Athlete snapshot: Yorba Linda's Jeff Holguin
Residence: Yorba Linda
College: University of Colorado
Olympic experience: First games
Recent records: After taking part in a gas-chamber simulation, using a shotgun won't be a problem for Sgt. Jeff Holguin. Holguin, a double trap shooter, started shooting competitively in 1997. Winner of a gold medal at the national championships in 2004, he just missed qualifying for the 2004 Olympics, finishing third in the race for two spots.
In training for the 2008 Olympics, he and teammate Glenn Eller joined the Army Marksmanship Unit in Fort Benning, Ga. Holguin had his education in Colorado Springs and faced a choice of either getting a regular job, which would restrict his shooting time, or joining the Army. Having shot against Army men and women in competitions for years, the Army offered him a spot once it heard about his situation.
Eller and Holguin used the discipline they received from basic training to claim both spots on the U.S. team in Beijing; Holguin finished second.
Holguin says in 2004 he was too focused on the scores of others. Now, he doesn't even want to focus on his own scores until the competition begins. "One of the best pieces of advice I got recently from someone who had been there is that are so many things going on, don't think about shooting until you have to," Holguin said.
-- Lucas Shaw
Photo: Jeff Holguin of the United States competes in the men's double trap qualification held at the Beijing Shooting Range Hall on Tuesday. Credit: Nick Laham / Getty Images