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Q& A Tammy Delano (Rome,

New York) got her start in VKRRWLQJ À YH \HDUV DJR was a member of the Sitrin STARS, a disabled sports program in her hometown. One day Vanessa Ross (NRA’s Manager of Disabled Shooting Services) stopped by to conduct a shooting clinic for participants. “I enjoyed it right off the

bat, was really good at it, and have been pursuing it ever since,” Delano said. “I was kind of excited – my whole family likes to hunt DQG À VK DQG HYHQ WKRXJK LW·V MXVW DLU ULÁ H , MXVW thought it was really cool. I fell in love with it right there.” Fast forward to Novem- ber 5 of last year when- Delano’s luck all changed. Although an 18th-place À QLVK GRHVQ·W VRXQG DOO WKDW good given the expectation levels of the USA Shooting Team, that’s exactly what she needed to earn the all- important Paralympic quota DQG HQVXUH D À IWK LQGLYLGXDO spot for Team USA in shoot- ing. More importantly, it was exactly what she needed to turn the corner from a disastrous year in lead-up to that moment- -one which saw her lose her father to kidney disease, undergo neck surgery and battle through anemia. Having executed her best shooting performance at the International Paralym- pic Committee Shooting

World Cup in Fort Benning, Delano’s clear mission now is to compete in honor of her dad and to enjoy every single shot along the way. Delano was born with Spina %LÀ GD DQG EHJDQ WDUJHW shooting seven years ago. She was also an alternate for the Wheelchair Curling Team for the 2010 Paralym- pic Games in Vancouver, Canada. She answered some questions as she pre- pares for her 2016 season and beyond.

How important is perfor- mance to you now in re- membrance of your father? Since my Dad passed

away my performance has become even more important to me. It was so important to me that I earn a quota spot for Rio

Tammy Delano 3DUDO\PSLF 5LÁ H

because I had missed out on the last year of my dad’s life. I had struggled even making the move to train at the Olympic Training Center because he wasn’t in the greatest health, but how could I miss out on one of the biggest opportunities of my life? I know that he is proud of me; I want my best performance to happen in Rio, and if that results in a medal it will be dedicated to him.

What impact did your fa- ther have on your athletic career and making you who you are? My dad never had a

chance to see me shoot. He heard about it all the time, saw some of my results and targets but never actu- ally saw me shoot. But he

LQÁ XHQFHG PH LQ VR PDQ\ other ways that has brought me to where I am today. He was a very hard working man. Even as his health de- clined he kept working and never complained. He never complained when he was hurting or asked for help, he was a very stubborn man. But he was always there for you if you needed him. I get my toughness from him. My parents never treated me like I was disabled and taught me that no matter the obstacles I might face, that I could do anything I set my mind to. And that has played a big part of who I am today.

:KDW DVSHFW RI ULÁ H VKRRW ing do you like the most? One of the aspects I

like most about shooting March 2016 | USA Shooting News 17

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