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USA Shooting Set To Dedicate Hall & Range in Honor of Shooting Great Lones Wigger

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (August 23, 2017)

Celebrating its proud history, a tradition of excellence and an 80th birthday for one its legends, USA Shooting’s headquarters have taken on a new look in anticipation of a celebration Friday night dedicated to the legacy of one of the sport’s all-time best in Lones Wigger on his 80th birthday.   

USA Shooting will rename the interior of its headquarters building and upper range as the Lones Wigger Legacy Hall & Range.  Certain areas of the building and range have been enhanced with Lones Wigger Legacy graphics and updated signage showcasing USA Shooting’s proud history. 

USA Shooting launched the Lones Wigger Legacy campaign earlier this year, which included the Lones Wigger/Junior Olympic Endowment, in partnership with the MidwayUSA Foundation.  Money put toward that endowment will be used to support youth and Junior Olympic initiatives in the future.  Campaign chair Ernie Vande Zande and USA Shooting interim CEO Dave Johnson will reveal the amount raised in a special check presentation during the ceremony, so there’s still time to contribute. 

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Little argument can be given to the statement that the four-time Olympian and two-time Olympic champion is the greatest competitive rifle shooter America has ever seen. An iconic figure in the shooting sports, Lieutenant Colonel Wigger is the only USA Shooting Team member ever elected to the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Hall of Fame and was also selected as one of the USOC’s 100 Golden Olympians in 1996. He has won more medals in international shooting competition (111) than any other shooting athlete in the world. During his illustrious career, he also held or co-held 27 world records – 14 team and 13 individual. He won 58 National Championships of almost every variety since 1963. He was a member of 16 major U.S. international teams, starting with the 1963 Pan-American Games and his record also includes: 22 World Championships (two individual & 20 team); seven Pan-American titles, 18 victories in the Championship of the Americas match; and 16 victories in the Council Internationale Sport du Militaire match. Upon his retirement from the sport, he was described as the “fiercest competitor of our lifetime.” 

During a March 1987 interview with Sports Illustrated, Wigger discussed his philosophy of success and said, “In shooting, it’s persistence that pays the biggest dividends—constant, steady practice, week-in and week-out all year long.  I truly believe that anyone can be a champion marksman if they work at it long and hard enough.”    

More than 300 friends, family members, teammates and competitors are expected to attend the event to pay tribute to the longtime shooting sports fixture and join him in his birthday celebration.  Wigger has been involved in the shooting sports as an athlete, administrator, coach and volunteer for 68 years now after picking up rifle at 12 years of age. The audience will be provided time during the dedication to reflect on their shooting experiences with Wigger. 

“The Lones Wigger Legacy Project is a wonderful and appropriate recognition for a man that has accomplished so much in the sport and has done so much to help others,” Vande Zande said. “Wig headed a junior program while serving at Fort Benning, which produced junior national champions who went on to receive college scholarships, become collegiate All-Americans, national champions, world-record holders and members of the Olympic Team. He is the greatest rifle shooter the United States ever produced, without equal.”  

The event kicks off USA Shooting’s Legacy Weekend that includes a shotgun shoot, a coaching conference, alumni reunion, and culminates Saturday evening with the induction of four new athletes to the U.S. International Shooting Hall of Fame. 

To learn more and to hear what others in the shooting community have to say about Lones Wigger, click here. 

Read the Shooter Spotlight on Lones Wigger by shooting historian Hap Rocketto.

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Categories: Press Releases
National Shooting Sports Foundation