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WILL BROWN WOULD JUST AS SOON NOT HAVE YOU TALK ABOUT HIM. The rising pistol athlete is a so short on words that an interview about his growing potential seems far more rigorous and uncomfort- able to him than just about any- thing else in life.


A common response for


Brown on a lot of matters, big or small: “It is what it is.” It’s that easy-going and


reserved nature of Brown that makes him such a popular fi gure with all his teammates. It’s also that steely calm that makes him such a formidable foe and unfavorable opposition with a pistol in his hand. On the verge of elite since


2009 when he began a run of three straight National Junior Olympic Shooting Championship air pistol titles, Brown has fully emerged in 2013. He began the year by earning a bronze medal at the Bavarian Airgun Cham- pionships. It was his fi rst open medal after earning gold and silver in the junior division in 2011 and 2010. His true moment of arrival


though would be the Fort Benning World Cup in May when he made his fi rst World Cup fi nal and eventually earned the gold medal. In winning gold, Brown dealt with some formidable competition including two-time Olympian Oleh Omelchuk of Ukraine (eight year’s Browns senior) and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Vladimir Isakov of Russia.


It was a simple routine for


Brown, he’d have you believe by his expression afterwards: “Winning was the plan.” Not a bad start to his path to Rio 2016 for this 21-year-old shooter. His medal was only the fi fth time for a National Team member to win gold in the Air Pistol discipline, since ISSF World Cups began in 1986 (126 World Cups ago). “Will had a great performance in the fi nal,” said USA Shooting


Focus, determination and hard work are Brown’s strongest characteristics. He lets that and his results do most of the talking.


National Pistol Coach Sergey Luzov. “That’s what he’s capable of certainly and it proves that our younger athletes are ready for this moment.” Next, he’d fi nd his way into


the fi nals of World Cup Munich, this time in the Free Pistol event. Evidence of Brown’s growing maturity was his ability to earn a spot in a fi nal while shooting his admitted weaker event. Brown closed the World Cup


series by making another run at Air Pistol fi nal, only to come up just short. He earned his third top-10 performance in three World Cup events with a 10th- place fi nish. Brown actually had the same exact qualifying score as two other fi nalists but was eliminated on a tiebreaker which counts total perfect scores over 60 shots. Brown had 21, better than four of the eight fi nalists, but not more than the people he was chasing for a shot in the fi nals. He returns back to Colorado


Springs where he’s a resident athlete at the U.S.


Olympic 14 USA Shooting News | July 2013


Training Center to prepare for the World Cup Finals this November. There’s truly no secret to his rising success. The minute you walk into the USA Shooting Center, the evidence is there.


Typically


fi rst on the line, he’s got a diligent practice routine and a work ethic that’s second to none. He also points out that it helps to have some natural ability. “Will is a very disciplined and


hard-working person and has a hatred for wasting time in pursuit of nothing,” said Luzov. “Will is open-minded, with no attitude issues and wants to take what he deserves. Will is on the right path in preparation for the next Games.” Work ethic is a family trait and was instilled in him at an early age. His mom, Susan, says that Will began mowing lawns for neighbors at the age of 9. “When he is not being productive and working, he just isn’t happy,” she said.


This work ethic has been reinforced with time spent


building custom houses with his father and grandfather for their family business. Brown stopped short of describing his passion for shooting as a labor of love, despite the amount of time he spends in isolation practicing and trying to execute every single shot.


“Depends on the day,” Will


explained. “When you do it as much as we do there’s days that it’s going to feel like work, but you still have to do it if you want to be the best. Shooting is my passion or I wouldn’t be here. I have the desire to be the best, but there are just those days where you don’t want to be here. But, you just have to do it.” An Idaho native,


Brown


derives his greatest strength from his family and the sport has become a multi-generational love affair. The Browns including brother Wyatt, mom Susan, and dad Dan can often be seen shooting together on the lines at national competitions. Following most closely in Will’s fi rst steps is Wyatt who earned his fi rst Junior Olympic title in air pistol this past April after earning a


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