"Being an Olympian is the best way to
represent the United States."
Spc. Paul Chelimo realized his talent for running when his brothers would fail to catch him while playing tag in his home town in Iten, Kenya. Chelimo received a college scholarship to run in the United States and graduated from North Carolina Greensboro, as a five-time all-American. Chelimo enlisted in the Army in 2014 and became a citizen in time to run for the U.S. at the Olympics in Rio de Janeriro.
Chelimo is the first American male since 1964 to win an Olympic medal in the 5,000 meters. He is a member of the Army's World Class Athlete Program (WCAP), which specifically trains nationally and internationally ranked Soldiers for the Olympics. "They've been there for me the whole time," Chelimo said of the WCAP team. "I've been training hard, and that's why I've been able to do well. They've shown me that they believe in me."