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Appreciation for a college rifl e career second to none is high on the list as

well. Emmons shot for the University of Alaska Fairbanks from 1999-2003, and there’s never been a more dominant collegian. While a Nanook, Em- mons helped lead the rifl e team to four consecutive national championships while earning an unprecedented four NCAA individual titles in the process. “That was one of the best college teams ever assembled, if not one of

the best teams ever,” said Emmons. “The way we worked together; the way we cared for one another; and the family that we really were, that’s some- thing that you don’t see very often. What I learned from that experience, I will use for the rest of my life and it was just so much darn fun to be a part of.”

“Matt is in his own class,” said rifl e great Glenn Dubis back in 2003 when he coached him his senior season at UAF. “He’s a prodigy, he is, in a way a genius.” Twelve years later, Emmons has honored that sentiment tenfold. The unduplicated college career, three Olympic medals, the two Olympic close- calls, 35 World Cup medals and three World Championship medals have helped shaped his legacy. You don’t talk about sports legacy without shiny trinkets. But one’s legacy is only truly formed by how you choose to react in the

face of adversity, and by the character, conviction and compassion you dis- play. Through 18 years of shooting, perhaps no one has left a more indelible mark on his sport than Matt and it has come in success, failure, heartache and triumph. Asked how he sees his legacy, Matt responds like this: “I think a lot of it has to do with the way I play the game. I want to be

known as a true sportsman who competed hard and played the game the right way. I wasn’t going to give it to anybody, but at the same time, if you get beat you shake the other guy’s hand. I always want to set a good example for not only other shooters but other people in sports of the way that a person can be a good competitor but a good person at the same time. Also, I want people to remember that I was the guy who made you earn it. Not that I had to win every match, but if I lost a match, I defi nitely made you earn it.”

“Matt has always been one of the toughest

competitors in the world,” said former team- mate and competitor Jason Parker, now the head rifl e coach at the U.S. Army Marksman- ship Unit. “I always enjoyed competing against him because you knew he was always going to bring his best performance. One thing that sets him apart from the rest of the world is his com- petitive nature and ability to prepare for every match. He will go down in history as one of the best in the world.” For the sport that’s given him much more

than he could ever imagine, he’s also been cognizant about being sure to give back as well. He’s known for going out of his way to give advice and sharing his knowledge with team- mates, competitors and the youth just starting out. “When people ask me questions, I always

take the time to answer them,” Emmons ac- knowledges. “I enjoy the sport and if someone wants to learn something from me, I’m happy to help them if I have the time. I’ve learned a lot from other people over the years and I’ve learned a lot of things on my own. If I can give back to the sport by sharing some of that knowl- edge as others did with me when I was develop- ing as a shooter, I’m happy to do so.” “He certainly belongs on any list of the great-

est rifl e shooters the USA has ever produced,” said Gary Anderson, two-time Olympic gold medalist. “His many outstanding and coura- geous athletic performances have given our sport some of its greatest moments. Matt’s achievements are a real source of pride for our country and USA Shooting.”

18 USA Shooting News | March 2015

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