Shooting Sports icon Lones Wigger (Colorado Springs, Colo.) has been elected once again to the USA Shooting Board of Directors and will be seated during the organization’s spring board meeting in March 2013.
Wigger has been elected to fill the coach/official position on the board that was previously held by Air Force Academy head coach and 1992 Olympic gold medalist Launi Meili (Colorado Springs, Colo.). Wigger beat out both Meili and USA Shooting member Dr. Joel Sexton in a close vote by USA Shooting certified coaches and officials. More than 40 applicants were submitted to the organization’s six-member nominating committee from which three were chosen as official USA Shooting nominees for the position. Wigger previously served on the USA Shooting Board from 2005-2008.
A five-time Olympian, Wigger is an iconic figure in the shooting sports and is the only USA Shooting Team member ever elected to the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Hall of Fame. He has won more medals in international shooting competition (111) than any other shooting athlete in the world and is the only athlete to win medals in all three Olympic rifle shooting disciplines. He was selected as one of the United States Olympic Committee’s 100 Golden Olympians in 1996 and carried the Olympic Torch in 1996 and 2002. A member of four Halls of Fame, including the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame and U.S. International Shooting Hall of Fame, his international shooting career spanned 25 years, 1961-1986.
“We are pleased to welcome Lones back to the USA Shooting Board,” said USA Shooting President Gary Anderson, who was a teammate of Wigger’s on both the 1964 and 1968 U.S. Olympic Teams. “He is not only a great champion, but also a great leader who will push us to do better. But even with Lones Wigger’s unparalleled qualifications to be a Board member, this was a tough choice for our coaches and officials. Launi Meili had been a great Board member and Dr. Joel Sexton is one of our most revered volunteer coaches and leaders. USA Shooting could not possibly lose in this election.”
Originally from Fort Benton, Mont., Wigger won three Olympic medals in his career including gold in 1964 and 1972. His resume also includes 24 World Championship gold medals and 29 World Records. The retired Lt. Col. also served his country as member of the U.S. Army including two tours of duty in Vietnam in 1967 and 1971, which likely hurt his chance for medals in 1968. In addition, Wigger was primed for Olympic success in 1980 but never got the chance after the U.S. boycott.
“It’s truly an honor to represent the sport I love once again in this capacity,” said Wigger. “All of you who know me understand that I have never been too far away from the firing line since my competitive retirement and I value having the opportunity to ensure USA Shooting’s continued growth.”
Shooting has been a life-long affair for Wigger who still comes to work every day at USA Shooting as a volunteer giving his time and energy to the only sport he’s really truly loved. Numerous athletes and team members still continue to list him as their role model despite many having been born after Wigger’s competitive heyday. Lones’ daughter Deena McDorman was a member of the 1988 U.S. Olympic Team for shooting, and son Maj. Ron Wigger is the rifle team coach at the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.
“It has been a lifetime sport for me,” Wigger said in a previous interview with the Denver Post about his shooting career. “I haven’t had time to do much else. I never tried golf, because I don’t do things unless I have time to be good at it. I’ll shoot as long as my eyes hold up.”
To read more about Wigger, click here for the Denver Post article written earlier this summer.
The 17-person USA Shooting Board of Directors is in place to represent members, the international federation, fellow shooting organizations, the Athletes Advisory Council and the U.S. National Team, National Development Team and Junior Olympic Team athletes. Members can serve four-year terms as part of USA Shooting’s BOD.
Lones Wigger Competitive Shooting Bio
- 1964 Olympic Games, Gold Medal 3P, World Record
- 1964 Olympic Games, Silver Medal Prone, World Record
- 1972 Olympic Games, Gold Medal 300m 3P, World Record Standing
- 2008 Inducted to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame
- Five-Time Olympian
- 29 World Records
- 111 International Competition Medals (65 Gold, 38 Silver and eight Bronze)
- 24 World Championship Gold Medals
- 29 World Records
- Member of seven US Pan American Games Teams
- Member of seven US World Championship Teams
- 91 National Individual Championships
- 1964 Gold & World Record 50m Smallbore Rifle 3-Position; Silver Medal & World Record 50m Rifle Prone
- 1968 Eighth place 50m Smallbore Rifle Prone
- 1972 Gold & World Record Centerfire Rifle 3-Position, 300m; Tied for 3rd 50m Smallbore Rifle Prone
- 1980 US Boycott — 50m Smallbore Rifle 3-Position & Prone
- 1988 Shooting Team Captain
Image courtesy USA Shooting