MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho - --
The saying goes ‘when you aren’t training, someone else is’. So when it comes to being the best at anything, it requires consistent dedication and sacrifice to maintain a competitive advantage. That hard work is starting to pay off for one Gunfighter.
The 15 best swimmers in the Department of Defense have earned the opportunity to compete in the swimming component of the 2019 World Military Games. The youngest of the team is U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Michael Yoo, 366th Maintenance Squadron avionics backshop technician, from Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho.
“I’ve been swimming since I was a kid and kept swimming competitively through college,” Yoo said. “When I heard about the World Military Games, I was immediately interested.”
Yoo explained that he talked to his supervisor, 2nd Lt. Brittany Diaz, 366th MXS avionics backshop flight commander, and worked out a plan to reach his goal.
“I’m thankful for my supervisor,” Yoo said. “She has supported me throughout this journey and allowed me to make it this far.”
With all the support he needed, Yoo dedicated a large portion of his time to training.
“Everyday I get up at 3 a.m. each morning and drive 50 minutes to Boise to swim in a regulation sized pool,” Yoo said. “From there I drive back, work, then I'll either swim again or workout in the afternoon.”
In June 2019, Yoo received the news that he was selected to be on the U.S. military swim team.
“It was a mix of emotions,” Yoo said. “I was excited and nervous at the same time.”
Representing the United States is a once in a lifetime opportunity for most people.
“To be selected as one of the 15 service members in the entire DoD to compete at the Military World Games is not only a representation of the determination, confidence and diligence that Airman 1st Class Yoo possesses, but a reminder to all Airmen that with these characteristics, there are no boundaries when it comes to your dreams and goals,” Diaz expressed.
The next step for Yoo is to travel to San Diego to meet and train with the rest of the swim team. From there, Yoo and his team will be competing on the world stage in Wuhan, China, this October.
Yoo’s stands as a great example of what all Airmen are capable of accomplishing.
“I instilled the lesson into Airman Yoo early on that if you work hard and grow wherever you’re planted, you will do amazing things and that I’ll be cheering him on as it all unfolds,” Diaz said. “It has been an honor to be part of Airman Yoo’s journey and to serve as his commander. Go U.S.A. and go Air Force!”