He dropped his pole and stood at attention, and the video made the rounds on social media. NBC’s Olympics Twitter feed reposted the video on Sunday:
“Those guys are really proud of me and have given me every chance to continue as a civilian. I am certainly looking to represent the Americans on two fronts, as a military man and as a U.S. athlete,” Kendricks told USA Today. “I’m just trying to put my best foot forward for all those soldiers who are watching.”
It’s unclear whether Kendricks was penalized in any way for stopping mid-run, but it didn’t matter. He still medaled and ultimately won praise for his act. He isn’t the only one who has stopped what he was doing to pay his respects during an Olympic event, either: Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt, while not an American citizen or U.S. soldier, once stopped in the middle of a live interview with Television Espanola to listen to the U.S. national anthem after one of his races in 2012.