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Spc. Kamal Bey of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program celebrates after winning the 77 kg gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling at the Pan American Games in 2023 in Santiago, Chile. Bey will be competing at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Spc. Kamal Bey of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program celebrates after winning the 77 kg gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling at the Pan American Games in 2023 in Santiago, Chile. Bey will be competing at the 2024 Paris Olympics. (Nate Garcia/U.S. Army)

U.S. service members are setting their sights on gold when this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games come to France, particularly when it comes to the shooting range.

Seven U.S. Army soldiers and at least two veterans qualified for the Olympic Games, held July 26 through Aug. 11 in Paris and other French cities. Another three active-duty soldiers will compete in the Paralympics from Aug. 28 to Sept. 8.

The Army Marksmanship Unit based at Fort Moore, Ga, will be sending a sizable contingent to France. The unit, created in 1956 by President Dwight Eisenhower, has earned 26 Olympic medals so far.

One Army veteran of that unit, Vincent Hancock, 35, is competing in his fifth Olympics and will push for his fourth gold medal after winning men’s skeet in Beijing, London and Tokyo.

Four current members will test their mettle in a field of 340 across 15 disciplines from July 27 to Aug. 5 at the Chateauroux Shooting Center.

Sgt. Sagen Maddalena, Sgt. Ivan Roe, Staff Sgt. Will Hinton, and Staff Sgt. Rachel Tozier have qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. All are marksmanship instructors/competitive shooters for the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit stationed at Fort Moore, Ga.

Sgt. Sagen Maddalena, Sgt. Ivan Roe, Staff Sgt. Will Hinton, and Staff Sgt. Rachel Tozier have qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. All are marksmanship instructors/competitive shooters for the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit stationed at Fort Moore, Ga. (Michelle Lunato/U.S. Army)

Sgts. Ivan Roe and Sagen Maddalena will compete in two events in France.

Roe, a Montana native, is making his first Olympics appearance after qualifying in the men’s 10 meter air rifle and 50 meter three-position, or smallbore events.

The 28-year-old made All-American seven times at Murray State University and joined the Army Marksmanship Unit in 2019.

“Representing the U.S. is – it’s a dream I’ve had since I was a little kid,” Roe said in an Army statement. “So, it’s a culmination of everything I’ve been doing the last two decades. It’s a huge, huge milestone.”

Maddalena hails from Groveland, Calif., and is entering her second Games. She will be looking to make the podium after taking fifth place in the 50 meter small bore in Tokyo. She’s adding the 10 meter air rifle this time around.

The 30-year-old walked on at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and earned eight All-American selections in air rifle and small bore shooting before joining the Army.

Along with Roe, two others from the Army Marksmanship Unit will make their Olympic debuts. Staff Sgts. Rachel Tozier, 32, and Will Hinton, 28, qualified in trapshooting.

Tozier, a Pattonsburg, Mo., native, joined the Army marksmanship program in 2017 and has earned 11 medals in international competitions.

“When I was a senior in high school, I wrote that I wanted to make the Olympic team ... so it’s nice to be able to cross that off,” Tozier said in March.

Hinton, who is from the Atlanta metro area, made a U.S. junior world team in 2013. He switched from sporting clays to international-style trap in 2016 after joining the Army.

Keith Sanderson, 49, a Marine Corps and Army veteran, returns for his fourth Games in the 25 meter men’s rapid-fire pistol.

U.S. Army Capt. Sammy Sullivan runs with the ball during a U.S. rugby sevens match on March 2 in a tournament at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. Sullivan is one of seven soldiers who qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics being held July 26 through Aug. 11.

U.S. Army Capt. Sammy Sullivan runs with the ball during a U.S. rugby sevens match on March 2 in a tournament at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. Sullivan is one of seven soldiers who qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics being held July 26 through Aug. 11. (Evan Denworth/USA Rugby)

Meanwhile, Capt. Sammy Sullivan made the women’s rugby sevens squad for her first Olympic Games.

The 26-year-old West Point graduate will play the edge prop position for the Eagles during the tournament, held July 28-30 at the Stade de France in Paris.

The women’s rugby team seeks the program’s first medal since the introduction of the sport at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Eagles took fourth place in world series league stage and beat France, one of the nations in their pool and a medal contender, 19-5 in the semifinals of a tournament in Hong Kong on April 7.

“When we really set our minds to it, we can go out and beat these high-level teams,” Sullivan told Stars and Stripes, while naming defending champion New Zealand, 2016 winner Australia and France as the main medal contenders. “That win (against France) in particular solidified in my mind that we can podium at the Olympics.”

Staff Sgt. Leonard Korir runs during the U.S. Olympic marathon trials on Feb. 3, 2024 in Orlando, Fla., on his way to qualifying for the Paris Olympics.

Staff Sgt. Leonard Korir runs during the U.S. Olympic marathon trials on Feb. 3, 2024 in Orlando, Fla., on his way to qualifying for the Paris Olympics. (Nathaniel Garcia/U.S. Army)

On the track, Army Reserve 1st Lt. Sam Kendricks won the pole vault at the U.S. trials last month in Eugene, Ore. He set a new meet record by clearing 19 feet, 5 inches.

Kendricks, 31, earned a bronze medal in Rio in 2016, but he missed out in 2021 with a positive COVID-19 test. He has won two world championships and is an 11-time U.S. champion. He’s also ranked third on the World Athletics list.

Distance runner Staff Sgt. Leonard Korir, 37, is back at the Games after missing out on qualifying for the Tokyo Games by just 3 seconds.

The former Iona College athlete took 14th place in the 10-kilometer race in 2016.

He placed third in the marathon at the U.S. Olympic trials. His race in Paris will take place Aug. 10.

Spc. Kamal Bey is competing in Greco-Roman wrestling in the 77-kilogram weight class. The Colorado Springs, Colo., native received an Olympic quota spot following the vacated berths of Individual Neutral Athletes, or Olympic qualifiers with Russian and Belarussian passports who were deemed eligible and invited to compete in Paris.

Bey, 26, will compete Aug. 6-7 at the Champ-de-Mars Arena.

Soldiers coaching at the Games are former Olympians Master Sgt. Dennis Bowsher in the modern pentathlon and Sgt. 1st Class Spenser Mango in wrestling.

Army Staff Sgt. Kevin Nguyen, right, poses with his teammate, Sgt. 1st Class John Joss, during USA Shooting's Paralympic Trials - Part 3 in Talladega, Ala., in April 2024. Both soldiers have made Team USA and will compete in the 2024 Paris Paralympics this summer.

Army Staff Sgt. Kevin Nguyen, right, poses with his teammate, Sgt. 1st Class John Joss, during USA Shooting's Paralympic Trials - Part 3 in Talladega, Ala., in April 2024. Both soldiers have made Team USA and will compete in the 2024 Paris Paralympics this summer. (Kulani Lakanaria/U.S. Army)

On the Paralympics side, Sgt. 1st Class John Wayne Joss III, 41, and Staff Sgt. Kevin Nguyen, 31, will be shooting in the R6 50-meter rifle prone SH1 event.

Sgt. 1st Class Elizabeth Marks, a 33-year-old swimmer, will try to repeat her impressive Tokyo Games haul of three medals — a gold, a silver and a bronze.

author picture
Matt is a sports reporter for Stars and Stripes based in Kaiserslautern, Germany. A son of two career Air Force aircraft maintenance technicians, he previously worked at newspapers in northeast Ohio for 10 years and is a graduate of Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.

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