Backed by a tremendous outpouring of support and sacrifice from the shooting sports family, USA Shooting completed a transformation to its indoor training facility and 10-meter ranges in 2013 at the U.S. Olympic Shooting Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
USA Shooting chose Megalink to help in the effort by providing 70 electronic target systems. The Norwegian-based company is a leading producer of electronic targets in the world.
Built in 1985, the Center is the largest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere and the third largest in the world and is used for elite and resident athlete training, competitions, national championships, coaching seminars, camps, committee meetings and local clubs. Three separate ranges provide 29 firing points from 50 meters and 70 firing points from 10 meters for training and competitions. It also houses the administration offices, a gunsmith room and locker rooms for resident and visiting athletes. Approximately 25 resident and day-use shooting athletes train at the Olympic Training Center during the year.
Over the years, USA Shooting has made investments in outfitting all 25, 50m firing points and ten of the 10m firing points. Additionally, twenty 25m Rapid Fire and Sport Pistol targets were converted in 2010 with the help of the Shikar Safari Club.
Electronic targets are important to USA Shooting’s training programs and will not only increase the number of events held at the Olympic Shooting Center but also make competitions more efficient and spectator friendly with more accessible results. The upgrade included replacing all 70, 10m firing points with electronic target systems, upgrading the lighting system for all ranges and installing state-of-the-art technology.
Financing for the project was made possible with contributions from USA Shooting, the USA Shooting Team Foundation (USASTF) and the U.S. Olympic Committee. USA Shooting put forth $300,000 of the $450,000 needed to completely refurbish the ranges.
In addition, the Foundation organized a campaign to help complete the final phase and bring the Olympic Shooting Center range up to world-class standards. The campaign asked donors to LEAVE THEIR MARK on the Olympic Shooting Center by sponsoring firing points for $1,000 apiece. More than 70 contributors stepped forward to offer their support and over $80,000 was generated to help make the range upgrade a reality.
USA Shooting Team alumni were invested in the project with Gary Anderson, Ernest Vande Zande, Connie Petracek and Ruby Fox all contributing to the campaign.
To no one’s surprise, our partners in the industry also took a vested interest in giving our athletes the best training conditions possible as Hornady, Remington Arms & Ammunition, DPMS/Panther Arms and Pardini all stepped forward.
Firing points were also purchased as a way to honor friends and loved ones in the shooting community that have inspired and influenced many. Those honored include Bart Parnall, along with Gary Spychalski, who was unaware of the point in his honor until seeing it at the recent Winter Airgun Championships. The message on his point: “Passionate Coach, Loyal Friend.” In addition, USA shooting would like to recognize the Pickett Memorial Fund and the estate of Charles Goss for their contributions. Leonard Pickett was the CEO and owner of Crosman Arms.
Similarly, Paul Borthwick sponsored a point in honor of his father, R. Bruce Borthwick, who was deeply dedicated to the sport. Paul sponsored point No. 53 in order to honor another abiding commitment in his father’s life: R. Bruce Borthwick graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1953.
USA Shooting Clubs also got involved as well including the Palmyra Pistol Team, Langley Junior Rifle Club, Acorns Junior Rifle Team and the National Training Center Shooting Club. The Rochester (NY) Rifle Club sponsored a point in honor of three-time Olympian and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Jason Turner. Turner got his start in Rochester and even to this day as a Colorado Springs resident is benefitting from the generosity of his childhood shooting range.
The inscriptions on some of the range points sponsored by USA Shooting Team donors offer sage advice to all shooters: Pam Vossen’s point notes that "It's Just a Shot Away" while Gina Schoenenberger’s point says to take it “1 At A Time.” Jack Wolf’s point reminds shooters “You can do this” while Sallie Carroll’s point is inscribed “Pistol - Watch the front sight!”
Deep devotion to the overall project was provided by Bud Kucera, who helps oversee the USA Shooting National Training Center Shooting Club. His diligence, patience and care helped ensure the ranges were ready for Winter Airgun Championships. The countless hours he spent dedicated to overseeing these improvements is a testament to his character and an example of the support USA Shooting continues to receive from its members and supporters.
David F. Ridenour Finals Range
The finishing touches to the 10m upgrade were made in April 2014 with establishment of the David F. Ridenour Finals Range. The Finals Range was a special gift provided to USA Shooting by the Ridenour family in memory of David, who made a name for himself in the rifle events during the early 1980s.
Ridenour is remembered for his giving spirit and is only fitting that a Finals Hall for the sport he loved is helping both past and present USA Shooting Team members remember him. As a standout rifle competitor at West Virginia University, Ridenour was the first collegiate shooter ever to be named NRA All-American four consecutive times in Air and Smallbore Rifle. He helped lead WVU to a 45-2 record while winning two national titles and finishing second twice during his four-year collegiate career. In addition, he represented USA Shooting Teams in Germany in 1983 and 1984 and was a two-time National Development Team member. His teammates at West Virginia included USA Shooting’s Director of Operations David Johnson as well as four-time Olympian and 2004 Olympic silver medalist Mike Anti, now an assistant coach at the United States Air Force Academy.
Full Firing Point Sponsors