretty crazy, right? 

The athletes and coaches are part of the Army World Class Athletes program, which allows Olympic-level athletes to train for their sports while maintaining a military career. 

They're no second-string sportsmen, either. The sliders, bobsledders, sled hockey players and coaches in the program have collectively held plenty of awards and previous Olympic medals in their sports. Here's a little introduction:

Sgt. Nicholas Cunningham: Bobsled
Cunningham also competed in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. He competes in two- and four-man bobsled events. 

Capt. Christopher Fogt: Bobsled
Fogt competed in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, and then took a little time off from the sport to, you know, complete a year-long deployment in Iraq. 

Sgt. Preston Griffall (above left): Luge 
Griffall last competed on the Olympic level in 2006 in Torino. He is also a three-time USA luge start champion. 

1st Lt. Michael Kohn: Bobsled Coach
Kohn's long bobsled career began on the track, and has brought him to Sochi as a coach. In fact, he won bronze in the four-man bobseld event in 2002. 

Sgt. 1st Class. Tuffield Latour: Skeleton Coach 
First of all, he goes by "Tuffy Latour," which is a great name. He is a decorated bobsled coach, having coached the women's bobsled team to two golds and a silver, and the men's four-man team to a bronze. Now, he's a skeleton coach. Let's see what he can do. 

Staff Sgt. Jen Lee: Sled hockey, goalie
Lee first got into sled hockey after a motorcycle accident necessitated an above-the-knee amputation on his left leg. This is his first Paralympics, but he has plenty of victories at the national level to boost him up. 

Sgt. Matthew Mortensen (above right): Luge
Mortenson has been sliding competitively since he was 15. He was a U.S. luge champion in 2012 with teammate and fellow soldier Preston Griffall. He and Griffall are sliding together again in Sochi. 

Sgt. Justin Olsen : Bobsled 
Olsen won gold in 2010 in Vancouver in the four-man bobsled event. Can he do it again? 

Sgt. Dallas Robinson: Bobsled
Robinson switched his interests from track and rugby to bobsled after some injuries. According to the Army World Class Athlete Program, he "seemingly came out of nowhere" to earn a spot on the 2014 Olympic team. 

Staff Sgt. William Tavares: Luge Coach
Tavares has been a U.S. national luge coach since 1997, helping the team to more than 100 medals in various international competitions. He has also been an assistant bobsled coach in four Olympics. 

Learn more about these men at the Army World Class Athlete Program site

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