Five U.S. Army Soldiers—with four in the shooting sports—are among the first 100 athletes named to the U.S. Olympic Team scheduled to compete beginning Aug. 5 in the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.
IMCOM Public Affairs reported this week that rapid-fire pistol shooter SFC Keith Sanderson, race walker SSG John Nunn and Modern Pentathlete SGT Nathan Schrimsher are Soldier-athletes in the U.S. Army Installation Management Command’s World Class Athlete Program at Fort Carson, CO. They will join shotgun shooter SFC Glenn Eller and rifle shooter SFC Michael McPhail, both soldier-athletes in the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning, GA.
Opening Ceremonies for the Rio Games are set for Aug. 5, with competition in 306 events scheduled in 42 sports among athletes from 206 countries.
Sanderson, 41, a three-time Olympian from San Antonio, is the most decorated competitive pistol shooter in U.S. military history, according to the Army public affairs office. A nine-time World Cup medalist, he set an Olympic qualification record in the 2008 Beijing Games and finished fifth. He is scheduled to compete, Aug. 12 and 13, in the two-day 25-meter rapid fire pistol event.
“First, I want to make the final,” Sanderson said. “Second, make it to the medal round. Third, I want to get a gold medal. I feel like I have to get a gold. I want to be the best U.S. pistol shooter in history.”
Eller, 34, a native of Houston, will be competing in his fifth Olympics. He won the gold medal for double trap at the 2008 Beijing Games and was named USA Shooting’s Athlete of the Year in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2008 and 2013. He is scheduled to compete Aug. 10 in Rio.
McPhail, 34, originally from Darlington, WI, missed making the prone rifle finals by three-tenths of a point at the 2012 London Olympics. He has won 10 medals in international competition, including two World Cup victories in 2015. McPhail is scheduled to compete Aug. 12 in the men’s 50-meter prone rifle event.
Schrimsher, 23, a native of Roswell, NM, now stationed at Fort Carson, will make his Olympic debut in Modern Pentathlon, a five-sport event consisting of fencing, swimming, equestrian show jumping, cross-country running and pistol shooting. He is scheduled to compete Aug. 18 and 20.
Nunn, 38, a native of Evansville, Ind. who lives in Bonsall, CA, will be competing in his third Olympics. He finished 43rd in the men’s 50-kilometer race walk with a personal-best time of 4 hours, 3 minutes and 28 seconds at the 2012 London Olympic Games. The Olympic 20-kilometer race walk is scheduled for Aug. 12 at Fort Copacabana and the 50K is set for Aug. 19.