Sgt. 1st Class Josh Olson, a member of the U.S. Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning and the first active duty soldier to ever qualify for the 2012 Paralympics Games, is a week away from competing at the Royal Artillery Barracks in London.
“I’ve been preparing for this since I got to the unit seven years ago,” Olson told Michael Molinaro, a public affairs spokesman for the Marksmanship Unit. “I am on a mission to represent our country and the Army in front of the world. I have a lot of people who have helped get me to this point and now it’s time for me to be at my best for two days.”
Olson, 32, is the last of seven Marksmanship Unit shooters from the post to compete in the Games. He hopes to follow in the steps of Sgt. Vincent Hancock, a gold medal winner in men’s skeet, and Jamie Gray, an assistant coach for Columbus State University Rifle Team. She won gold in the three-position rifle competition.
“I’ve been training really hard this year and I’m ready to finally compete,” Olson said. “I got nominated in January so it’s been a long eight months preparing for London.”
Olson is scheduled to compete Sept. 1 in 10 meter air rifle and mixed 50 meter prone rifle.