Olympians Bring Gold to Thule Air Base Service Members

Olympians Sean Colgan and Dan Beery
By American300 Public Affairs - 2/4/2014

Thule Air Base, Greenland-   Located 750 miles north of the Arctic Circle, Thule Air Base represents the United States Armed Forces northern most base. 

With the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, taking place nearly 4,000 miles away, two former U.S. Olympians are traveling to America’s most remote military base to share the Olympic Spirit and their personal life stories.  Behind their effort is the Department of Defense office of Armed Forces Entertainment and the nonprofit, American300 Tours. 

“I’ve made it a mission to share my personal Olympic story with troops,” says Dan Beery, whose USA mens 8 rowing team brought home gold and set an Olympic record during the 2004 Athens Summer Olympic Games. “My Olympic journey started because of a setback that ended my dreams of playing basketball in the NBA. Now I’m headed into the darkness and freezing temperatures of northern Greenland with an Olympic gold medal in my pocket. If you don’t quit on life, it’s amazing what the future can bring,” said Beery.  Joining Beery will be Hall of Fame rower and long-time mentor Sean Colgan.   

Congressional and Olympic Gold Medals
As a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team, Colgan and his teammates had a choice to make: support President Carter and Congress with the boycotting of the Moscow Summer Olympics or become outspoken critics of the withdraw by the American team from the Games.  “We found out about the boycott and took a quick team vote,”  said Colgan. He quickly added, “the choice was clear, we were Americans and our country needed our support.”  

In the years after the Moscow Summer Olympics, Colgan and his teammates organized two rematches with the Soviet mens 8 Rowing Team that captured bronze.  The Americans won both rematches handily and to this day stay in touch with several of the Russian athletes. 

While not an Olympic Gold Medal, Colgan is honored by the Congressional Gold Medal that he and his teammates received for their united stance in supporting our government. “Hey, the troops we share our medals with always comment on how my gold medal is bigger than Dan’s, that’s good for something,” said a laughing Colgan.

Robi Powers - American300
Pulling amazing individuals together and having them share their personal life stories with service members is the work of American300 Tours, a volunteer nonprofit that has been hard at work putting faces on the resiliency effort for the Department of Defense . “Resiliency in the military is a complex issue, all we’re doing is putting a face on it with these guest mentors who are willing to go where the sun doesn’t shine on bases all over the world.” says Robi Powers, founder of the nonprofit and a veteran of both the Army and US Ski Team and Biathlon Team.  

While the sun won’t be visible during the first half of the Olympians week-long visit, weather permitting they should see the sun for a few minutes during their last few days on base.  No matter the amount of sun they see, the Olympians plan on making sure that the golden glow of their medals shines brightly above the Arctic Circle for all our service members to see.  
About American300 Tours:  The American300 Tours produce educational resiliency programs designed to serve the Department of Defense.  The nonprofit also produces ONETEAM Envoys for the Department of State.  With a mission of increasing the resiliency of our Armed Forces Members, their Families and the Communities which they live and operate in around the world. No federal endorsement of sponsors or nonprofit is intended or implied- American300.org 

American300 can be found on the worldwide web at: www.american300.org

The nonprofit also has a active facebook page:  ‘American300 Tours’ 

For more on the DoD office Armed Forces Entertainment: www.armedforcesentertainment.com 

Media inquiries can be directed to Mike Lane - mlane@steamboat.com 

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