Two Immigrant Soldiers Make US Olympic Team

Posted on: July 10th, 2016
by Greg Siskind
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FloSports reports that two soldiers in the Army’s MAVNI immigration program have qualified for the US Olympic team in this summer’s games in Rio.

U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program runners Shadrack Kipchirchir and Leonard Korir finished second and third to qualify for their first Olympic team. The 81-degree weather wreaked havoc on the field as Bernard Lagat, Eric Jenkins, German Fernandez, Diego Estrada, and Jason Witt dropped out. Lagat dramatically dropped out when Hassan Mead caught him for third place, but Mead then dropped out—though he later returned to the track—when Korir passed him for third.

This was the first Olympic Trials for Kipchirchir and Korir, though Kipchirchir was on the U.S. 10K at last year’s world championships. Kipchirchir competed at Oklahoma State and Korir was an NCAA champion at Iona; both are Kenyans who obtained U.S. citizenship the hard way—joining the Army.