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Volunteered at the Paralympic Sports Military Summit

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Justin, Oct 21, 2006.

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  1. Justin

    Justin Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 29, 2002

    Last week a friend asked if I'd be willing to volunteer to help out with an upcoming event that was being hosted at the National Training Center.

    The military had evidently spoken with the USOC about setting up various demos of various paralympic sports, including fencing, sled hockey, shooting, and a few other sports.

    So, today I had the privelege of spending a few hours helping about 40 disabled veterans from the Iraq war learn a little bit about shooting competitive air pistol.

    Hey, this is easy, the targets don't shoot back!

    After a Powerpoint presentation covering the basics of the sport, the special rules governing the Paralympic shooting events, and a few examples of current Paralympic shooting athletes, we split into two groups, one for air pistol and one for air rifle.

    The fellow who was in charge of all of us for the pistol section is a veteran himself, and did a pretty good job explaining the differences between tactical and competitive shooting, and then everyone moved onto the firing line to give it a try and get some coaching. This phase lasted about an hour.

    And the winner is...

    The end of the demonstration included a ten shot match that was then scored and ranked, with medals given out to the top shooters.

    Saying that everyone had a good time is a bit of a threadbare cliché, but in this case it definitely seemed to be true.

    One of the things that really struck me is just how universal the shooting sports really are. Not everyone can play football, soccer, or ride a luge. But nearly anyone with the right level of perseverance and outlook can learn to shoot competitively, even if they have a physical disability.

    Until today I was unaware that there was a governing body for disabled athletes, and that they had sanctioned competitive shooting matches.


    My hat is off to these guys. About half of them were wheelchair bound, and most of the rest had pretty obviously sustained injuries in combat. But there wasn't a whiner or bad attitude in the bunch.


    For more information there's The International Paralympic Committee and for Paralympic shooting sports, as well as Target Shooting Canada, which has resources on the Paralympic shooting events.
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