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Olympic Athlete has South Georgia family ties

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

August 7, 2008

 LEESBURG, GA (WALB)  -- As the Olympic Games take center stage in Beijing, China, one of the United States athletes in a lesser known sport has South Georgia ties.

Eli Bremer, one of America's medal hopefuls in modern pentathlon, is married to a Lee County native, and his South Georgia family is ready to head to China to root him on.

Eli Bremer hopes to become the first man on the United States Modern Pentathlon team to medal in 48 years. The 30-year-old Air Force Captain is married to Lee County native Cami Grebel Bremer.  They met when Cami interned at the Olympic training center in 2001. Now five members of her family head to China next week to see the culmination of his career, the Olympic Games.

Bremer's mother in law, Coni Grebel said "I've always loved the Olympics, we all always have. But it is kind of different to have a personal touch in it. "

Modern Pentathlon Olympians compete in five sports, all in one day, shooting, fencing, swimming, horse back riding, and running. The sport is a combination of early century soldier skills, that really tests an athlete.

 Eli Bremer said " When you are out shooting, you need to be calm, and your body need to believe you are calm. When you are fencing, regardless of whether you feel great that day or bad, you need to be excited and spontaneous. "

Bremer qualified for the 2004 Olympics, but a broken foot kept him from competing. NBC used him as a color commentator for modern pentathlon and shooting, but now he is ready to take his shot at the gold.

Bremer said, "It will be my team, those will be my Olympics. And I think that is going to be a special feeling to look up from the floor and say I've made it. I've been pursuing this for 20 years, and I've made it. "

As soon as he won the Pan Am Games and locked down his spot on the Olympic team, his South Georgia family made plans to be in Beijing.

Grebel said "My prayer or hope for him is that he hits his career best in all five disciplines. And then I think he can leave this or continue it happily. ".

In all, 25 of Bremer's family members will be in Beijing. The Modern Pentathlon competition is August 20th, and a lot of South Georgians will be cheering on Eli Bremer.

America's most famous modern pentathlon Olympian was George Patton, who finished fifth in the 1912 Stockholm Games.  You can see all the Olympic action here on WALB-TV.

You can learn more about Bremer and Modern Pentathlon here.

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