This collaboration highlights an opportunity for elite U.S. badminton athletes to train and compete full-time, our goal is to recognize our top athletes and deepen our long term high-performance athlete pipeline towards both the Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games.
The Air Force WCAP, which began in 1995, was established to allow Airmen to train full-time as their primary duty in the program and compete in U.S. Armed Forces events, the Conseil International du Sport Militaire (Military World Games), Olympic Games and qualifying events for those games.
The program provides support for top-ranked Airman-athletes to perform at the international level while also serving their nation in the Air Force. Members participate in essential outreach activities, hold clinics, and perform recruiting functions at high schools and colleges while maintaining unit readiness and career field compliance. WCAP is another opportunity to provide the Air Force and its athletes the national visibility that reinforces pride in our Armed Forces, especially during international competition.
Lt. Col Austin Pruneda, Air Force representative to the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, said,
Linda French, USA Badminton Interim CEO, said,
“USA Badminton is proud to bring this program to our elite athletes. The Air Force WCAP program will provide incredible training and competition opportunities as well as an education pathway and unparalleled career development. We are excited to be working closely with WCAP on this initiative."
Athletes in the WCAP are assigned to Air Force Services HQ-San Antonio. Alternatively, they may train in-place, at the National Governing Body training site, or request another training location. The program typically lasts 24-36 months and historically supports 20-30 summer athletes and 2-4 winter athletes.