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Matt Emmons


Target Has Never Appeared More Clear For far too long, someone other than Matt Emmons had always

been the storyteller; the script all too predictable, the vernacular all too harsh. In the lexicon of sport, labels like “choke artist” aren’t easy to accept and they’re even tougher to try and defend. That’s exactly why Emmons simply refused to listen. And it’s why Au-

gust 6, 2012, might just prove to be the defi nitive moment in a career of dazzling highlights. That day in London, the fi nal shot he was looking for still didn’t come, but the medal sure did; the one that had eluded him for eight painstaking years. With it came the opportunity to change the conversation from one of

misfortune to that of greatness. Sure, the pundits can write Emmons’ Olympic history any number of ways. Some may choose to focus on the

gaffes that cost him two Olympic medals and very nearly a third. But the body of work suggests a much more powerful anecdote, one that places the three-time Olympic medalist among the all-time greats in this craft. Simply put, Emmons is one of the best marksmen in history taking his place along the sport’s legends like Bassham, Anderson and Wigger.

Now in the twilight of his career and another Olympic Games squarely in his sights, he’s never been in a better place. For

the fi rst time really, he’s content with both his shooting career and in life, while still hungry in his pursuit of shooting perfection. Also, he’s acutely aware that the time to add to his shooting legacy is fl eeting. If he’s able to step on the podium for a fourth time in four Olympic Games, it would be another shining moment. If not, he’d be okay with that too. He’s a man satisfi ed with where he’s come from, anxious in what still lies ahead, and eyeing a future for him and his family that doesn’t always have to include the perfect shot. The memories Matt has from 18 years of trying to perfect his craft are vivid and a source of real pride. He can’t list just one.

There’s his fi rst match in New Jersey as a Junior. Or being a Junior and winning his fi rst National Championships as an Open shooter — even missing the Olympic Team in 2000 and being so angry about it. Also on the list, winning World Championships in 2002 in Prone on a tough range in tough conditions, as well as winning his

fi rst Olympic medal, gold in 2004. The most memorable medal of the three, as alluded to above, is no doubt the bronze in 2012. “Some people may say you

only got bronze, but that’s my favorite medal of the three because what I had to do and what I had to overcome to get there is something I don’t know that anyone could do, and until I did it, wasn’t sure I could do it myself.”

March 2015 | USA Shooting News 17

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