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Athlete Feature: Tony Chung


Taking Tony Chung Seriously


Tony Chung thought it


would be like Call of Duty. At the age of 12, when


Tony’s mother asked him if he wanted to get into shoot- ing, he envisioned what he saw in the video game and was stoked. “Um, turns out it was something I had to take a lot more seriously than I thought, but I ended up lov- ing it!” Now Chung (Diamond


Bar, California) is training every day, three hours a day - dry fi ring as much as possi- ble, working on holds - as he prepares to attend the World Championship as the young- est member of the 81-per- son USA Shooting team at age 15. At the World Cham- pionship, he will shoot in the Junior Rapid Fire, Standard and Sport Pistol events.


“I have to take it seriously


because I’m trying to prove to myself that I can be some- thing,” he said. “I want to prove that as I’m probably one of the youngest shoot- ers going that the other shooters shouldn’t underes- timate me and that I could be a challenge for them.” But the guy who de-


scribes himself as a “happy and energetic kid that peo- ple shouldn’t be afraid to talk to” doesn’t take himself too seriously. His sparkling earrings and spiked hair almost betray his buttoned- up polo he wears in com- petition. Before a series, he can often be spotted doing hand waves or breakdanc- ing moves before he grabs his gun to settle into a shot. “I really like dancing,


so whenever I shoot at the range with my coach (Assis- tant National Team coach In Kim), I dance and my coach tells me to dance at matches to relax and go with the fl ow. It just calms me. It just comes and has become a habit. It just makes me feel relaxed.” Chung will of- ten get up early to practice his breakdancing moves, or dance after a pistol training session.


“Breaking involves a


lot of arm and upper body strength,” he said. “It in- volves a lot of my wrists so it helps me to train them and my wrists have been really strong for shooting.” When he starts high school this fall, he also hopes to try out for the school dance team. Among the people he


looks up to in this sport, Tony lists his World Champion- ship and Bridge Jr. Shooting Club teammate Brian Kim and his sister, Cindy Chung. Cindy earned a berth on the World Championship team but declined her spot as she will be starting college at an art school in New York this fall. “We always tell each oth-


er our scores and try to beat each other, but we really motivate each other so it’s fun,” he said. “She told me I shouldn’t take this oppor- tunity [to shoot in the World Championship] for granted since it was really tough on her when she heard she couldn’t go.”


Chung doing hand waves at this year’s National Championships, please scan this QR code with a smartphone.


To view video of Tony


22 USA Shooting News | September 2014


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