Last Two U.S. Military Olympians Slated to Compete in London Olympics
As the London Summer Olympics draw to a close, we wish the last two military Olympians yet to compete every success.
• Spc. Dennis Bowsher, 29, of Dallas, who will compete in modern pentathlon, a five-sport event that includes fencing, swimming, equestrian show jumping, cross country and laser pistol shooting all in the same day, tomorrow, August 11.
• Staff Sgt. John Nunn, a dental hygienist, who will compete tomorrow in the 50-kilometer race-walk event in the Olympics, an event he has only competed in three times. He won the Olympic trials for the 50-kilometer racewalk and has competed in the 20-kilometer racewalk in the 2004 Olympics. He puts in 100 miles a week in training.
We have been including in our updates the achievements of close relatives of members of the U.S. military.
Here are a couple more:
On Wednesday, Janay DeLoach won the bronze medal for Team USA by jumping 6.89 meters in the women’s long jump at the London Summer Olympics.
Janay DeLoach soars through the air in her third attempt at the women’s long jump final Aug. 8, 2012, at Olympic Stadium in London. The performance earned her the bronze medal. (U.S. Army photo.)
Her USA teammate, Brittney Reese, won the gold with a jump of 7.12 meters, and Russia’s Elena Sokolova captured silver with a jump of 7.07.
Constantly motivating and cheering DeLoach on has been her father, retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt. William DeLoach.
“My dad’s here with me, cheering me on,” DeLoach said according to Gary Sheftick of the Army News Service. “He’s been there the whole way through. … He’s always supported me in all my endeavors.”
Her father is retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt. William DeLoach, whose last assignment was at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. He now works as a contractor there with the 416th Flight Test Squadron.
The Army News Service:
[Chief Master Sergeant DeLoach’s] daughter began competing in long jump at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, at age 13.
“I didn’t get too many meets in, but you know, it set the stage for where I am now,” DeLoach said of competing in track and field at Ben Eielson High School.
She went on to compete in track and field at Colorado State University, but said she didn’t really get serious about long jumping until last year.
“That was the year that I won indoors,” said the 26-year-old, 5-foot-5-inch athlete. DeLoach won the World Indoor Championship last year with a jump of 6.99 meters.
At the Olympic track and field trials in Eugene, Ore. five weeks ago, DeLoach earned the No. 3 spot on the USA team with a jump of 7.03 meters.
At the long-jump finals in London and after several jumps and close calls, DeLoach finally, on her fifth attempt, “soared through the air for a jump of 6.89 meters. She got up out of the sand pit with a smile.”
Finally, we have all been enthralled with and captivated by the gymnastic abilities and the “Olympic-class charm” of sixteen-year-old Gabby Douglas, who on August 2 became just the fourth American to win an Olympic gold medal in women’s all-around gymnastics, after having also won gold with the USA women’s gymnastics team.
Gabby is the daughter of Virginia Air National Guard SSgt. Timothy Douglas.