Cheer on the U.S. service members in the 2020 Olympics

The Olympic rings at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. | Photo by Kyle Dias via Unsplash
The Olympic rings at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. | Photo by Kyle Dias via Unsplash

Cheer on the U.S. service members in the 2020 Olympics

by Karen Bradbury
Stripes Europe

The 2020 Olympics were delayed but not denied. Should all go to plan, the world’s games are set to play out in Tokyo July 23 - August 8. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, 17 military members will be among the more than 600 athletes selected for Team U.S.A. These include 17 soldiers, one Marine and one Coast Guardsman.

Many of the soldier-athletes heading to the Olympics are members of the Army's World Class Athlete Program, known as WCAP for short. The program allows top-ranked soldier-athletes to perform at the international level as they continue to serve their nation. WCAP Soldiers come from the Active, Reserve and National Guard components and are selected for their ability to perform at the highest level in their respective sports. After joining WCAP, they hone their skills with top civilian and military coaches at some of the country’s best facilities. At the same time, they keep current with Army requirements, attend military schools and remain competitive with their uniformed counterparts. WCAP Soldiers also conduct outreach activities and lead units through customized resilience and performance enhancement skills training.

The list of athletes aiming for Olympic glory and the sports in which they compete are as follows:


1st Lt. Amber English – women's skeet

Staff Sgt. Naomi Graham – women's boxing, 75 kilogram category

Staff Sgt. Nickolaus Mowrer – 10m air pistol, men; 10m air pistol, mixed team; and 50m rifle, 3 positions.

Staff Sgt. Sandra Uptagrafft – 10m air pistol, women; 10m air pistol, mixed team; and 25m sport pistol.

Sgt. Samantha Schultz – modern pentathlon

Sgt. Amro Elgeziry – modern pentathlon

Sgt. Ildar Hafizov – Greco-Roman wrestling, 60 kg category

Spc. Alejandro Sancho – Greco-Roman wrestling, 67 kg category

Spc. Benard Keter – 3,000-meter steeplechase, track and field

Sgt. Patrick Sunderman – men's smallbore rifle

Spc. Sagen Maddalena – women's smallbore rifle

Spc. Alison Weisz – women's air rifle

Sgt. Philip Jungman – men's skeet

1st Lt. Sam Kendricks - pole vaulting

Sgt. 1st Class Elizabeth Marks – Paralympic swimming in 50-meter freestyle, 50-meter butterfly, 200-meter individual medley and 100-meter backstroke

Staff Sgt. John Joss – Paralympic shooting, 50m rifle

Staff Sgt. Kevin Nguyen – Paralympic shooting, 50m rifle

Marine Corps

Staff Sgt. John Stefanowicz – Greco-Roman wrestling, 87 kg category

Coast Guard

Lt. Nikole Barnes – 470-class sailboat category

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