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USA Shooting: What We Are Thankful For

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (November 26, 2014)

While you’re setting your table for this Thanksgiving, we first wanted to give you a few things to chew on related to your USA Shooting Team and what we’re thankful for.  So much goes into the makeup of USA Shooting, that it would be impossible to list it all.  For us, the whole can only be as great as its parts and we need all of our parts working in synergy to be successful.  With 107 Olympic medals in our history, we’ve been synergized for a long time.  With Rio In Sight in just 618 days, we’re relying on all our parts to ensure we remain successful.  We’re thankful for all that we’ve been given and hopeful for what lies ahead. 

Competition – The effectiveness of the USA Shooting Team can only be as good as the competition it hosts to select and prepare athletes for international competition. USA Shooting hosted three World Cups and 13 National events this year. Participation was up 18 percent at Rifle/Pistol Nationals and 36 percent at Shotgun Junior Olympics. We did this all while posting a surplus for the first time ever.

Volunteers – We thrive on the heart and dedication of our volunteers including club coaches, team support, range officers, judges and officials who make what we do possible.  With so much activity, never has volunteering for USA Shooting been more important. In 2014, 200 volunteers helped support USA Shooting events, amassing an amazing 14,000 hours of dedicated service.

Partnership & Affiliation – The glory of winning medals, representing the shooting sports and reaching for dreams, none of it is possible without partnership and affiliation.  USA Shooting Team members are crafted and supported from an industry second to none.  The National Rifle Association (NRA), National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), our Armed Forces including the prolific U.S. Army Marksmanship Program (USAMU), 4H, American Legion, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) and many others build the foundation for our greatness with the programs, services and grassroots development they provide.  The network becomes greater when you include industry sponsors like Kimber, Eley, Winchester, H&N Sport, FMG, White Flyer, Walther, Megalink, Henry and Pyramid Air and conservation partners like Dallas Safari Club, Mule Deer Foundation, Shikar Safari Club and the Wild Sheep Foundation.

The “U” in USA Shooting – Direct marketing efforts performed by Newport Creative helped generate over $600K in revenue in 2014, the second most ever with 6,075 new donors and 47,000 total gifts. USA Shooting Team athletes will also benefit from the $250,000 raised as part of the inaugural National Sporting Clay Cup, July 10-12, at the American Shooting Center in Houston, Texas. The national fundraiser, chaired by USA Shooting Board member and Vice President Butch Eller, was the first major philanthropic push on behalf of a team that has one enthusiastic goal in mind: medal success in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We’re thankful for the wonderful people who donate to ensure our team’s success. Donor generosity allows us to not only represent the U.S. with pride on the international stage, but also to grow the sport by reaching out to youth and new competitors. Whether you made a gift on our website, returned the envelope that arrived with your calendar, won a charity auction on GunBroker.com, or came to an event, we appreciate your support!

Performance – Big medal-worthy performances inspire our community, instill pride and create distinction, hope and prestige.  We’re thankful for the performances put forth by USA Shooting athletes who earned seven Olympic and Paralympic quota spots in 2014 with one each in rifle and pistol, two Paralympic and three in shotgun. Forty-two medals were earned in international competition by USA Shooting Team athletes in 2014 including a remarkable 33 in the shotgun discipline. Additionally, the U.S. claims four individual World Champions in Josh Richmond, Brandy Drozd, Alex Chichkov and Dania Vizzi and a record-setting team World title as well in Junior Women’s Skeet earned by Vizzi and teammates Sydney Carson and Hannah Houston.  Jeff Holguin was impressive with a World Cup Finals victory and two other World Cup medals as was Janessa Beaman and her three medals, the most ever by a U.S. trap competitor. Don’t forget about the record-setters including Jake Wallace (125/125 in Trap qualifying), Haley Dunn and Kim Rhode (74/75 in Skeet qualifying) and 2012 pistol Olympian Nick Mowrer, who became first U.S. athlete to compete in a World Cup in two disciplines and did so by earning a World Cup bronze medal as a rifle athlete.

U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) – The USOC continues to believe in USA Shooting and its athletes. An approved High Performance Plan put together by Dave Johnson with both coach and athlete input, led to a 28 percent increase in funding over 2013. Direct athlete support continues to rise with more than $400K set aside in 2015 to support athletes in their Olympic & Paralympic quests.

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Asked to contribute what their most thankful for this Thanksgiving, our athletes offer up some pointed messages to friends, family and their network of support. 

“I am thankful that USA Shooting gave me a chance to travel and experience the world with my amazing teammates and give me the opportunity to win a Junior World Championship.”

Dania Vizzi, 2014 Skeet Junior World Champ.

“I'm thankful for all of sponsors/donors that have given to USA Shooting in support of us athletes. Without them, we wouldn't be able to send athletes to overseas events and give experience and support to our junior athletes.”

– Phillip Jungman, 2014 Skeet Junior World Championship Bronze Medalist.

"This year I have had many things to be thankful for, including a World Team, National Championship, and World Record. But on a day like today every athlete, including myself, is thankful for the family, friends and support system that help us achieve our goals!"

Jake Wallace, 2014 World Team Member & Trap National Champion.

“I'm thankful for the opportunity to compete in a fair sport and live in a country that provides amazing resources.” 

-- Amy Sowash, 2014 World Team Member & 3P Rifle National Champion.

“For the opportunity to travel the globe testing my shooting abilities against the best in the World I am thankful for my Family, USA Shooting, and the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit. “

-- Jeff Holguin, 2008 Olympian & 2014 World Cup Finals Winner in Double Trap.

“I am most thankful for all the support and motivation I have from the people around me.”

-- Alex Chichkov, 2014 2X Junior World Pistol Champion.

Categories: Press Releases
National Shooting Sports Foundation