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paralympic athlete of the Year


Mike Tagliapietra Asked about his favorite


quote, Mike Tagliapietra provided this in his bio from Ella Wheeler Wilcox: “There is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that can hinder or control the fi rm resolve of a determined soul.” It’s a fi t- ting quote that speaks to not only where he’s been but where he hopes to go. Where he’s going was


made a little clearer with a 2014 campaign that earned him Athlete of the Year hon- ors in the Paralympic disci- pline. As a pistol athlete, Ta- gliapietra made three fi nals at the International Paralym- pic Committee (IPC) World


Cup in Ft. Benning, fi nishing fourth, sixth and seventh re- spectively. Shooting in the P3 (25m


Mixed Sport Pistol) event at the IPC World Champion- ships in Suhl, Germany, Ta- gliapietra fi nished fi fth over- all in qualifying out of 39 competitors but would have to settle for an eighth-place fi nish after being eliminated in the semifi nal round. More importantly though, Tagliapi- etra, along with teammate rifl e shooter McKenna Dahl, earned a valuable Paralym- pic quota spot for the up- coming 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro,


Brazil. Tagliapietra has been


shooting competitively since December 2011 after fi nd- ing the sport once again fol- lowing a 2003 car accident that would paralyze him from his mid-back down. He was a competitive wheelchair racer before committing fully to the shooting sports. Driven beyond belief and


not satisfi ed with any result that doesn’t include some- thing metallic, the pursuit continues for him. Given this year’s results, he now assumes a lead role as the face of the Paralympic pro- gram. With that comes hope


Year in Review 2014 | USA Shooting News 77


he’ll lead a Rio 2016 push as pronounced as the quote that adorns his bio.


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