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Amy Donaldson: USA bobsledder Chris Fogt of Alpine finds inspiration in the U.S. soldiers he represents

Published: Sunday, Nov. 18 2012 9:10 p.m. MST

Fogt, who served a mission in the Philippines for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before attending UVU, said his work in Iraq meant so much to him, he almost abandoned his Olympic dream.

"I almost quit and wanted to go full-time Army," he said smiling. "My mentor is a two-star general, and he said this is a once in a life-time opportunity."

Knowing that his combat brothers find his athletic endeavors inspiring energizes Fogt, who doesn't take his work on the bobsled track lightly.

"I haven't taken time off just to go sled down a hill,' he said, "I'm trying to win a medal and represent our country in that way. … For me, I feel like I need to work even harder to support those guys."

And in a way, he represents them.

"It gives me the extra motivation, knowing the hardships of leaving their families their friends, and having and that camaraderie (with them). It helps me a lot."

It also helps that Fogt pushes for another WCAP athlete, driver Nick Cunningham. Fogt's pilot in Vancouver was also a member of the Army National Guard, John Napier, who did retire from bobsled to serve in the military full-time.

"I tried to talk him out of it, I'm not going to lie," Fogt with a little smile. But he's grateful he can put his trust in another driver who understands the soldier's bond and how conflicted they feel competing in sporting events when their brothers are fighting battles half a world away.

"It provides a little extra bond," said Cunningham as Fogt puts his hand on the pilot's shoulder.

On Fogt's Team USA uniform, there is a patch on his arm bearing the logo of the U.S. Army National Guard.

"When I look down at that it reminds me of my buddies in Iraq," he said. "It reminds me to push harder."

Email: adonaldson@desnews.com Twitter: adonsports

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