Thunderbirds to fly Olympian Bryan Clay during graduation celebrations

  • Published
  • U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – The Air Force Thunderbirds have invited Olympic gold medal decathlete Bryan Clay to fly with them May 25 over Colorado Springs and the Air Force Academy.

The mid-morning flight will originate from Peterson-Schriever Garrison and be part of the demonstration team’s scheduled practice flyovers.

Clay won a gold medal during the 2005 World Championships and during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, solidifying his title as the “World’s Greatest Athlete.” He is a role model and inspiration to cadets on the Academy's track and field team.

Following his flight, Clay will visit the Academy to congratulate graduating track and field team members on their commitment as new officers entering the Air and Space Forces. In the evening, he is scheduled to attend a private reception at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum.

Inviting a standout Olympian to fly with the Thunderbirds at graduation began in 2019 with world-class alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin, and is part of a growing collaborative relationship between the Academy and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee highlighting Colorado Springs as “Olympic City USA.”

The Academy remains closed to non-Defense Department ID card holders, and is not accessible for viewing the Thunderbird flyovers May 25 or 26.

For safety reasons, the public is reminded not to stop along Interstate 25 to watch any of the Thunderbird performances.

Visit, for more information on the Thunderbirds, for graduation information, and for USOPC museum information