LDS Athletes Claim Spot on Olympic Podium
Contributed By Jason Swensen
- Christopher Fogt, a returned missionary from Utah, won the bronze medal in the four-man bobsled competition.
- Fogt said he won his medal for himself, his family, and his fellow soldiers.
- Torah Bright of Australia won the silver medal in the women’s snowboard halfpipe.
William and Janet Fogt didn’t get much sleep during the recent February 22–23 weekend.
Early each morning, the Fogts—along with several friends and relatives—gathered in the living room of their Alpine, Utah, home so they could watch a live broadcast of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
The Fogts—who belong to the Alpine 4th Ward, Alpine Utah Stake—had good reason to burn the midnight oil. Their son, Christopher Fogt, was representing the United States in the four-man bobsled competition.
Bedlam erupted in the typically peaceful LDS home when Christopher and his teammates crossed the finish line of their final competition run. Their time was fast enough to earn the sledders an Olympic bronze medal.
“There was a lot of hollering and jumping around,” William Fogt told the Church News.
Winning a medal didn’t come easy for Christopher Fogt, a returned missionary and a captain in the U.S. Army.
His four-man team fell short of the podium at the 2010 Games in Vancouver, Canada. He then returned to active military duty and served a yearlong deployment in Iraq. His thoughts during his Sochi competitions often turned to his brothers and sisters in arms. He fought emotion as he talked about winning a medal for himself, his family, and his fellow soldiers.
“It’s been unbelievable, to tell you the honest truth,” he told the Deseret News. “I was overwhelmed with emotion, like I am now. It just felt great. It means a lot for me and my family, my wife (Rachel), who is home pregnant, and for the military. I’m very excited I could be out here to win something for them.”
At the time of his conversation with the Church News, William Fogt was looking forward to being reunited with his son upon his return home on February 25. Alpine City is planning a parade in his honor in the coming days.
On May 1, Christopher Fogt will travel to Arizona to resume his military career. But he hopes to make a return to Olympic competition in four years at the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Meanwhile, the most recent Winter Games offered LDS snowboarder Torah Bright another opportunity to collect Olympic hardware.
An Australian who lives in Salt Lake City, she claimed the gold medal in the women’s snowboard halfpipe competition four years ago. She returned to the podium in Sochi, claiming the silver medal in the same event.
She relished the opportunity to display her talents alongside her fellow competitors.
“The Olympics is about inspiring others,” she told the Today show. “I am a competitor, I want to do my best, but I want my fellow competitors to do their best too. What is the Olympic dream without the best bringing their best to the table?”