The 2016 summer Olympics have played on in the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil over the course of the past two weeks. Each match, race, and heat has been designed to bring together the strongest, fastest, and most precise athletes in the world. In each event, the athletes have pushed against their own records and against the limits of human capabilities in order to capture medals that would engrave their names in the wall of history. We hope you have cheered on Team U.S.A. along with us no matter where you’ve watched the games. Did you know that our country’s team comprised of 555 competing athletes, and 16 of these were veterans of the United States military?
Military Athletes in the 2016 Rio Olympics
The veterans on Team U.S.A. competed in a variety of events and even earned the U.S. a few medals. Below is a list of military veterans that competed and the events they competed in this year.
Hillary Bor (Army): 3,000m steeplechase
Paul Chelimo (Army): 5,000m run
Glenn Eller (Army): double trap
Vincent Hancock (Army): skeet shoot
David Higgins (Marine Corps): 50m rifle prone
Sam Kendricks (Army): pole vault
Edward King (Navy): lightweight men’s four, rowing
Shadrack Kipchirchir (Army): 10,000m run
Leonard Korir (Army): 10,000m run
Dan Lowe (Army): 10m air rifle
Michael McPhail (Army): 50m rifle prone
John Nunn (Army): 50k race walk
Joshua Richmond (Army): double trap
Keith Sanderson (Army): 25m rapid fire
Nathan Schrimsher (Army): pentathlon
Cale Simmons (Air Force): pole vault
Military Athlete Highlights
You’ve maybe seen a few of these athletes compete, but do you know the people behind the athletes? Take a look at these quick highlights of some of our top competitors.
Hillary Bor serves in the Army as a financial management technician and was born in Kenya. In the trials for the 2016 U.S. track and field, Bor came in second, earning him a solid spot in the Olympics as a competitor in the 3,000m steeplechase. Before competing, he attended Iowa State University. While there, he became a 2-time Big 12 conference champion and a 4-time All-American.
Glenn Eller serves as infantry in the Army and joined in 2006. He is from Texas and has been an instructor for the International Shotgun Team in the Army. He also served on an Afghanistan tour teaching marksmanship. His event of choice is the double trap, which he won a gold for in the 2008 games. In fact, he is a 5-time Olympian and may be returning for the next Olympic Games.
Nathan Schrimsher has served as a motor transport operator for the Army and is from New Mexico. He competed in the modern pentathlon this year, which is a race consisting of 5 events occurring in the same day—swimming, equestrian show jumping, fencing, pistol shooting, and cross-country running.
Military Veteran Gold Medalists of the Past
Several military veterans have captured the gold over the past century of Olympic Games. Among them are John Woodruff who won the gold in the 800m track and field event in 1936 in Berlin; Bill Bradley who won gold on the U.S. basketball team in 1964 in Tokyo; and Steve Holcomb who won the gold in bobsledding in 2010 in Vancouver.
Of these heroes who served our country several times over, some of their stories stand out more than the others. Just one example is Charles “Charley” Paddock who won the gold twice in the 1920 Olympics, once each in the 100m and 100m relay. He joined the Marine Corps and served in WWI before joining the track and field team at the University of Southern California. During his time on the team, he gained an upper hand in sprint events. After the war, the first major sporting event to take place was the Inter-Allied Games in 1919 in which Paddock competed and won both the 100m and 200m events. Due to his incredible records, he soon became known as the fastest man alive—the first person to be named such. Paddock competed in the Olympic Games in Belgium in 1920, winning 3 medals for the U.S. (2 gold and 1 silver). Paddock gained incredible prestige from his skill as a runner and was even portrayed in the 1981 Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire. Paddock’s life came to a tragic end during WWII when he and Major General William P. Upshur died in a plane crash over Alaska. However, his legacy lives on and thousands of Olympians have competed and shown the world their strengths since his time.
The 2016 Olympic Games have come to a close, and here at Low VA Rates, we want to say thank you to every U.S. Olympian who competed this year. Qualifying for these international games is an incredible feat in itself and requires elite skill. We are grateful to have so many talented Americans, and we are grateful for the military veteran Olympians who have fought and competed in behalf of our nation. In our way, we give back to all U.S. veterans through affordable VA mortgage loans. You probably didn’t see us in Rio over the past couple of weeks, but we certainly earned the gold medal in offering low VA home loan rates. Want to know more? Call us now at 855-223-0705!