USA Shooting President and two-time Olympic gold medalist Gary Anderson (Oak Harbor, Ohio) was awarded the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Olympic Order on Thursday.
International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) President and IOC member Olegario Vazquez Raña had the honor to award the IOC Olympic Order to Anderson during ISSF Meetings taking place in Alcapulco, Mexico, on behalf of IOC President Jacques Rogge.
The Olympic Order is the highest award of the IOC and was created in May 1975 as a successor to the Olympic Certificate. The Olympic Order is awarded to individuals for distinguished contributions to the Olympic Movement. The Olympic Order insignia resembles a collar with the five Olympic rings framed by olive branches.
“Gary Anderson has devoted his life to sport, both as an athlete and as a sports administrator in the USA and at the International Shooting Sport Federation,” said Raña. “He has placed his knowledge and experience as an elite athlete at the service of sports administration.”
Anderson was a member of the USA Shooting Team for 10 years (1959-1969) and earned two Olympic gold medals in Tokyo (1964) and Mexico City (1968). He also claimed seven World Championship medals, two Pan American Games titles and 16 National Championship titles to go along with six individual World Records in his career.
Anderson has served USA Shooting as President since 2009. At the international level, he joined the international shooting family in 1978 as member of the ISSF Administrative Council, and is now serving the international federation in his role as Vice President.
Anderson served as the Director of the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) from 1999 to 2009. In addition to promoting firearms safety training and rifle practice for all shooters, Anderson’s primary focus at CMP was to develop and sustain successful youth shooting programs at both regional and national levels.
A former Nebraska state senator, Anderson previously worked at the NRA where he served as Executive Director of General Operations. Gary was responsible for the development of safety, training and competition programs. Among hundreds of other honors, Gary was awarded the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice (NBPRP) Distinguished International Shooting Badge (Serial number one) in April 1963 by President John F. Kennedy. While at the NRA, Anderson served on the NBPRP board, and was one of the first people to advocate and pioneer a shift in priorities to youth and junior shooting. As a result of this shift, Anderson became the founding and administrative director of the U. S. Shooting Team Foundation.
In 1993, he moved to Atlanta to become the Shooting Competitions Manager for the 1996 Olympic Games. In 1996, Anderson accepted a position with Fulton County Georgia, to manage the Wolf Creek Shooting Venue, a facility destined to become a premier national and international center for the shooting sports.
Anderson’s influence on shooting sports extends well beyond the United States. He has traveled extensively throughout his career in shooting, serving as a genuine ambassador for shooting sports, attending 12 Olympic Games, three as a competitor and nine as technical delegate or a jury member. He is also the recipient of one of only five prestigious honorary memberships to the historic and renowned shooting club, Hauptschutzengesellschaft, in Munich, Germany.
Image courtesy ISSF