20 U.S. troops to compete in London Olympics
By RUSTY BRYAN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 18, 2012
Twenty members of the U.S. military will be among the 10,000 participants to converge on London next week for the 2012 Summer Olympics, according to Steven Dinote of the Armed Forces Sports Secretariat.
Four of them, all part of the Army’s World Class Athletes Program at Ft. Carson, Colo., are traveling to London as coaches. David Johnson is the head rifle coach for USA Shooting, Shon Lewis will direct the U.S. Greco-Roman wrestlers, and Joe Guzman and Charles Leverette are assistant boxing coaches.
The remaining 16 are scheduled to participate in sports ranging from fencing to track and field.
They’re led in terms of experience by Army pistol marksman Daryl Szarenski, who shot in Sydney in 2000, Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008.
Ft. Carson’s U.S. 120-kilogram Greco-Roman wrestler Dremiel Byers will be on the mats in his second straight games. Byers, a 10-time national champion, finished seventh in Beijing.
Two of Byers’ WCAP teammates will join him for the Greco-Roman tournament in London. Justin Lester, a 66-kilo performer, and Spenser Mango, a 55-kilo competitor, will take their games to London along with Lewis and Byers.
The other Army WCAP participants in London are rapid-fire pistol shooter Keith Sanderson, 50-kilometer race walker John Nunn and modern pentathlete Dennis Bowsher.
In a down year for military boxers, WCAP boxing coaches Guzman and Leverette will be taking just one military boxer to the 2012 Games. He’s 64-kilogram champion Jamel Herring, a Marine from Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Seth Kelsey, a Schriever Air Force Base, Colo.-based fencer who’ll wield the epee in London, is the lone airman on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, and free and air pistol competitor Sandra Uptagrafft, based in Columbus, Ga., is the only sailor on the squad.
Six sharpshooters from the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning, Ga., round out the 2012 military contingent. Vincent Hancock, a skeet shooter, and Glenn Eller and Joshua Richmoned, both double-trap shooters, man the shotguns for the U.S. team. Jason Parker fires three-position rifle, and Michael McPhail and Eric Uptagrafft will try their hands in prone-position rifle.