From USA Shooting - Injury Forces Olympic Gold Medalist Jamie (Beyerle) Gray to Retire

Colorado Springs, Colorado - There comes a time in every elite athlete’s life where they eventually succumb to the pain they place upon their body to perform the sport they love. Today is that day for reigning Olympic gold medalist Jamie (Beyerle) Gray (Lebanon, Pa.) as she reluctantly retires from her competitive rifle career. 

No doubt that the gold medal she earned in London helped make the decision a little bit easier as did the new life she’s building in Kalispell, Mont. But more than that, Gray wasn’t willing to forego her long-term health for the opportunity to continue shooting. 

Since 2010, Gray has tolerated a lower back that was unbearable at times and something that worsened each time she put in the training time necessary to compete at the very best. Simply put, her back could no longer bear the brunt and it told her so every time she tried.  

“It has taken a toll on my body, mind and life since,” Gray acknowledged. “At the Olympics, I had three injections in my back after the air rifle match, which allowed me to be successful in smallbore.” 

More on the retirement of Olympic Gold Rifle Medalist Jamie Gray ...

From USA Shooting - Current & Future Stars Gather in Colorado Springs for 2014 Nat'l Jr. Olympic Shooting Championships

Women's Air Pistol will be intense despite the bond Lydia Paterson (left), Alana Townsend (middle) and Darian Shenk (right) have formed as the current and future stars of the sport. Colorado Springs, Colorado - The current and future stars of USA Shooting are set to begin 17 days of competition during the 2014 National Junior Olympic Shooting (NJOSC) Championships taking place at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., April 10-26.  The best junior men’s and women’s pistol competitors will get things underway beginning Thursday.

Following pistol, Women’s Rifle takes to the range April 16-20, and then NJOSC will conclude with Men’s Rifle, April 22-27. Both rifle weeks will consist of an Air Rifle and Three-Position (smallbore) competition. In order to compete in this year’s NJOSC, competitors must have been born in 1994 or later, providing for a junior competition that is unparalleled in the shooting sports.

There is a lot at stake for the young shooters that will travel to Colorado from all corners of the country. Each event will provide two opportunities to be appointed to USA Shooting’s National Junior Team. This is a remarkable opportunity for the nation’s top young shooters to gain valuable experience through different camps and international events ... Find out more about these Junior Olympic shooters ...

From USA Shooting - Kentucky’s Davis Wins NCAA Air Rifle Title, West Virginia Claims 16th National Championship

2014 NCAA Rifle Champions from West Virginia University

Colorado Springs, Colorado - In college rifle, days don’t come much bigger than this.

The NCAA Rifle National Championships came to a close today on the Pat Spurgin Rifle Range in Murray, Ky. with No. 1-ranked West Virginia claiming a nation-best 16th NCAA championship. The Mountaineers claimed their second championship in a row with their score of 4,705, beating the previous record score of 4,700 set in 2011 by Kentucky.

More on West Virginia's NCAA Rifle Championships win ...

From the Colorado Parks and Wildlife - Big Game Access Program cancelled after pilot study

Colorado Parks and WildlifeColorado Springs, Colorado - After a pilot study, Colorado Parks and Wildlife will be suspending its Big Game Access Program (BGAP). BGAP was designed to evaluate the potential of a big game leasing program in southeastern Colorado and create hunting opportunities that both benefited landowners and hunters in the area. However, recent budgetary shortfalls have caused Colorado Parks and Wildlife to reevaluate all of its programs and as a result the decision was made to end BGAP.

More on the cancellation of Colorado's Big Game Program ...

From USA Shooting - USA Shooting Pistol Selection Match Set to Get Underway with Much at Stake

2013 National Champions Sandra Uptagrafft, Jason Turner, Teresa Chambers and Emil Milev look to begin 2014 with a Pistol Selection Match that will lead them to spots on World Cups, World Championships and Championship of the Americas Teams. Colorado Springs, Colorado - The ranges of the USA Shooting Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., will come alive over the next week with 40 of the best pistol athletes in the country coming together for a chance to represent the USA Shooting Team at upcoming events including World Cup USA, the World Championships and the Championship of the America’s (CAT).  

The action gets underway Tuesday, February 25 with Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol and Women’s Air Pistol. Fifteen athletes will emerge as the leading candidates for both World Championship and CAT selection, though the second of the two-part qualification won’t take place until May. The top-three athletes in each of the five pistol events contested are assured a spot on the World Cup USA roster and will shoot in Ft. Benning, Ga., during the March 27-April 4 event. 

More on making the USA Shooting Pistol Team ...

From the Colorado Parks and Wildlife - CPW seeks input on hunting season structure

Colorado Parks and WildlifeDenver, Colorado - Colorado Parks and Wildlife is seeking public input on the structure of the big game hunting seasons for 2015 through 2019.

Major issues that are considered during the big game season structure process include the number of seasons for each species, the overlap among different seasons, breaks between seasons and the beginning and ending dates of hunting seasons. The hunting 'preference point’ system and totally limited elk hunting units will also be discussed as part of this process.

More on Colorado's plans for big game hunting ...

Support the NRA and the shooting sports at Friends of NRA dinners in Colorado, South Carolina, Washington and more

Friends of NRA

Fairfax, Virginia - Wednesday brings us the next round of Friends of NRA banquets courtesy of Nicole McMahon, NRA Event Marketing and Communications Manager.

There are only a handful of events left as the wildly successful 2013 season comes to an end. All told, there were about 1,100 Friends of NRA dinners held this year and each one contributed to the record breaking amount of money Friends of NRA has raised for the shooting sports. Of course none of these events would have been possible without the help of our volunteers. Without the thousands of individuals who donate their time to our great cause, we would not be able to accomplish our missions of supporting national, state, and community-focused shooting sports programs.

To attend an event in your neighborhood, check the Friends of NRA website for a list of upcoming events in your state. While it's true that there aren't many left, the list of 2014 events will begin popping up very soon. Bookmark the page while you're there and check back to see when your area is holding its dinners.

Find out where Friends of NRA dinners are happening ...

From USA Shooting - Six Set to Compete at World Cup Finals in Munich

Colorado Springs, Colorado - When the U.S. team departed for the ISSF Rifle/Pistol World Cup Finals in Munich, Germany yesterday, they welcomed back a member to the competition ranks and said goodbye to another.

2012 Olympic gold medalist Jamie Gray (Lebanon, Pa., pictured right) will make her competition return in the Three-Position Rifle event. Gray, who has been recovering from a back injury since the Olympics, automatically secured a berth in these World Cup Finals as a reigning Olympic champion.

More on the shooters competing in the World Cup Rifle & Pistol Finals ...

Friends of NRA reviews banquet season progress and prepares for second half of 2013

NRA Field Representatives at the winter meeting in NRA Headquarters

Fairfax, Virginia - The Friends of NRA program is a large family of individuals dedicated to preserving our country's shooting sports heritage. This past week we finished highlighting the Volunteers of the Year; the best of the best among the thousands who donate their time to the organization each year.

There's another group within the program that is integral to its success. NRA's Field Representatives works tirelessly year round to make sure all 1,100 events run smoothly and grants go to deserving organizations.

Field Reps are NRA employees and, unlike volunteers, are able to devote all 365 days of the year to Friends of NRA. It isn't a job just anybody can do. Field Reps are constantly on the move, driving around their territories from committee to committee and helping organize events.

All this week the Field Reps are getting a break - if you want to call it that - when they gather for the 2013 Field Operations Division Annual Planning Meeting. A biannual event, meetings bring both Field Reps and NRA Headquarters staff together to review the last half year and plan for the remainder. Days will be filled with training workshops on new and updated Event Services, Insurance, Clubs & Associations, Database Administration, Grants and more services and products. Reps will even begin selecting merchandise for next year's Friends of NRA banquets.

More on Friends of NRA's trip to Colorado...

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