Brothers Run Towards Golden Dreams Serving In Army
Every Olympic athlete has their own personal reasons and desires that help to motivate them. Some people are driven by a sense of patriotism, some need to be the best and some by a desire to prove their naysayers wrong. For three brothers growing up poor in Eldoret, Kenya, ideas of competing in the Olympics seemed out of reach.
However, after receiving track scholarships, Julius Bor and Emmanuel Bor went to the University of Alabama, while Hillary Bor went to Iowa State University, and they all moved a step closer to their dreams.
“It was really good to have my brother with me at Alabama,” said Emmanuel. “We were able to help each other and it was a great opportunity to compete on the same relays.”
After graduating with their bachelor’s degrees from their respective schools, the brothers enlisted into the Army. Currently all three are serving together on Fort Carson, Julius is now a Staff Sgt. for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Special Troops Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade. Hillary is also a Staff Sgt., while Emmanuel is a Sgt., and they both train at the World Class Athlete Program, Installation Command (IMCOM).
“Hillary joined first in 2013 and was actually our mentor and convinced us to join,” Emmanuel said. “We thought about what we could do for this country that has given us so much with our degrees and helping our families, so we joined the Army.”
They thought that by joining the Army their running careers were going to be put on hold.
“When we first joined the Army, we didn’t think that we would be able to continue to train,” Hillary said. “When you have good leadership, you have more opportunities to compete again. Being able to compete has helped us transfer into the World Class Athlete Program and that allows us to focus on our training.”
The brothers know that sometimes your dreams have to take a backseat to your job.
“You have to stay flexible and focused, I was training to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games but then I deployed instead,” Julius said. “My brother, Hillary, was able stay back and got to compete in the games.”
The brothers continue to focus on their training and preparing themselves for the next step in their journey.
“Emmanuel made Team USA in cross country in January, competing in Scotland, but he’s coming off an injury. And he became the 500th American to break the 4 minute mile, which is pretty cool,” said Col. Sean J. Ryan, former track and field coach. “Hillary recently won the 2019 Track and Field Championships and is preparing for the World Track & Field Championships in Doha, Qatar, starting this fall. And Julius is focused on preparing for the Army 10-miler.”
The brothers are focused on making the 2020 Olympic team and being able to compete in Tokyo, Japan.
“The track and field tryouts are going to be in Los Angeles in June of next year,” Hillary said. “Till then we will continue to take advantage of the elevation here in Colorado by running as many races as possible.”
The Bor brothers understand that they have a very unique opportunity ahead of them.
“To have three family members, who have the chance to represent the Army and the United States is very hard to find,” Emmanuel said. “It will be a great honor for us to walk out on the track and represent the United States. That would be a dream come true for all of us.”
The battle hardened Americans continue to impress their fellow Soldiers with their hard work.
“All three Brothers possess the same tenacity and competitive spirit needed to become a world class athlete,” Ryan said. “Their work ethic to become the best Soldier-athletes is second to none. I have seen them work together in tandem to get the best out of each other and overcome any adversity and obstacles. It is truly a privilege to have all three wear the Army singlet and represent the United States.”