American pole vaulter Sam Kendricks has become an internet sensation after abruptly stopping mid vault during the Rio Games for what many are saying is the moment of the Olympics.
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Kendricks was running full speed during the qualifying round for the vault when he heard the national anthem begin playing from the speakers. The Olympian drops his pole and stops as fast as he can, snapping to attention for the anthem.
You see, Sam Kendricks isn’t just an Olympic champion, he’s a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army Reserves, something he’s exceptionally proud of, and that he used to put his bronze medal victory into perspective:
“They say back home, and jokingly in track circles, that if you win a medal it will change your life. I think your life is changed on the way to that medal, honestly.
“With all the journeys and sacrifices that you make, all the training that you do, and the people you leave at home to watch. That is what is really the value of the (medal). I’m glad I have something tangible to bring home and show for it.
“I know that everybody in Oxford will love to see it. But the journey, like my coach says, is the goal. Not necessarily the medals. And it’s very fun to come and compete, but not necessarily the end of all things.”
The Army is pretty dang proud of their Olympic champion as well, sending this out after 2LT Kendricks brought home the bronze medal for Team USA.
Pretty soon, Sam will be trading in the Team USA uniform for the 2016 games, for his other Team USA uniform:
Here’s the video many are calling “the most patriotic moment of the Rio Games”: