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Athlete to Watch: Alex Chichkov Greatness isn’t only defi ned

by medals won but also by those that you make better around you. Emil Milev’s greatest moment athletically may have happened 17 years ago for another coun- try when he won a silver medal in Rapid Fire Pistol for Bulgaria in 1996. But as member of the USA Shooting Team, he’s having an integral impact on our future. The mentoring of up-and-coming Alex Chichkov is starting to show its effect. The rising junior pistol shooter will be one to watch with Milev as his guide and his father as his coach. We asked Chich- kov about both. . .

What’s it like having your father as your coach? It’s honestly the best having

him as my coach. First, I am al- ways around him. So, it is very easy for him to watch over me as I train and guide me. Second, he is my father and I always know that he has my best interest in mind. Even though I may disagree with him, I trust his experience and intention. I also see that Emil and many other athletes and shoot- ers trust him and ask him for advice when it comes to shooting.

What are the impor- tant

lessons he’s

taught you both as a shooter and as a man?

In regards to shooting,

he has taught me every-

thing I know from how to hold the gun, to how to execute the perfect shot, and have a great technique while shooting. The life lessons he taught me are endless as well, almost every day I gain some bit of wisdom through him as well as my moth- er who guides me to becoming a better man. I have had hard times in my life. My parents have taught me to never give up, be persistent and always look on the bright side of things. I would need to write a book on all the life lessons I have learned and continue to learn.

What does having some- one like Emil and all his successes and experi- ences provide to you as a rising competitive shooter? Having him as a close friend

and a fellow teammate helps me more than one can imagine. Because of his experience, he is able to give me insight as a shooter into how I can improve certain skills that he had to at- tain through trial and error. His experience in the sport is very important. On a personal level, I feel he’s like an older brother. He teaches me some aspects of shooting. In addition, having him as a teammate with whom I train eliminates the pressure that could build up when I train or shoot with other successful athletes.

What are your goals in this sport? I want to become the

best and do everything that is needed to reach this goal. My dream is to stand on the high- est podium and listen to the Na- tional Anthem of the United States.

What do you like most about this sport? Everything. There is liter-

ally not a thing that I do not like about the sport. It teaches men- tal and physical concentration, precision and perseverance. I am working on trying to completely isolate myself during shooting and not fall into the trap of emo- tions about a bad shot. No mat- ter what, I love every moment of it.

What do you like least about this sport? It’s not about the shoot-

ing sport itself but the fact that many feel uncomfortable talking about it. Because of politics, the word gun for many has become a bad word. Shooting is also not recognized by many schools and colleges. As a consequence, the sport and the athletes do not receive recognition compatible with their achievements com- pared to many other sports. This is sad.

Year in Review 2013 | USA Shooting News


Photo by: Vladimir Chichkov

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