Army Reserve 2nd Lt. Sam Kendricks became the very first military member of the U.S. team to medal! On Monday night at the Rio Olympics, Kendricks won a bronze medal. This win came after Kendricks cleared the pole vault bar at an impressive 19 feet 2 & 1/4 inches.
Army Secretary Eric Fanning took to Twitter and said,
“Congrats @samkendricks! USA!”
Fanning tweeted on Monday night after the event.
This morning, he also added,
“Still thinking about @SamKendricks’s medal last night, Now, even more energized for my trip to #Rio2016. #ArmyProud.”
Fanning will be part of the U.S. Presidential Delegation that will be present during the closing ceremonies.
Kendricks finished behind Brazil’s Thiago Silva and France’s Renaud Lavillenie.
He graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2014.
Kendricks has also previously represented the USA at the 2012 Olympics in London.
Words Of Wisdom
“As a military man and as a U.S. athlete, I keep my haircut in order to put the best foot forward for all the soldiers who are watching,” Kendricks said. “Those guys are really proud of me and have given me every chance to continue as a civilian,” he added.
Kendricks explained that he was more than proud “to represent the Americans on two fronts, as a military man and as a U.S. athlete.”
Currently at the Rio Games there are 19 competitors that are in the U.S. armed services or have retired from duty.
“The sacrifices that you make set precedent for the rest of your life in sports,” Kendricks said. “They become who you are. Ten years down the road I will see my sacrifices. We are athletes, and we live this life to try to represent ourselves professionally.
“It’s about having a plan and seeing yourself through a long journey. I don’t consider it a sacrifice.”