Dennis Bowsher Video Interview, U.S. Olympic Pentathlete
In addition to representing the U.S. at the 2012 Olympics, modern pentathlete Dennis Bowsher serves his country as a specialist in the United States Army. Enlisting in 2005, Bowsher is a member of the World Class Athlete Program (WCAP). The WCAP provides training and financial support to soldier-athletes competing in the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Bowsher was one of seven WCAP representatives in London. “Because I’m in the Army, even though it says USA on my chest, there’ll be a special spot in my heart for all the service members out there. Everyone that puts on a uniform and serves their country — they’ll be right there with me as well,” Bowsher said in an exclusive interview with Uinterview.
Entering the Olympics, Bowsher, a native of Texas, had been a decorated athlete. Bowsher is a three-time U.S. National Champion and has received bronze medals in the 2009 Pan American Games as well as a 2010 U.S. National Competition, respectively. Though he finished 32nd in the pentathlon at the London Olympics, Bowsher was not discouraged and was even looking ahead. “We have Rio in four years, and I look forward to training to that,” he told NBC 5 of Dallas, Tex.
In our interview with Bowsher, he took us into his mind to show us how he trains and prepares for competition, citing downtime as important as the actual training itself. “You want to make sure you’re up and ready for each event. So anytime you have downtime, you want to just kind of take a mental break — that way you can get yourself back up,” he told us.
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For me, I grew up swimming. I kind of reached the point in my swimming career where I wasn’t hitting times that I needed to do to help fulfill that Olympic dream. But I was pretty talented in other stuff just as an all-around athlete. That’s what you need for the sport of modern pentathlon is to be able to do decent at a lot of events.
In the sport of pentathlon we have five different events, so there’s a lot of stuff we’re training for. We need to do six-hour training days, but luckily it’s a lot of low impact, so I’m pretty healthy. Most of my athletic career I’ve been healthy — no serious injuries, so I just keep doing what I’m doing and get ready for London.
For me, we do our events throughout one day, and each event is individual, so I make sure I get up for that event. Then, in between the rest time, I just sit down, relax, kind of shut my brain off, and that way I can just get up and go because our competition days are 10 hours long. You want to make sure you’re up and ready for each event. So anytime you have down time you want to just kind of take a mental break, that way you can get yourself back up.
I have a swimming background, so that’s probably one of my stronger ones. I’ve done pretty well in running. Every one kind of has my strength and a little weakness.
The cool thing with our sport is, since we’re burning 4,000 to 5,000 calories a day, there’s no real limit on what we can eat. So if I go out and have pizza for dinner, there’s no guilt whatsoever. If I have ice cream once in a while it’s no problem. But I always make sure I get all the vitamins and minerals that I need to help my body perform and make sure it’s working 100% all the time.
For me, ever since watching the ‘96 games, it’s a dream of mine to step out there and have that happen. This summer I’ll get to do it and it just means a lot for me when I’m out there competing, knowing that I have the support of everyone back home. And then also because I’m in the army, even though it says USA on my chest, there’ll be a special spot in my heart of all the service members out there, everyone that puts on a uniform and serves their country. They’ll be right there with me as well.