American Olympian Sam Kendricks started his sprint in the men’s pole vaulting qualifying round when he suddenly realized that the national anthem had begun to play. Peeling his concentration away from his goal, Kendricks quickly dropped his pole and stood at attention in a masterful show of patriotism.
But Kendricks is not just an Olympic athlete. As the moving story has made its rounds online, it has come to light that Kendrick is a U.S. Army Reserve 2nd lieutenant.
In Rio, Kendricks, an Ole Miss grad, went on to bring home a bronze medal. He had this very humble thing to say about winning:
“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.”
It's time a story like this spent a little more time in the national spotlight.