Fort Benning, Georgia – Sergeant 1st Class Jason Parker is going back to the Olympics. For the fourth time in twelve years, Parker earned a spot on U.S. Olympic Rifle Team … this time for the men’s 50-meter rifle three position competition.
“It’s always an honor to represent the Army and your country at the Olympics,” said Parker. “Everybody goes to the Olympics to win a gold medal and I’m no different. That’s the ultimate goal. But my expectations going over there are to compete hard, represent my country well and do my best and train my best leading up to it.”
A member of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU), Parker joins fellow USAMUers Sgt. 1st Class Eric Uptagrafft (rifle prone), Staff Sgt. Michael McPhail (rifle prone), Staff Sgt. Josh Richmond (double trap), Sgt. Glenn Eller (double trap) and Sgt. Vincent Hancock (Men’s Skeet) as they head off to London. Also making the trip is Sgt. 1st Class Josh Olson who is the first active-duty Soldier to qualify for the Paralympics.
“Having my wife and kids out here the past few days (during the competition) has been a great inspiration,” Parker said. “Getting into the finals and looking over and seeing my kids there with a smile on their face watching their dad is an awesome feeling and kind of relaxes me. I am looking forward to having them there in London with me.”
Parker completed his objective in what was described as a torrential downpour. Those conditions, in addition to a few target malfunctions, forced officials to dig up the U.S. Olympic Committee rulebook. Ultimately, the final day of competition was reserved for only the nine shooters in contention for the spot. Additionally, the course of fire was reduced from 40 to 20 shots at all three positions.
The Olympic Games opens July 27 and run through August 12.
Images courtesy NRA Blog