From the Olympic medal podium, straight to reality: Wrestler Adam Wheeler was in Beijing a little more than ten days ago. He is now already on to a career of service in Colorado Springs.
In Beijing the adornment on Adam Wheeler's chest was bronze, for team USA.
"It's one of those experiences you can't really explain," he said Thursday.
Back home, what he wears is a little less flashy. His new uniform is a white T-Shirt with his last name in black letters embroidered on the front.
"It's always something I wanted to do," he said.
His goal is to wear a badge, which he will eventually do. For now he's one of 16 recruits learning the basics at the police academy. The schedule calls for six months worth of nine hour days in the classroom and practical application.
"We'll be here 40 hours a week," Wheeler said.
It's a grueling schedule, but Wheeler should be used to it. Following years of training and buildup to the 2008 games, in his ten days at home since, he's hit the grade school circuit, talking to possible future olympians even as he puts that title away.
"That's really the truth. They all turn blue when they come here," said police spokesperson Lt. David Whitlock.
Wheeler joins a force seasoned with athletes of olympic caliber, but carrying a new torch.
"It's a marathon, not a sprint, and frankly, your career is that here, being a police officer," Whitlock said.
Wheeler will likely not take the ring himself again, and it's a bittersweet realization as he begins a job he's always aspired to do.
He believes memories of Olympic glory never fade, and lessons he's learned shine through as he takes a place on a new team.
"Hopefully being a role model in sports and now here may help somewhere down the road," he said.
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