Secretary of the Army Accepts a Mission to Rio

ericfanningrio

The U.S. Army sent a large contingent to the Rio Olympics and now President Obama has named Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning to the U.S. Presidential Delegation that will attend the closing ceremony next Sunday August 21st. The Army has 14 Olympians along with three coaches as a part of Team USA at the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics.

1912_fencing_patton_and_mas_latrie

The Army has been sending soldier-athletes to compete in the Olympics since 1912, when the young Second Lieutenant George S. Patton competed in the modern pentathlon. Patton claimed he was denied a medal because he shot too well: he believed that three of the twenty shots from his .38 Colt Special went through gaping holes left by earlier rounds fired and that the deductions that knocked him down to 21st place were unwarranted.

Since Patton, Army athletes have collected 104 Olympic medals. This year, the Army has 14 Olympians along with three coaches as a part of Team USA at the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics. The U.S. delegation will be headed by Gina McCarthy, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Joining Fanning in the group will be retired NBA player Jason Collins, Olympic track and field legend Jackie Joyner-Kersee, U.S. ambassador to Brazil Liliana Ayalde, and White House staffers Bess Evans and Lauren Kelly.