After Action has told you about the soldier-wrestlers heading to London. And we’ve filled you in on the soldier and sailor shooters, too (so have our friends with Military Times OFFduty; check out Jon Anderson’s piece here). But with Olympic opening ceremonies closing in, it’s a good time to meet two more Army World Class Athlete Program members who’ll represent their service and country in London. For more on these and other WCAP members, visit the program’s official website.
Name: Staff Sgt. John Nunn
Event: 50-kilometer race walk
Olympic experience: Second trip (competed in the 20-km race walk in Athens in 2004).
How he got here: Took first Jan. 22 at the Olympic trials, setting a course record in 4 hours, 4 minutes, 38 seconds.
Medal hopes: Nunn’s qualifying time is about 30 minutes off world-record pace.
Off the course: Nunn’s 8-year-old daughter has her own cookie company. Dad helps a little. Check out this Los Angeles Times feature for details. You know those cute features NBC runs during its prime-time Olympics coverage? If a cookie company run by a soldier’s 8-year-old daughter doesn’t make the cut, somebody needs to be fired.
Name: Spc. Dennis Bowsher
Event: Modern pentathlon
Olympic experience: First trip. Bowsher was an alternate for the 2008 Beijing games.
How he got here: A fourth-place finish at the 2011 Pan-American Games.
Medal hopes: Bowsher ranks 44th in the world, according to this Associated Press write-up.
What’s a pentathlon?: Five events, right? Not really. This year, athletes begin with fencing, then a swim, then horseback riding, then a combined running-shooting event — shoot at five targets, run 1,000 kilometers, return to the range. After 15 targets and 3,000 km, we have a winner. It’s a one-day event that may require the most diverse skill set in all of athletics.
Army connection: Placing fifth in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics — George S. Patton. Yes, that George S. Patton.