Meet The US Army's 10 Olympic Athletes

wrestling flip army olympics

Photo: US Army IMCOM / flickr

The Army has a development program designed to recruit top Army athletes to play for the United States in the Olympic Games.The Army World Class Athlete Program selects the best of the military to compete in martial arts, shooting and other events.

Since U.S. Army soldiers already train heavily, it’s a great program for both the Department of defence as well as the U.S. Olympic Committee.

In the Winter Olympics, you’ll see marksmen and bobsledders who have a day job soldiering. This summer in London, you’ll see 10 Army soldiers playing for Team USA on the wrestling, boxing, shooting and other teams.

Sargent Spenser Mango

Event: Wrestling

Military Occupation: Transportation

Biography: Mango is a Greco-Roman wrestler. This is his second Olympic Games, competing in 2008 as well. He graduated from Christian Brothers College High School and attended Northern Michigan University, enlisting in 2010.

Record: He's a four-time U.S. National champ.

SFC Daryl Szarenski

Events: Free Pistol and Air Pistol

Military Occupation: Infantry

Biography: Szarenski is a four-time Olympic Team member. He's a 5-Time World Championship team member, and attended Rodger Williams University. He enlisted in the Army in October 1991.

Record: He's a 3-time USA Shooting Pistol shooter of the Year

Staff Sergeant Joe Guzman

Event: Boxing (Coach)

Military Occupation: Transportation

Biography: Guzman is a former boxer and is currently serving as the U.S. Olympic Team Boxing Trainer. He's an assistant coach this year. Guzman hails from Eloy, Arizona and enlisted in the Army in 1999. He started boxing when he was 12.

Record: While new to coaching on this level, Guzman was the 3-time All-Army champ

Staff Sergent Charles Leverette

Event: Boxing (Coach)

Military Occupation: Engineering

Biography: Leverette is the assistant boxing coach for the U.S. Olympic team and is a former heavyweight boxer. He started boxing after his platoon leader bet him that he could not win a local event, wining the match and the bet.

Record: He's a U.S. national championship bronze medalist and was a bronze medalist at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials. He also coached in 2008.

Staff Sergeant John Nunn

Event: Race Walk

Military Occupation: Infantry

Biography: Nunn is a race walker, an event where competitors must have one foot on the ground at all times. The key in this race is maintaining a cadence for hours at a time, ensuring that the back toe doesn't leave the ground until the front heal hits it. Nunn is from Evansville, Indiana and enlisted in 2001.

Record: Nun's personal record for the 20K race walk is 1:22.31. He's a five-time U.S. National silver medalist.

SMC Dremiel Byers

Event: Wrestling

Military Occupation: Quartermaster

Biography: Byers began wrestling in high school to help out a friend in need of a workout buddy. Hailing from Kings Mountain, North Carolina, Byers enlisted in September 1994. He competes in the 264.5-pound weight class. This is his second Olympic Games.

Record: Byers is the only American to achieve the status of World Champion and World Military Champion. He's won the U.S. Nationals 10 times. He's one to watch in London.

SFC Keith Sanderson

Event: Rapid Fire Pistol

Military Occupation: Infantry

Biography: Sanderson is a rapid-fire pistol shooter. This is his third Olympic Games. Sanderson spent eight years in the Marine Corps before enlisting in the Army in February 2005. He's considered one of the most elite shooters the United States has to offer.

Record: Four World Championship wins, an Olympic record in the 2008 Olympic Games, multiple placings in international competitions.

Major David Johnson

Event: Rifle (Coach)

Military Occupation: Infantry

Biography: Johnson started shooting in 1972 and has served in the military since May 1986. He's got a B.S. in finance from West Virginia University, and is a member of the Army Marksmanship Unit. London is David's fourth Olympic Games and his third as Head Rifle Team Coach.

Record: His athletes have received three Olympic medals

SPC Dennis Bowsher

Event: Modern Pentathlon

Military Occupation: Transportation

Biography: Hailing from Dallas, Bowsher joined the Army in 2005 and initially dreamed of going to the Olympics as a swimmer. Modern Pentathlon consists of five events: Shooting, Swimming, Fencing, Equestian, and Cross Country Running. There's an epee duel that lasts up to a minute, a 200 m freestyle race, a show-jumping equestian round, a 10 meter air pistol competition followed by a 3 km cross-country race.

Record: Bowsher was the U.S. National Champion in Pentathlon in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2012.

SPC Justin Lester

Event: Wrestling

Military Occupation: Field Artillery

Biography: Hailing from Akron, Ohio, Lester is a Greco-Roman wrestler. He went to college at the University of North Michigan and enlisted in the Army in 2010. This is his first Olympic Games. He began wrestling in third grade.

Record: He's a three time U.S. National Champ and he's been named to seven U.S. World teams.

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