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Meet The First U.S. Military Athlete To Win A Medal At Rio Olympics

August 17, 2016

Army Reserve 2nd Lt. Sam Kendricks became the first United States military athlete to win a medal at the Olympic games in Rio.

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Kendricks was able to claim a bronze medal for men’s pole vault after he cleared the height of 19 feet 2 ¼ inches.

Kendricks was leading after the qualifying rounds, but was unable to beat out Brazil’s Thiago Silva, who won gold, and France’s Renaud Lavillenie, who won silver.

The United States was unable to place in pole vault the previous two Olympic games.

Army Secretary Eric Fanning tweeted at Kendricks to congratulate him on his amazing accomplishment.


Kendricks is a 5-time U.S. champion that also punched his ticket to the 2012 Olympic games in London.

“As a military man and a U.S. athlete, I keep my haircut in order to put the best foot forward for all the soldiers who are watching,” he told Team USA. “Those guys are really proud of me and have given me every chance to continue as a civilian.”