US Olympian, Sam Kendricks, caused quite a stir in social media over the weekend! This massive amount of attention came after video surfaced of Kendrick's abruptly stopping his pole vault attempt in order to stand attention for the national anthem. The Star-Spangled Banner began playing right as Kendricks was beginning to full on sprint for his attempt.
However instead of completing his jump, he immediately stopped running and dropped his pole. He proudly stood to attention to honor the country he was competing for and has even previously defended.
While representing the USA in Rio, the 23-year-old is also currently a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve.
His extremely patriotic act encouraged endless praise across all social medial channels.
The act occurred during one of Kendricks's qualifying jumps last week.
Kendricks was also the very first military member of the U.S. team to medal!
“As a military man and as a U.S. athlete, I keep my haircut in order to put the best foot forward for all the soldiers who are watching,” Kendricks said. “Those guys are really proud of me and have given me every chance to continue as a civilian,” he added.
Kendricks explained that he was more than proud “to represent the Americans on two fronts, as a military man and as a U.S. athlete.”
Currently at the Rio Games there are 19 competitors that are in the U.S. armed services or have retired from duty.
“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.
“It’s about having a plan and seeing yourself through a long journey. I don’t consider it a sacrifice.”
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