Special Report: Our Dad’s Flag & Team USA

Modern Pentathlon – The Soldier’s Sport

Update: August 11, 2012 – Wishing good luck to Team USA’s Spc. Dennis Bowsher as he competes today in the Modern Pentathlon in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.  Dennis is a first time Olympian in London and competing through the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, Colorado Springs, CO.

US Army Spc. Dennis Bowsher, Team USA Modern Pentathlon with Our Dad’s Flag

A sport steeped in age-old soldier traditions, the modern pentathlon includes fencing, swimming, riding, running and shooting. In 2012, it celebrates it’s 100th year in the games. Our thanks to Spc. Bowsher as he participated in Our Dad’s Flag while training in Colorado Springs. Go Team USA!

Update – August 7, 2012: Looking to the Past, enjoying the present and looking beyond London 2012 to Rio de Janeiro 2016. A continuation of Our Dad’s Flag visit to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO.

Our thanks to the 2012 Men’s Gymnastics Senior and Junior National Team for posing with Our Dad’s Flag. Congrats to 2012 Team USA members Jake Dalton, Jonathan Horton, Danell Leyva, Sam Mikulak & John Orozco.

While Our Dad’s Flag was visiting the Olympic Training Center there were grassroot programs going on for wrestling, gymnastics and volleyball – those in which junior athletes trained with senior athletes. Aside from these specific teams, Olympic-hopefuls are always in residence at the Training Center and can be seen from all walks — or springs, leaps, jumps or “flying squirrels” — of sports!

He’s in training and we can’t wait to see Donovan Ford lifting those weights in the big games again!


We’re so pleased to have so many great Olympic greats – young and old – from the Olympic Training Center participate in Our Dad’s Flag. From medalists in games past to, current 2012 Olympians and then to the up-and-coming talent (these are athletes to look out for nationally, or if we’re all so lucky — quite as soon as the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro!) Our continued thanks to Sherry Von Riesen and Keith Bryant (and friends!) for the awesome visit to the Olympic Training Center in support of Our Dad and all the troops!  


Look for these up-and-coming Triathletes in the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Games including (left) Lukas Verzbicas holding Our Dad’s Flag.

Brandon Slay, Gold Medalist, Freestyle Wrestling, 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia with Our Dad’s Flag. He currently is the Freestyle Coach for USA Wrestling.

Looking back and beyond, OTC Residents including 2012 Olympians for Team USA Wrestling Ellis Coleman (YouTube his “Flying Squirrel move”!) and Chas Betts (middle) and 4 time Olympic Triathlete Hunter Kemper (right).

Some resident wrestlers at the Olympic Traning Center with Our Dad’s Flag.

July 30, 2012:

Stay tuned to THIS page for more updates on visits of Our Dad’s Flag with Team USA and on the journey to London for the 2012 Summer Olympics. What a wonderful experience . . . Go Team USA!

Colorado Springs, CO:

It all started when a little hand-made, felt flag was sent along with a letter from our kids about their deployed Dad, their pursuit of patriotism for our troops and their excitement about the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympics. Upon delivery, a few great folks at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO opened that special envelope containing Our Dad’s Flag. From that day on it was literally,  game on!

Since that day, Our Dad’s Flag was officially put in training for the 2012 Olympic Summer Games . . . one small flag training in honor of ALL the service men and women serving our country in Afghanistan and beyond.  Cheers for all the awesome teams — and troops –of the USA!

There’s no better escort at the United States Olympic Training Center (OTC) than Sherry Von Riesen, the “house mom” and Resident Athlete Dorm Lead. Ms. Von Riesen is Our Dad’s Flag very own Olympic Ambassador and guest commentator by providing the following — and awesome — play-by-play of the flag’s induction into the OTC:

“…Like other athletes coming to train at the Center, the flag participated in some Olympic transport and was delivered right to the front door of the U.S. Olympic Training Center by Barb White. Our Dad’s Flag was then checked in at the Front Desk into its own Multi-Sport Program and given it’s own official United States Olympic Traning Center “ID” by Kathy Paradise.

The first thing most of the “flag-thletes” like to do is go downstairs and get something to eat by checking in at the gate for Dining Services with Carol Fritz. Here is where our V.I.P. Flag-thlete has met some very notable and interesting athletes, coaches and staff. But in the end . . . why is the dining hall so much of a favorite with the athletes and Flag-thletes? Well, it’s because Flower Nowick is the main USOC (sous) chef . . . Mmm, mmm, mmm! And doesn’t everyone love a beautiful Flower?!?! We all certainly do!

There is a lot of work behind the scenes at the U.S. Olympic Training Center — one such thing as making sure our vans are always working 24/7 and Dave Bullock, works on them. 

For any Flag-thlete to get in the door, it takes someone to get the keys to work, and that go-to guy is Fred Serna.

Of course Flag-thletes need to stay safe while they are away from home and have their questions answered immediately – that’s why the OTC has Security on the Complex in their little white cars.

A Flag-thlete never takes OTC programs for granted because they know the Operations staff of Anna, Jim and Tim put it all together and make things run smoothly. And last but not least, it doesn’t hurt to be in good with Michelle Stuart, the CEO’s Executive Admin.”

The Our Dad’s Flag-thlete has good taste in staff it “hangs” with.

We cannot thank our own Ambassador and new house mom Sherry Von Riesen, for all her support, guidance, and hospitality during Our Dad’s Flag stay at the Olympic Training Center. 

Extra! Extra! Read All About Her!

Sherry with Olympian Ellis Coleman. Photo Justin Edmonds – The New York Times

Read more about “Mama Sherry” in the wonderful and recent New York Times article by Mary Pilon at:  The Olympians’ Housemother by Mary Pilon, June 19, 2012  Also, watch the wonderful video interview with “Mother” Sherry and Flower’s feuling of the athletes at the OTC with Fox coverage After that, how much do you want to hug and love, “Mama Sherry”?! We certainly do! xoxo!

It can’t go without saying that the introduction to Sherry would not be possible without the Keith Bryant, Director, Communications Division…and this intro would not have been possible without Team Weindel . . . (and that’s 3 or 4 degrees without Kevin Bacon!) Ok, now  you’ve read it, share it.  Encourage others to become a follower via email, or follow @ourdadsflag on twitter and well…about that whole Facebook-thing (Again…Our Dad’s Flag is on it…but mom needs help. Anyone? Mark Zuckerberg? Bueller? Bueller???)   

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