For years, John Napier has made bobsledding a huge part of his life. The 25-year-old competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics, where he was the number two driver for the U.S. team. However, after serving a six-month tour in Afghanistan, Napier is leaving the team to become a member of a special operations unit, according to The Associated Press.
Napier volunteered with the Vermont National Guard soon after the Vancouver games, and it quickly changed his outlook on life. After his time in Afghanistan it became evident he had found a different calling away from the bobsled track. Though they may be disappointed to lose a teammate, his fellow sledders were not that shocked when Napier told them the news.
"It wasn't a big surprise that he finally made the decision and we support that," Darrin Steele, chief executive officer of the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, told the AP. "We back the guy up. He's a patriot."
Napier is certainly not the only athlete to give up the sport he loves to serve in the Armed Forces. Most famously, former Arizona Cardinals free safety Pat Tillman hung up his pads after September 11. He was killed in Afghanistan in 2004.