Defense Olympics Update: The Seventeenth Military Olympian, and His Brother
U.S. Air Force Captain Justin Dumais
In the coverage of our military Olympians the story has been that there are 16 Olympians and four coaches and trainers — and, technically, that is true.
But tucked away in a U.S. Air Force news release we find that in addition to U.S. Air Force’s Captain Seth Kelsey — who barely missed getting the Bronze in the men’s epee fencing event — another Air Force officer qualified for an alternate position on the U.S. Olympic team.
The seventeenth military Olympian athlete is Capt. Justin Dumais, an F-16 pilot assigned to the 157th Fighter Squadron, McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C. Dumais is an alternate competitor in the men’s three-meter synchronized diving event.
Dumais represented the U.S. at the 2004 Olympic Games and took sixth place in the men’s three-meter synchronized springboard competition.
While Justin Dumais may not have the opportunity to compete at the London Olympics, there is another Dumais who certainly has had such an opportunity. It is Troy Dumais, Justin’s younger brother.
On Wednesday in London, Troy Dumais teamed with Kristian Ipsen to give the United States its third straight medal on the boards. “It was quite an accomplishment for a team that hadn’t won any medals since the 2000 Sydney Games, and even more so for Dumais,” according to the Claremore Daily Progress.
Troy Dumais and Kristian Ipsen won bronze for the United States in the men’s synchronized springboard event Wednesday at the London Aquatics Centre.
The Chinese pair of Kai Qin and Yutong Luo won the gold and Ilva Zakharov and Evgeny Kuznetsov of Russia took the silver.
More about Troy Dumais from the Claremore Daily Progress:
He was just the second man to make four U.S. Olympic diving teams, but unlike the first – four-time gold medalist Greg Louganis – there wasn’t a medal in Dumais’ collection until he and the 19-year-old Ipsen took bronze in the 3-meter synchronized.
But Dumais had no complaints. Not after so much disappointment.
He just missed making the Olympic team as a 16-year-old, finishing third on the platform at the 1996 U.S. trials. Once he did make the team, he kept coming up short – most notably in 2000, when he finished fourth in springboard synchro, and again four years later when he had a shot at a medal with his brother Justin, but the siblings botched their final dive.
Dumais decided to come back for his fourth Olympics, looking to snap a streak of four straight sixth-place finishes.
Finally, he got his medal.
“Things happen the way they’re supposed to happen,” Dumais said.”I never felt defeated. I felt more energized to do this because I was so close.”
He thought of his brother, who still competes in synchro with a third sibling, as he stepped onto the board for his final dive with Ipsen, fully aware that a medal was possible even though he wasn’t keeping up with the scores.
“(Justin) was up there with me,” Dumais said, choking up a bit.
The Americans kept up their medal-winning ways, providing a huge boost going into the individual events that begin Friday with preliminaries of the women’s springboard. So far, they have a silver and two bronzes.
Dumais has another event in London, the individual 3-meter springboard.
After that, he might finally be ready to walk away – with no regrets and at least one medal in hand.
Thus far we have not seen the military Dumais perform, but Troy is as close as one can get to Justin and, after all, he represents the USA.
Good luck Troy.
It wasn’t such good news for our military shooters.
In the 50 m. prone rifle competition, Army Staff Sgt. Michael McPhail and Army Sgt. 1st Class Eric Uptagrafft failed to qualify for the final. Sergei Martynov of Belarus won the gold, Lionel Cox of Belgium won the silver and Rajmond Debevec of Slovenia the silver.
McPhail was one of nine shooters tied for fourth place in qualifying for the final but after a shootoff he was ninth overall – and only the top shooters advanced to the final, according to the Washington Post.
In the 25 m. rapid fire pistol event, two-time Olympian Staff Sgt. Keith Sanderson placed 14th and did not go to the finals.
Photo: U.S. Air Force Magazine