Olympic Medalists Visit Joint Base Pearl Harbor - Hickam on USO Tour

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Laurie Dexter, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Hawaii

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Three-time Olympic medalist Kelly Clark, three-time Olympic medalist Steven Holcomb and two-time Olympic medalist Andrew Weibrecht visited Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, May 9, during a United Service Organizations (USO) tour of Oahu.

During the tour, the Olympians went aboard the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chosin (CG 65) for a meet and greet with the Sailors.

One of the Sailors got to meet her childhood hero and inspiration.

"I've been snowboarding since I was 7 years old," said Operations Specialist 2nd Class Danielle Howard. "I've watched Kelly Clark for years and I can't believe I'm meeting her while being in the Navy. I've watched her since I was little and she's probably the reason why I snowboard today."

According to Clark, inspiration and morale is what it's all about.

"I've been inspired, to say the least, and that's really what I hope to achieve in snowboarding," said Clark. "I want to make sure I am inspiring people to be their best. It's amazing to hear that maybe someone would dare to dream and be inspired by what I've done."

American 300 Tours Founder and Managing Director Robi Powers explained a comparable connection between the Olympians and service members.

"Olympians and armed forces members work under the same premises: duty, sacrifice, commitment, honor and integrity, in everything they do," said Powers. "What we have found is that by bringing Olympians out, we're really just bringing individuals from a parallel universe. The time away from home, the commitment to training, the ability to take directions from coaches, is so parallel to what our armed forces do."

After their visit aboard USS Chosin, the Olympians conducted a meet and greet with members of the Air Force and observed demonstrations at the joint-services military working dog kennels.

The Olympians also participated in a Fitness and Wellness Fair at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Fitness Center. The activities at the fair included a fire truck pull, bench press competition, aerobic workouts, health evaluations and informational booths from various organizations.

The USO plans and creates events around the world designed to lift the spirits of America's troops and their families. A non-profit, congressionally chartered, private organization, the USO relies on individuals, organizations and corporations to support its activities. The USO is not part of the U.S. government, but is recognized by the Department of Defense, Congress and President of the United States, who serves as Honorary Chairman of the USO. 

For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Hawaii, visit www.navy.mil/local/pacenhawaii/.

For more information on the USO please visit:  www.USO.org
For more on American300 Tours go to: www.American300.org 

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