Capt. Kevin Eastler earns an Olympic berth in the Beijing Games July 5 by winning the 20-kilometer race walk with a time of 1 hour, 27 minutes, 8 seconds at the 2008 U.S. Olympic team trials in Eugene, Ore. Captain Easler entered thru the U.S. Air Force World Class Athlete Program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tim Hipps)
Capt. Kevin Eastler (right) passes Army Sgt. John Nunn (center) en route to winning the 20-kilometer race walk at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Track & Field July 5 in Eugene, Ore. Eastler won the race in 1 hour, 27 minutes, 8 seconds, and was followed by runner-up Matthew Boyles (left) of Miami Valley Track Club in 1:28:20. Nunn finished fourth with a time of 1:30:35. Captain Eastler, who entered thru the Air Force World Class Athlete Program, will compete for Team USA at the Olympic Games in Beijing. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tim Hipps)
8/4/2008 - SAN ANTONIO (AFPN) -- Four Airmen will discover how they measure up with the world as they compete at the 2008 Olympics beginning Aug. 8 in Beijing.
Lt. Col. Dominic Grazioli, from Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, Capt. Kevin Eastler, from Buckley AFB, Colo. and Capts. Seth Kelsey, and Eli Bremer, from Colorado Springs, Colo., will represent the Air Force at the Olympic Games.
"When you're competing at this level, the biggest competitor is yourself," Captain Bremer said. "I'm not really worried about other competitors. I'm trying to go out there and have the best day I can. If I have a good day, it can definitely generate a medal."
Captain Bremer is currently training for the modern pentathlon; a one-day-event consisting of five disciplines: swimming, pistol shooting, fencing, horseback riding and cross-country running.
During training, Captain Bremer has shooting practice four days a week, fences three to four days a week and horseback rides once a month. He also runs approximately 60 miles a week and swims about 25 miles a week, six days a week.
"Many people say I have the best job out there, they don't see me throw up a couple of times a week because of training," Captain Bremer said.
This strenuous training is likely the recipe for producing a medal and Colonel Grazioli, trap shooter, wants to be on the podium as well.
"Winning a medal at the Olympics would be a tremendous honor," Colonel Grazioli said. "At this level, any time you can stand on the podium after the competition, you have done very well. It shows that on that day you were one of the best in the world."
Colonel Grazioli's background in trap shooting stemmed from the influence of his father who was also in the Air Force.
"My father, retired Senior Master Sgt. Dominic Grazioli, worked at gun clubs at various Air Force bases while I was growing up," Colonel Grazioli said. "Having spent quite a bit of time at these ranges as a child, I eventually got the opportunity to shoot. It turns out that I was pretty good at it."
Colonel Grazioli's accuracy and the abilities of other military athletes received the notice of leadership from the top. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs recognized and applauded them in an interview July 31 at Washington.
"Wherever I travel around the world -- whether it's Iraq, Afghanistan or even the Far East -- I see so many spectacular young people who are members of the military," said Navy Adm. Mike Mullen. "So, to have these (servicemembers) competing in the Olympics is certainly a real accomplishment.
"An achievement like this, it's got to be a peak for them in their career, and certainly we're very proud of them," Admiral Mullen said. "I wish them the best of luck, and I know they'll do well and represent not just our military, but they'll represent our country well."
The other Airmen, Captain Kelsey, will participate in fencing and Captain Easter will compete in race walking.