A bronze medal at the Chile World Cup on March 3 gave Staff Sgt. Josh Richmond the points needed to compete in Men’s Double Trap at the 2012 Olympics in London.
I had the pleasure of spending a morning with Richmond last month at Fort Benning, and this honor couldn’t have happened to a better soldier. Kudos, indeed, on this great achievement. But I don’t want to jinx the go-getter, either.
Though Richmond is ranked No. 1 in the world by a considerable margin, he’s not in London yet. International competition has not ended, and only the top shooters are guaranteed a spot – a reality Richmond, a member of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, knows all too well.
One bad day of shooting in 2008 cost him a spot on that team, according to an USAMU press release. Two other team members went instead. One of them, Sgt. Glenn Eller, earned Olympic Gold.
“It was somewhat of a bitter sweet experience for me seeing my two teammates compete in the Olympics without me; however, we could not have sent a stronger team to the games,” Richmond said in the release. And that esprit de corps is no joke. Richmond loves shooting and knows USAMU heritage like the trigger pull of his shotgun, but his devotion to the Army and his brothers in arms tops all. In fact, he is scheduled for deployment to Afghanistan this fall and has his heart set on serving there — whether or not he has secured his Olympic slot.
But don’t be surprised if that ticket to London is waiting for Richmond when he returns from the ‘Stan. And don’t be surprised if he come home from London with Olympic gold.