The United States Shooting Team has big hopes heading to the Summer Olympic Games in London.
Six members of the US Olympic team are members of the US Army Marksmanship Unit based in Fort Benning. They include Eatonton, GA native SGT. Vincent Hancock, who is going for a second gold medal in skeet.
Hancock isn't the only member of the USA team ready to defend their gold medal. SGT. Glenn Eller also won gold in the 2008 Olympics.
Hancock and Eller are two of four members of the team who have prior Olympic experience. SFC. Jason Parker is competing in his fourth consecutive Olympics and SFC Eric Uptagrafft is shooting in his second Olympics. His first Olympic trip was in Atlanta in 1996.
The two rookies are proven on the world stage with world champion SSG Josh Richmond in Double Trap and SSG Michael McPhail competes in Men's Rifle Prone.
SFC Eric Uptagrafft's wife Sandra will compete in two pistol events and Jamie Gray will compete in two rifle competitions in London.
Gray's husband Henry is also a member of the USAMU.
SGT Vincent Hancock said. "We do have an experienced team going this year. The few of the rookies we do have are really not rookies. They have been around the block for quite a long time. They have won medals too."
"We have all been together for the last four years. We shoot most international matches together. It is the same people. Every one gets along. It is a good feeling," SSG Michael McPhail said.
The USAMU has its first member to earn a spot in the Paralympic Games in London. SFC Josh Olson, who lost his right leg during combat in Iraq in 2003, will compete on September 1st in Air Rifle and September 4th in Prone Rifle.
Copyright 2012 WALB. All rights reserved.