All Sam Kendricks did for the United States was win the bronze medal on Monday night at the Rio Olympics. The victory was the first pole vault medal for Team USA in 12 years. But does Kendricks’ dedication to his country stop there? Nope. He serves as a second lieutenant in the 655th Transportation Company of the Army Reserves in Millington, Tennessee.
Army Reserve 2nd Lt. Sam Kendricks cleared the pole vault bar at 19 feet 2-¼ inches to take third place, becoming the first member of the military to win a medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
So while he’s serving his country in the Army Reserves, the 23-year-old also trained to be an all-world athlete that beat the best of the best.
Kendricks graduated from the University of Mississippi, where he was a two-time NCAA champion in pole vaulting.
Kendricks explained how his brothers in the military motivated him:
“Those guys are really proud of me and have given me every chance to continue as a civilian. I am certainly looking to represent the Americans on two fronts, as a military man and as a U.S. athlete. I’m just trying to put my best foot forward for all those soldiers who are watching.”
Kendricks is a five-time U.S. champion and represented Team USA at the 2012 London Olympics.
“The sacrifices that you make set precedent for the rest of your life in sports,” Kendricks said. “They become who you are. Ten years down the road I will see my sacrifices. We are athletes, and we live this life to try to represent ourselves professionally.”
Thank you for all that you do for this country Army Reserve 2nd Lt. Sam Kendricks, on the track and in the Army.
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