Army Pentathlete Says He 'Walked Away With No Regrets'
By Tim Hipps
Special to American Forces Press Service
ATHENS, Greece, Aug. 27, 2004 The day after his competition went awry, Army 1st Lt. Chad Senior said he had no regrets about his 13th-place performance Aug. 26 in the Olympic men's modern pentathlon.
"I wish it would've worked out differently," said Senior, 29. "It's hard for an athlete to say you did your best because usually you can always pick apart where you didn't. I can honestly say effort-wise, I left absolutely nothing on the table, and I don't know how many times in my life I could actually say that very few times."
In the 2000 Sydney Games, Senior was distraught during the cross-country run after dropping from first to eighth place in the subsequent equestrian event. On that day, he admittedly didn't give his all on the run.
In Athens, he told a different story. "One promise I made to myself and I kept it, regardless if I messed something up, each touch, every jump, every step of the run, every second of the day, it's going to be everything I have," he said. "And it was."
Senior's medal hopes were dashed before he mounted Guelfo Del Belagio for a ride to a 22nd-place finish in show jumping. He settled for an average performance in the first event, shooting, finishing 18th in 10-meter air pistol.
But Senior buried himself with a dismal 26th-place finish in epee one-touch fencing, ending his medal chances after two of five events. "I felt terrible for the first eight rounds, just nothing was working," he said of losing his first seven duels. "I tried every trick I had but nothing felt right. At that moment I just saw everything slipping away."
Senior regrouped to finish fourth in swimming and second in cross-country running. He slipped off the starting block in the swim, his strongest event, costing him another couple seconds.
"No one dreams of having a top-20 finish in the Olympics, you dream of winning, but it was a matter of pride," he said of gaining seven places on the run. "I'm still wearing my flag on my uniform that says USA, so that was enough to make me put everything I had into it. I fought and scrapped every step of the way and I can honestly say that's the best I could come up with yesterday.
"If I had won, I wanted to say, 'This is for the Army and our service members deployed,' so it deserved the same effort in representing them. Yesterday, I walked away with no regrets."
Little more than 12 hours later, Senior, a member of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, was back at Goudi Olympic Complex supporting WCAP teammate Army Capt. Anita Allen in the women's pentathlon.
(Tim Hipps is assigned to the Army Community Family Support Center Public Affairs Office.)