In a few short weeks, 2023 will officially be coming to an end. That’s right, 2024 is on the horizon. This upcoming summer is sure to be an exciting one as the 2024 Paris Olympics are set to take place. The XXXIII Olympiad will include 32 sports. France is putting in extra effort to make their sixth time hosting one spectators will never forget by transforming famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower into sporting arenas. This makes the world’s biggest stage for competitive sports even bigger. Additionally, it makes winning even more crucial. The United States is going to want its best athletes representing our country in the Olympics 2024, and what better choices than the athletes that chose to serve our country outside of their sport.
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The Top Military Prospects of the Summer Olympics 2024
Weight Class: -68kg
This combat engineer is a Soldier-athlete for the US Army World Class Athlete Program (WCAP) at Fort Carson in Colorado. The Florida native was a 2019 USA Taekwondo National Champion and participated on the Youth Olympic Team. Now, Harris has qualified for the USA Taekwondo World Team and will represent the US Army at the Paris Olympics 2024 in the light heavyweight class.
Sport: Track & Field
Event: 5,000m / 10,000m
Ednah Kurgat started her running career after high school. She got an athletic scholarship from the University of New Mexico where she became a NCAA Cross Country Champion. After college graduation, she enlisted in the Army and joined the US Army World Class Athlete Program (WCAP). Kurgat was named to the USA Track and Field World Cross-Country Squad after her win at the USATF Cross-Country National Championships in January 2023.
Sport: Track & Field
Event: 3,000m Steeplechase
Anthony Rotich is a 4-time NCAA National Champion and an 11-time all American at the University of Texas in El Paso. He grew up in Kenya playing soccer and chasing antelope. He started running to gain a scholarship in order to study abroad. Rotich joined the Army in 2016. He competed at the 2023 U.S. Track and Field (USATF) Outdoor National Championships alongside his teammate from WCAP, Benard Keter. Both runners claimed spots on the USA world team by finishing in the top 5. Be sure to watch them compete in the Olympics 2024.
Weight Division: 165 lbs.
Naomi Graham started boxing as a hobby out of high school. Shortly after, she enlisted in the Army and began a self-training regimen. At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Graham became the first female active service member to compete for the US. Graham lost to Russian boxer Zenfira Magomedalieva at the Tokyo Olympics. She is set to compete at the Olympics 2024 next year. Watch her in the 2024 USA Boxing Olympic Trials with six other WCAP Soldiers.
Nikole (Nikki) Barnes has been sailing since she was six years old. She grew up in the Virgin Islands and eventually attended the United States Coast Guard Academy. Now, she is a Lieutenant in Miami. She is also the first member of the Coast Guard to compete at the Olympics.
Be Sure to Tune In to the Olympics 2024
Watching these American heroes compete in the Olympic Games this summer is a must. While the games are still a ways away, here are some key dates to keep in mind.
On July 14, 2024, the Olympic flame will make its arrival in Paris. On July 24, 2024, Rugby 7s and soccer matches are kicking off the Olympics 2024. The Olympic Games opening ceremony occurs on July 26, 2024 at 8:24 p.m. The Paris Olympics closing ceremony is taking place on August 11, 2024 at the Stade de France. This year is sure to be unforgettable. Be sure to tune in to watch these American military heroes represent their country.
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