Two Latter-day Saint Olympic athletes chase gold medal dreams in South Korea

FILE - In this Sept. 30, 2013, file photo, United States Olympic Bobsledder Chris Fogt poses for a portrait at the 2013 Team USA Media Summit in Park City, Utah. For whatever reason, sliding sports have always gotten tons of attention from the military, and the team that is wearing red, white and blue in Korea has plenty of people who wear the flag at work as well. Fogt, an Army captain, has done multiple tours overseas. (AP Photo/Carlo Allegri, File) Credit: AP
FILE - In this Oct. 20, 2013 file photo, pilot Steve Holcomb, front, and brakeman Chris Fogt finish their run during the United States two-man bobsled team trials in Park City, Utah. BMW and the U.S. bobsled team have combined on a documentary detailing how the team's newest 2-man sleds were built and designed with hopes of medaling at the Sochi Olympics. The short film largely revolves around Holcomb, who drove the Americans to gold in the 4-man race at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, and top women's pilot Elana Meyers. (AP Photo/Jim Urquhart, File) Credit: AP
Jerica Tandiman competes in the women's 500 meters during the U.S. Olympic long track speedskating trials, Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/John Locher) Credit: AP
Jerica Tandiman reacts after competing in the women's 1,000 meters U.S. long track speed skating championship at Utah Olympic Oval Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer) Credit: AP

Two members of the Church are chasing gold medal dreams in the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.

Chris Fogt, a 35-year-old returned missionary from the American Falls 3rd Ward, American Falls Idaho Stake, is part of USA’s bobsled team.

Jerica Tandiman, a 23-year-old member of the West Jordan 27th Ward, West Jordan Utah Stake, is competing in speed skating for Team USA.

Fogt won a bronze medal in the 2014 Sochi Games and finished 22nd in the 2010 Vancouver Games. This time Fogt will hold the position of brakeman in the four-man bobsled event.

“I look forward to the sense of unity among athletes and fans at the Olympic Games,” Fogt told the Deseret News. “This will be my third Games, and each one has been on a different continent. I am always amazed at how gracious the volunteers are and how people from all over the world, from different cultures, get along. It’s fun to walk the streets and hear the different languages and see so much national pride.”

Fogt’s unique Olympic athlete background includes earning his Eagle Scout Award in 2000, military service in the U.S. Army, competing in track and field at Utah Valley University from 2004-08 and a full-time mission in the Philippines.

The bobsled events began on Saturday, Feb. 17.

This is Tandiman’s first trip to the Olympics. She was inspired to take up speed skating when the Olympic Oval was built near her Kearns home for the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. She later attended BYU-Hawaii.

Tandiman is where she is today because of her LDS faith, she recently told the Deseret News.

“It’s definitely part of who I am,” Tandiman said. “I think it’s helped me to have confidence in the things I do. … It reminds me to be a good person and keeps that balance in my life. … It keeps me humble.”

Living the Word of Wisdom has also made a difference, the speed skater said.

“Just following the Word of Wisdom makes it easier to set standards for myself with dieting and following a nutrition plan,” Tandiman said. “I’m just used to that.”

Tandiman competed in the 1,000-meter race on Wednesday, Feb. 14, and will compete in the 500-meter race on Sunday, Feb. 18.

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