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Athlete Profiles

Army Staff Sgt. Dremiel ByersArmy Staff Sgt. Dremiel Byers
Greco-Roman Wrestling

An accomplished Greco-Roman wrestler with the Army's World Class Athlete Program, Byers did not plan to join the Army.

"I had a football scholarship to North Carolina A&T, and after one year I had some problems at home that required my attention," the 2008 Olympian recalled. "So I gave up my scholarship and signed up for a two-year enlistment."

Twelve years later, Byers has found a home in the Army.

"Something happened at my first duty station, and I realized how fortunate I was to be around these people. Then I got around the guys on the team, and it became a family. These guys taught me how to be a man, and you don't walk away from that," Byers said.

After he joined the World Class Athlete Program in 1996, Byers' wrestling career took off. In 2002, he became the world champion in his weight class, 120 kilograms, was the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials runner-up, losing to Olympic medalist Rulon Gardner. He's a seven-time U.S. nationals and armed forces champion and was a 2007 world championships bronze medalist.

His athletic awards include being named 2004 U.S. nationals outstanding wrestler, 2002 Olympic committee male wrestler of the year and 2002 U.S. Army male athlete of the year. He was named outstanding wrestler at the 2007 Dave Shultz Memorial Tournament.

The 33 year-old Kings Mountain, N.C., native just won a spot on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team at the trials held in Las Vegas. He is ranked No. 1 at 120 kilograms for Team USA.

Byers said he has no plans to leave the Army. "They will have to kick me out twice!" he exclaimed. "The Army allows you to dream big, and I'm proud to be a part of it."