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Posted 3/6/2018

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By Antwaun J. Parrish
Far East District

Seoul, South Korea—At this year’s winter Olympic games, one of our U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Far East District employees received a medal from Ivanka Trump, a senior White House advisor,  while he was spending time at the U.S. Olympic Village house.

Why was this employee recognized? Well his name is Garrett Hines and he is an Olympic medal winner. Hines currently works as a safety and occupational health specialist with the district. Not only is he an employee with the Far East District he serves as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserves with the Public Health Command.

Hines is a former football and track athlete at Southern Illinois University. After the completion of his undergraduate degree he decided to take his athletic career to the next level.

“I was in my last year in school when I decided to try out for the pro champ bobsled team,” said Hines. “I was picked up by a driver in 1993.

Three years after being picked up with a driver, Hines begin a new career that shifted his life and allowed his athletic abilities to flourish.

“In 1996 I joined the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program as an enlisted soldier and later commissioned as an officer,” said Hines. “After training in the program for two years I competed in the 1998 Winter Olympics.”

Hines’ team finished fourth in the 1998 games, the closest an American bobsled team had come to winning a medal in over 40 years. This feat earned Hines the distinct title as the 1998 Army Athlete of the Year.

The highlight of Hines’ athletic career happened during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

“In 2002 my team won the silver medal for the 4-man bobsled event,” said Hines. “I was the brakeman of the bob-sled, and as we were crossing the finish line I remember one of my teammates standing up to rejoice as we crossed the finished line. He later joked that, he stood up to block me in photos.”

As expected, winning an Olympic medal has changed Hines’ life and afforded him a plethora of opportunities. In addition to winning the silver medal he has won numerous bobsled titles around the world.

“I have had the opportunity to travel to six of the continents, excluding Africa,” said Hines. “Also, I can visit the Olympic village house during any games.”

Hines has been through years of training both as an athlete and in the Army. He takes the lessons he’s learned with him into his everyday life.

“You learn that in order to be the best at what you’re doing you have to push those around you,” said Hines. “Find something that you want to achieve and commit to that, once you do that everything else will fall into place.”