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were treated to a live guitar performance by Olympian -DVRQ 3DUNHU DQG UDQJH RIÀ cer Marc Orvin! Watching Ja- son play his dad’s beautiful guitar from 1954 alongside Marc under the glow of the parking lot lamp is one of the more special moments of the trip for me. 6LQFH WKLV ZDV P\ À UVW time at an IPC event, I was also curious about any dif- ferences there might be be- tween this and the ISSF in- ternational competitions I’ve DWWHQGHG 0\ À UVW LPSUHV sion was since the organiza- tion is smaller, there seems to be more of a community feeling and camaraderie among the competitors. Not only do they have shooting in common, but every one of them has been through a major life-changing event or disease resulting in ei- ther amputation, requiring the use of a wheelchair, and possibly further disability in terms of physical function- ality. The array of adaptive equipment developed to en- able them to shoot a pistol RU ULÁ H LV DPD]LQJ , FDQ RQO\ imagine what the ability to travel the world and compete in shooting sports means to them after what they’ve been through. I know what it means to me. They have a different perspective on life and competition, and I dare- say there seemed to be less drama and more gratitude than in some of the events I’ve attended as a competi- tor. For instance, one com- petitor I met who was in a wheelchair had a degenera- tive disease and didn’t know if he would even be alive in a year. He already had very limited strength and mobility and traveled with a caretak-

er at that time. Despite his condition, he is able to travel the world and compete in a sport, about which he was understandably grateful. Do you think he lost his temper when he shot a nine? While we all certainly

worked hard and found our- selves exhausted at the end of the week, the fun and new friends from around the world made our time reward- ing. Next time you attend a shooting competition, take the time to thank the volun- teers for their work. They are doing more than you know behind the scenes to run the event for you, the athlete. I will certainly make it a point to take a little extra time to help clean up and say thanks more often from now on. We are very fortunate to have our dedicated and skilled volunteers at USA Shooting!

Generationally speak ing, we as athletes currently competing are blessed with some of the best volunteers WR HYHU WUHDG WKH À ULQJ OLQHV of USA Shooting. Some of our volunteers predated us in competition, winning the very matches they now oper- ate. Others simply love our culture; one they’ve culti- vated through years of sup- porting their athletes. I had P\ WXUQ À UVW KDQG DW EHLQJ D part of that experience when I volunteered to work the IPC Shooting World Cup in Fort Benning, Georgia in Novem- ber.

Lauren Phillips Generationally

speak- e as athle es currently For example, the way

I met Marcelo Machado, &KLHI 5DQJH 2IÀ FHU IRU WKH 10-Meter range for the 2016 Olympic Games, was one of those moments where I got to see how much these vol- unteers love the work they do. When we arrived for the day to the Poole Range Park-

Jason Parker and Marc Orvin entertain at the nightly tailgate.

ing Lo Lot, the moment Mar- the moment Mar

celo spotted us, he shoved himself through our van window to give USAS Media & PR Manager Jessica De- los Reyes a bear hug (which we soon found to be his trademark move). Marcelo’s zest for life was contagious among the other volunteers traveling from Brazil to hone their skills working at this World Cup.

But something most ath-

letes fail to recognize is that our USA Shooting volunteers are some of the sole individ- uals that want nothing but to support the goals of our organization. Why should you volun-

teer for USA Shooting? So you have to borrow Mary By- num’s rain boots to trudge GRZQ WR À [ WKH 0HJDOLQN WDU get in the pits at the Poole range with Ray Cormier. You

March 2016 | USA Shooting News 27

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