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2016 Man of the Year: Sam Kendricks

Sam Kendricks
Sam Kendricks / AP
• December 26, 2016 10:00 am

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Sam Kendricks won the hearts of Americans during the summer Olympics in Rio this year.

Kendricks is a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserves in Tennessee and also represented the United States as a pole-vaulter.

"I’m just trying to put my best foot forward for all those soldiers who are watching," Kendricks told USA Today prior to his event.

As he was running during qualifiers for the event, Kendricks heard the U.S. national anthem and stopped mid-attempt, dropping his pole. He stood at attention throughout the anthem out of respect for his great nation.

Kendricks won immediate praise from people on social media. Some dubbed him a "hero," while others called it the "most patriotic thing" they had ever seen.

He managed to snag a bronze medal with his jump of 19 feet 2 ¼ inches. He was the first American to medal in the event in 12 years, according to the Washington Post.

For his patriotic efforts on and off the track, Sam Kendricks is a Washington Free Beacon Man of the Year.

Published under: Men of the Year